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8 creative ways to make spring cleaning fun for grade schoolers

Spring cleaning has deep roots much bigger than the dust bunnies in the back of the closet. Some historians trace the annual ritual of giving the home a deep cleaning from top to bottom all the way back to ancient times. Every spring, cultures around the globe get out the cleaning supplies and get scrubbing, especially those areas under and in things that get overlooked the rest of the year. Adults don’t exactly love the thought of spring cleaning, so imagine how hard it is to get kids on board. Since this yearly activity requires all hands on deck, what are some ways to make spring cleaning with kids fun?

Tips when cleaning with kids

Regardless of the chore, you will always get more cooperation from kids and teens if you make the task more exciting. Keep these points in mind when preparing for your spring clean:

  • Play music and be sure to include tunes the kids like, too.
  • Instead of a marathon cleaning day, break it up into smaller sessions throughout the week or month.
  • Have a reward like your kids’ favorite takeout or a family movie in place when the spring cleaning project is finally completed. When it’s done entirely, plan a special family outing like a hike, bike ride, or day trip to an amusement park.
  • Always make sure the chores are age-appropriate for each child.
  • If children are using cleaning solutions, make sure they’re kid-friendly, like a vinegar and water solution.
mom and daughter spring cleaning together

Ways to make spring cleaning fun for kids

Spring cleaning bingo

Kids love bingo, and this spring cleaning bingo game is an awesome way to get children excited about cleaning. The tasks on the bingo cards are kid-friendly and get them motivated. Have a plan for a prize for the first cleaner to earn a bingo.

Spring cleaning scavenger hunt

Another game kids enjoy is a scavenger hunt. Organizing and decluttering are a major part of spring cleaning. Incorporate both in a spring cleaning scavenger hunt by giving kids a list of things to find. Possible scavenger hunt items include:

  • Broken toys
  • Unmatched socks
  • Expired food
  • Clothes items that are too small
  • Unwearable clothes
  • Dust bunnies
  • Papers to recycle
  • Hidden pet toys
  • Damaged pet toys
  • Trash that needs to be thrown away
  • Dirty dishes
  • Coins in the couch
  • Empty water bottles to recycle

Spring cleaning puzzle

Pick up a family puzzle. Hide the pieces in different places around the home. Assign kids chores to complete, and as the family moves around the house cleaning, they can try to find the hidden puzzle pieces. Once the spring cleaning chores are done and the puzzle pieces are found, put them together while enjoying takeout.

Spring cleaning treasure hunt

Before your scheduled spring cleaning event, purchase specific age-appropriate treasures for each member of the family. Designate chores for each person. Then, hide the treasure somewhere among the area the person is supposed to clean. Action figures or small toys work for younger kids. Tweens and teens may appreciate iTunes or Google Play gift cards or a gift card to a local shop they like. Gift cards don’t have to be high denominations. Five or $10 is sufficient.

Spring cleaning egg hunt

Spring cleaning usually falls somewhere around the Easter holiday, which means you will have a lot of those plastic eggs lying around. Make a list of age-appropriate cleaning or decluttering tasks for kids. Then, hide plastic eggs around the house in the area the kids will be working. As incentive, place surprises inside. Set a timer, and everyone is off. When the timer is up, kids get to keep the contents of the eggs they found.

Fridge and pantry detectives

Spring cleaning is a prime time to check the dates on all those foods shoved into the back of the refrigerator and pantry. Have the kiddos be food detectives in search of expired items. As they investigate, they can wipe shelves and purge the outdated or spoiled food.

Find the missing socks

Who doesn’t have a pile of unmatched socks in their laundry room? Where did those missing socks go? No one really knows, but a great way to get kids cleaning is to set them off in search of the missing socks, cleaning as they search. The person who finds the most sock mates wins a prize. Be sure to purchase the prize beforehand.

A family doing chores together at home
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Beat the clock

Divide up the list of spring cleaning chores evenly, giving age-appropriate tasks. Set a timer with a realistic amount of time to complete the chores. When the timer goes off, the family member who completed all their tasks is declared the winner. The winner gets an Amazon gift card.

The annual ritual of spring cleaning is the perfect time to organize the house, declutter, and clean out the pantry and fridge while cleaning those under spots that get neglected during regular cleans. As adults, we know cleaning is necessary, but kids don’t always appreciate the need. Try one of these creative ways to make spring cleaning more fun for kids, and you might find it’s a bit more exciting for you, too.

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Dawn Miller
Dawn Miller began her professional life as an elementary school teacher before returning to her first love, writing. In…
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