Children and home cleaning: how to include them?

Home cleaning, when there are 1 or more children in the house, always seems like a challenge. We are afraid that they will make a mess, run over the freshly collected pile of dust, crumble their snack on the just-washed floor… Yet, if we had the patience to involve them, they would be excellent helpers. A plus for us as parents but also for the growth of their skills and independence.

How to involve children in housework?

Children should be children, living their childhood carefree. However, this does not mean limiting activities in the home to play or entertainment. Our children are part of the family, and as ” roommates” they must do their part to keep the house tidy, clean and cozy.

How? Depending on the different age ranges, there are many things they can do. The key is to involve them rather than convince them.

Children, in fact, imitate us all the time. During house cleaning, instead of sending them to the bedroom to play, you can include them by approaching it just as if it were a game. “Equipped” with a duster, we can improvise a competition to see who can dust the furniture first. Of course, they will take care of coffee tables and low shelves while you clean the areas that are out of their reach.

The same goes for cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen, and of course cleaning their bedroom. It is not the result that matters as much as the positive attitude with which they will begin to approach home care. By doing so, these small gestures will become good habits, which are essential for proper mental and physical growth.

Children and home cleaning: which are the best activities for each age range?

There is no specific age at which to start involving children in home cleaning, but each age group brings with it skills that can also be developed through housekeeping.

Even children between the ages of 2 and 3 can help, under the careful supervision of their parents. Think, for example, of sorting laundry to load the washing machine-a valuable exercise in learning the name of colors! Or putting toys in place: through sorting in the various baskets we will develop concepts such as similarities between shapes, sizes and materials. Concentration and eye-hand coordination are also trained. From the age of 4, children can safely set the table, just as is done in many kindergartens.

They can help with caring for a pet, watering plants, preparing their backpack for kindergarten, storing folded clothes in their closet, and making their bed. From age 7 onward, they can become actual helpers and start doing some small jobs completely on their own.

It may seem difficult at first; some minor damage is unavoidable, and you will certainly have to be disposed to put in more time than necessary to keep up with them. Trust me though, involving children in housekeeping means making them responsible, independent and more aware. They will grow up knowing that teamwork is key!

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