Here’s a little game or “contest” I tried with my kiddos a few days ago when our house was beginning to look a bit…um, disastrous. It actually motivated them to clean up most of the house and they seemed to have fun doing it.
I started off by telling them that I was going to write down four random things that needed to be done around the house. In this instance, I chose the following:
- Put the soda can on dad’s computer desk into the recycling bin
- Straighten the pillows on the loveseat
- Vacuum the entryway
- Wipe down the kitchen table.
I wrote these tasks down on a piece of paper then I folded it up without showing them what was listed. I instructed them both to start cleaning and told them that whoever ended up doing what was on the list would get a special treat. One “treat” was available for each task that was completed.
Since my kiddos had no idea what was on the list, they had to do as much cleaning as they could, as fast as they could, in the hopes that one of the tasks they completed was one from the list.
I then went and took a nice long shower and told them that I would be checking their progress once I was done.
By the time I came out of the shower, our house was in pretty good shape! The floors were vacuumed, the table was wiped down, all of their toys and other items were put away (except for that soda can on my desk!).
The other part of the deal was this: For EACH task that did NOT get done, BOTH of them would owe me a 5-minute foot massage!
In the end, one daughter earned two treats (an ice cream sandwich and 15 extra minutes on her iPad before bedtime), my other daughter earned one treat (an ice cream sandwich), and I earned a 5-minute foot massage from each of them (due to the forgotten soda can!)…not a bad deal all the way around.
And we ALL got a clean house!