Fab Family Fun: Clean Up!

family fun

My oldest son is on the verge of realizing cleaning is not fun.  He’s still a fan of the vacuum, but as far picking up, we’ve reached a crossroads. Here are a few ideas to make clean up somewhat exciting…

Work Party

If you have serious cleaning to do, turn it into a party.  Buy treats or prizes your kids will want (around here it’s bouncy balls – the great big ones are $.25 in the machine at Old Navy!).  Then break up the chores and have a prize for either whoever finishes their assignment first or for everyone who finishes period.  Whatever works for you!  Repeat this until the list is cleared!

If it is hard labor cleaning, intense yard work, etc., you may really want to consider a party upon satisfactory completion.  This could be a movie night – let the kids choose what they want from Redbox and get some “special” treats to eat during it.  Or, it could be an outing – we’re fans of Bounce, and they have some specials!

Ten Minute Timer (as seen on Super Nanny 😉 )

Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you’ve grown out of your dislike for cleaning.  At least, I haven’t.  I actually use this one for myself.

Set the timer for 10 minutes and make a goal to have your task finished before it beeps.  That way, the kids know there’s an end to their oppression!  I do this when loading the dishwasher to see if I can get it started in 10 min.  Depending on the age of your kids, adjust the time up or down.

Double Dare

Does anyone remember that show Double Dare from Nickelodeon?  I don’t remember exactly how it went, but when I was a kid, we played Double Dare when cleaning.  I do remember the rules of the game we played.  One person is the host and counts to a specified number – usually 100.  All of the other players count how many things they pick up in that time frame and whoever picks up the most gets to be the next host.  The incentive: the host doesn’t have to pick up during their counting time…they just watch everyone else!

What do you do to make cleaning fun at your house?


  • Oh I really like the Double Dare idea!!! My ideas for cleaning time have gone stale! What we’ve been doing this summer is each morning I tell the kids how many items they have to pick up in the kitchen, living room, and family room. Wiping counters count for 15 (or 30 if I’m desperate). Some days it’ll be 30-10-15, other days it’s only 5-5-5… and that is how many items each child picks up. And of course, they have to each do 100 weeds (ages 7 and up). They’ve realized that if they are the first one in the room to clean, it’s easy to find things (because it’s still messy). If the haven’t finished their #’s and the rooms are all clean, then I send them to other parts of the house.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say this is a FUN and exciting way to do jobs, but giving them a # makes it easier for them to handle, rather than look at a messy room and stare at it, wondering where to start first! Of course, they have to do their own room. And I find if we do this at least twice a day, it stays pretty manageable.

    • ps – for my four year old, I will break it down further and ask him if he’d like to pick up 5 things, 4 times, OR if he’d like to pick up 10 things, 2 times. 🙂

  • Kadie

    Mystery Object. My kids are a big fan of this. I pick a mystery object in their messy bedrooms, and they pick up their toys looking for the mystery object. Whoever puts the mystery object away wins. All they win is a clean bedroom, but they haven’t figured this out yet. It’s all about the game.

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