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7 Tips To Trick Your Kids Into Cleaning

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Cleaning Tips


Kids are the cutest humans ever, and we love them to bits. We do have to admit, though, that the trail of destruction they leave behind sometimes makes us go crazy.

If you’ve had your heart jump after stepping on a squeaky toy or had to stumble over a mountain of stuffed animals, you’ll understand what I mean. My four-year-old niece brings with her an army of unicorns wherever she goes and it is just insane!

I used to tell myself that the bending exercise was good for my health. But after a week of running after Rosy and Coco (the top-tier unicorns among my niece’s toys, I believe) and seeing them mysteriously pop up in another area of the house I’ve cleaned up, it was time to take proactive steps.

Getting kids to clean sounds impossible, but as it turns out, it’s easier than we think. Kids gravitate to play, and anything related to fun and games is something they will want to get involved in.

When you want to trick kids into cleaning, it’s all about tickling the senses! As long as the cleaning task looks, smells, sounds, feels, and tastes like something they can play or have fun with, kids will be raising their hands to join in no time.

1. Dishwashing Dress-Up

Washing dishes can be a boring chore, and even more so for kids. When getting kids to help in washing dirty dishes and utensils, there are a few things you can do to amp up the fun.

You will need:

  • Colourful kid-sized rubber gloves
  • Colourful bandana
  • Colourful waterproof apron
  • Animal-shaped sponges
  • Coloured dishwashing liquid
  • Colourful bucket to put dishwashing tools in
  • Music

Who says you can’t look good while washing dishes? Prep your kids into helping with dishwashing by letting them wear a colourful outfit, then put on some happy music that your kids love singing to.

While you’re at it, ask them to pick a bandana in their favourite colour and have them style it any way they want to keep hair out of their face. To make it more fun, give them sponges in cute shapes like flowers or animals. Your kids will love using them!

Have the little ones help in drying off smaller items like saucers and teaspoons while the bigger ones can help in soaping and rinsing plates and utensils. As soon as they’re done with washing the dishes, they can put back their tools in their colourful bucket to make clean-up easy.

cute little boy washing the dishes

2. Sudsy Bathroom-Cleaning

You will need:

  • Colourful kid-sized rubber gloves
  • Coloured liquid soap in squeeze bottles
  • Colourful toothbrushes
  • Animal-shaped sponges
  • Rubber toys
  • Colourful bucket big enough to contain cleaning tools and waterproof toys
  • Candy or bubblegum-scented body wash and shampoo for kids
  • Slip-free footwear


Cleaning the bathroom takes a good hour or so if you want to be thorough. By letting your kids help in scrubbing the sink and tub, you’ll have two less tasks to do and your kids will have so much fun doing it, too.

Have your kids wear their favourite togs and slip-free footwear so that they can easily wash off any suds without you having to deal with a load of wet laundry. Make sure that they have their rubber gloves on when cleaning to prevent any skin irritation. You can even make your own kid- and eco-friendly cleaning products together as a family project.

When they’re done cleaning, let them stay in the bathroom a little longer so they can play with their toys and wash off using their candy or bubblegum-scented toiletries. You’re hitting two birds with one stone here while having some fun quality time with your kids in the process!

3. Fold-The-Laundry Camping Night

Folding laundry can be a tedious task, especially when you have a long list of other things-to-do. Getting your kids to help will definitely give you more time to tick off tasks on your plate, and knowing the right time for this activity can mean the difference between an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ or an outright ‘no!’ from your kids.

You will need:

  • Cute pajamas
  • Warm, colourful socks
  • Indoor fort building kit or a big blanket, strings, and sticks
  • Flashlight or fairy lights
  • Your kids’ favourite Netflix show
  • Popcorn and milk
  • Small rubbish bag for disposal
  • Cotton balls dipped in vanilla extract

Kids love camping indoors! Setting up camp for your kids is easy – they can DIY it and you won’t have to worry about planning the whole thing or cleaning up after. It’s the perfect opportunity to inject a little laundry-folding activity while they’re at it.

Because folding the laundry is mostly a low-activity task, it’s best to do it during nighttime when everyone has settled in and is ready to relax. Have your kids help in folding the laundry during weekends so your kids can stay up a bit later than usual, while watching their favourite Netflix shows.

Have them set up a fort in their bedroom or in the living room, complete with fairy lights or a flashlight, a bowl of popcorn, and their favourite toys or books. Put vanilla-soaked cotton balls in their ‘campsite’ to make the area smell nice and relaxing. I’m such a big fan of scents and can’t overemphasise how much they can affect our mood!

If you don’t have a fort building kit, homemade forts are easy to set up and can be made using a big, lightweight blanket propped with sticks and secured with strings.

little girl reaching for the folded clothes handed over by her mother

4. Pack-Away Treasure Hunt

This is probably the easiest cleaning game to set up for your kids, and one they’ll also look forward to. I have yet to meet a kid who does not adore lollies – I’m an adult and I absolutely LOVE lollies – and giving them a pack as a prize can make your kids clean up their mess before they even realise they’re doing it.

You will need:

  • Any lollies that your kids love
  • Small colourful goody bag
  • Pen and paper for writing in clues
  • Gold flag

Do you have toys, books, and knickknacks strewn around the house that you barely have enough space to walk? Don’t fret, because your kids just unknowingly have set up their own treasure hunt!

To do this, prepare a set of clues that will lead one to the other and put them in areas where there are items needed to be packed away. The only instruction for your kids is to return each item to its proper place before they’re able to proceed to the next clue.

Hide a goody bag filled with gummy bears or any candy of their choice at the end of the treasure hunt along with a gold flag they get to keep. Have your kids follow the clues like a trail of breadcrumbs and before you know it, the mess is gone.

woman cleaning with children packing away their things

5. Trip Down Memory Lane

You will need:

  • 3 large rubbish bags of different colours

This is one cleaning task that goes very well with good family bonding time. Make sorting a fun family event by involving your kids in the process. Put all memorabilia, clothes, old toys, accessories and other items you’d want sorted in a clean space in your house. Label each of the rubbish bags as ‘keep’, ‘donate’, and ‘discard’ and sort through the items accordingly.

Let your kids run through the pile and have a blast laughing over old drawings, pictures, and clothes! This is also a good time to teach them a thing or two about social responsibility and recycling by helping them decide which items are still good for donation and reuse.

Want to make this activity extra special for your kids? You can take them out for ice cream or burgers as a reward for being such good troopers and for a job well done. It’ll be one of those activities they’ll surely look forward to and might even become a family tradition!

6. Put Toys To Bed Game

Kids love their toys and stuffed animals but don’t necessarily love packing them away. One minute kids are fawning over their toys and hugging them, the next minute they’re off playing somewhere and you’re having your foot accidentally stabbed by a wayward unicorn horn or fairy wand.

I’m sure that you just want to relax at the end of a tiring day, and picking up toys strewn on your living room floor sounds like the last thing you want to do. To get your kids to pick up after them, play the ‘Put Toys To Bed’ imagination game with them!

Gently ask your kids to get each toy and return it to its proper place so it can also ‘sleep’. You can ask your kids which toys they’d want to bring to their beds and help your kids create a nook with their favourite toys in it. All you need to do after that is tell them a good bedtime story, then you’re all set

little girl putting away toys

7. The ‘Everything In It’ Fort

When all else fails, a little fort magic where all the mess disappears can help. Build a fort in your kids’ bedroom where all their toys and knickknacks go. Kids love making forts, because it gives them a safe space to be themselves. This is where they can be free to create imaginary worlds and dress up as characters without any adult intervention. When it’s time for clean-up, they can just throw everything in there and not have to worry about fixing or arranging anything.

A cosy blanket fort is one of the easiest forts to build, with materials you surely have lying around in the house.

You will need:

  • 4 chairs
  • Sheets and blankets
  • Pillows
  • Clothespins
  • Binders
  • Tape
  • String
  • Heavy books
  • Flashlight or fairy lights

To make a fort for your kids, start by placing a thick blanket on the floor then position 2 chairs on each side of the blanket. Make sure the blanket is thick enough so that your kids will be comfortable.

ToGently layer sheets and blankets over the chairs until they resemble a small tent. Secure the sheets by clipping them with clothespins and binders. You can use heavy books to anchor down the sheets so that they won’t be billowy.

Add pillows and cushions in the fort and decorate with fairy lights. When it’s finished, you can put all the toys in the fort and you won’t have to worry about your kids making a mess in other areas of the house.

little girl peeking outside her fort out of pillows

A clean and clutter-free home is a recipe for well-being

There will be times when your kids will just not want to help in cleaning up, no matter how many tips, tricks, and bribes in the world you offer. When this happens, you can always call professional home cleaners to clean up your home effectively so that you can have time to focus on other tasks in your to-do list. Home cleaning service providers not only do the job well, but they can also throw in a few extra services such as fridge or oven cleaning upon request.

When your home is clean and clutter-free, it positively impacts your mood and concentration. You find it easier to focus and you can do tasks more effectively. It won’t come as a surprise when you and your family find yourselves bonding more and enjoying your home together.

About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.