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Why My Kids Love to Clean

My kids wake up every Saturday and can’t wait to get started cleaning!

No, they aren’t those mythical children who never argue, complain, or shirk responsibilities. You see, I have a little secret that makes them want to clean house.

In a word, competition.

Nothing makes a kid want to do something well like competition.

Here’s how I do it:

  1. Everyone who cleans diligently with a good attitude gets a special treat, a Sonic slushie, when the house is clean.
  2. The overall winner, the most diligent cleaner, gets a Route 44 Sonic slushie!

You should see those kids clean! Everyone goes the extra mile, lighting candles, steam cleaning the carpet, and dusting high shelves.

Each week day, everyone knows what they should be doing on their daily chores by looking at these paint chip chore cards.

Then on Saturday, they know I will be judging that room with a fine tooth comb using this scoring card. (Download your own pdf here.)

I grade, on a scale of 1-5

  • attitude
  • surfaces
  • floors
  • organization

If the house is clean by 4:00 when happy hour is over at Sonic, we all pile in the car.

  • A score of 6-10 gets a small slushie.
  • 11-15 gets a medium.
  • 16-20 gets a large.
  • The high score gets a Route 44!

There are two reasons this system works for us.

  1. Everyone who works gets a reward.
  2. The person who works hardest gets the largest reward.

You can use this system too, even if you don’t wish to use slushies or have them available as rewards.

Find a reward your children will work for, and give one to everyone who works. Save the biggest and best for the overall hardest worker, and watch how hard they work!

This post is linked to The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Crystal & Co.

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Comments

  1. Beautiful girls, Connie. Sounds like a system that works pretty well.

  2. Jennifer Covington says:

    Good morning! :) I am new to your site and love your posts. :) I am always a fan of helping children learn home skills and not dread them. :) I just cringed though when I saw the first picture of your little girl washing the wall with dripping liquid and a spray bottle right beside an electrical outlet. My husband is an architect and has reminded me a few times to never spray or wash with drippy rags right around them since it’s a live current.

    Again, love your posts. Many blessings,
    Jennifer

  3. What a great idea! Thanks

  4. Brilliant!

    Why didn’t I think of this?

  5. i LOVE this idea! my kids only clean with half a heart, this is something affordable i could do with them but instead of sonic (the closest is 1/2 hour away) maybe 7-11!

    thank you!

  6. what happens if 2 children both have the high score? – do they both get one?

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Yes, one week we had a tie, so both kids got a Rt. 44. This is our 4th week to do it, and we have only had one tie so far.

  7. This is awesome, Connie. Looks like a good thing for me to implement as we settle in to a new home and routine.

  8. This reminds me of when i went to summer camp and they would check everyone’s bunk to see who had the cleanest cabin. We would look for any way to decorate or make our cabin look extra clean. This wouldn’t work on my kids yet, but I’ll be keeping it in mind for when they are old enough to get it.

  9. Sounds like a great plan!!! I like the idea of a system to check for cleanliness AND the reward:) I’d clean:)

    The 2 yr dumped beans all over our school/playroom a little while a couple of days ago. I set the timer and we all got on our hands and knees to clean up beans for 5 minutes. At the end we weighed to see who has cleaned the most…. the winner got to have a cookie before lunch:) But in hindsight it would ahve been a better system had all those who worked so very hard were also rewarded…. especially since they all worked soo hard with sweet spirits:)

  10. I love your idea and would like to use it for our bunch! I have one question….we have one child (out of our 6) that LOVES to clean and during “clean up days” really works the hardest because he enjoys it so much. What would you propose doing about the reward if you have one that always works the hardest….OR is this not an issue because the others would want to do it, after seeing the treat???

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      I would give the hardest worker the biggest reward each time, even if it is the same person each time. I bet the others will catch on soon that they too are eligible to get that largest reward if they put forth more effort.

  11. Wonderful idea! My kids think it is a great idea too! Thanks!

  12. Wow! I am totally trying this with my children. I think this is a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

  13. What is the youngest age of the participants, and what do you do for those who might be too young to participate, but definitely aren’t too young to want a slushie?

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      My competitors are ages 6-17. The 2 and 4yo both get a small assignment, like pick up sticks from the sidewalk, and they both get a small slushie.

  14. What is working for us right now: I broke down the weekly cleaning into 16 small jobs. For awhile, they drew lots for their jobs (four each for the three oldest, and two each for the next two; baby and 2-year-old don’t help yet). Then, for awhile, I assigned the jobs each week. Then one Saturday morning I didn’t have time to do that when the first person wanted to get started, so I said they could choose their own jobs–provided they finished one job before they chose their next. That lit a fire under them, because everyone has their favorite jobs! We’ve been doing this system now for a month or two and it’s still working. I do have a few jobs permanently assigned to a certain child but the rest are “up for grabs”. Of course, the days when I’ll be running into the village for something are great days to get cleaning done fast, because everyone wants to go along and they can’t till the work is done.

  15. How funny! My 13 and 15 year olds walked by just as I scrolled down to the pic of your girls with their slushes. My kids stopped dead in their tracks…we stop at Happy Hour every Sunday on our way home from church and I almost never order Route 44s for them! They wanted to know how that little girl got a big slush! They weren’t too impressed with the system…but I am. Very impressed.

  16. Love this! Thank you for linking it up to The Mommy Club this week! I’m featuring you right now on my Facebook wall!

    Keep on sharing and love what you are doing!

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalandcomp.com/2012/09/the-mommy-club-share-your-resources-and-solutions-62/

  17. Stephanie B says:

    I love this idea. The only problem is I only have 1 at the cleaning age. How do I get my one to love to clean? Lol

  18. With a 7 and a 4 year old…not sure how to implement something like this…as age gap/capability is fairly wide. Or do you just give age appropriate chores and then grade with-in that task?

    Have you ever had one kid not want to work? (and not get the treat?) Or are they just super motivated by the slushy?

  19. Thanks for this post. I think that we’ll use this with the new idea I got from a book. I divided the chores I want done into 4 “job descriptions” and wrote up formal job descriptions for each. Then they all received the list and decided which to apply for (found an online kids application). Each was so tailored to the child that, sure enough, they each picked the one I intented for them. Then I prepared them for and interview and interviewed them. The jobs come with an income which they will use to pay monthly bills. The monthly bills just happen to be paid by the income. In other words, it’s like real life. At the end of the month you don’t see extra ; ).
    I am excited, though, to implement the grading card and plan to give weekly bonuses of some kind. This post helped me. Thanks!
    Just a question, do your kids keep their rooms clean though a daily routine?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Why My Kids Love to Clean by Connie at Smockity Frocks She has a rockin’ system to get her kids motivated to clean. It’s one that would motivate me for sure. (hint…a Happy Hour is involved) Can you adopt me, Connie? [...]

  2. [...] How to Get Your Kids to Love Cleaning – Smockity Frocks Connie shares how she got her kids to love cleaning.  Take her example and figure out what will work for your kiddos! [...]

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