It's simple: we're all at home, let's make it good.... and what could be more FUN than CLEANING PROJECTS with CHILDREN! But seriously...
While "cleaning" might not rank #1 on every kiddo's list of fave-rave activities, we've actually found that most young ones actually enjoy cleaning tasks—especially if they have their own tools.
In the best of times, we are hearty proponents of getting the youngest members of our households involved in sharing the cleanly duties of their families. Entrusting little ones with capable tasks gives a sense of personal strength and responsibility that can be really empowering. We're all in this together, after all.
However. It is not exactly the best of times. If you already have your kiddoes on board with a mop, a rag, and a chore chart...blessings! If you don't, depending on the mood in your homezone and the nature of your children, now could be a really great opportunity to habit-shift into implementing daily duty sharing. However. If, perhaps, you are at the "just looking to make it through the day intact and *hopefully* slightly less dirty than we all started" stage of isolating with children and you're running out of ideas, well, we've got a few excellent non-bummer cleaning projects that are secretly SUPER FUN to do with kids.
Productive, engaging, inclusive, and delightfully messy in the way of un-making messes, these Cleaning Projects are the perfect pick-me-up for the whole household. Every kiddo is different, so pick and choose any that speak to you/them. Godspeed.
NOTE- Using all-natural cleaning products is our usual get-down, however it is CRUCIAL to only use non-toxic products when involving the kiddoes. Just a little PSA.
CONDITION YOUR WOODENWARE: Gather every wooden thing that needs a little TLC. Spoons, cutting boards, dish brushes, garden trowels, knife handles, you name it, you wax it. Get a few rags in different sizes, break out your wood polish, and go to town! This is especially suited for little kids for whom the tactile nature of the polish and the novelty of interacting with all of the tools at once is a real treat and also for goal-oriented children who like to see results in action as they're doing the work.
POLISH THINGS: Think an "unboxing video" is cool? Wait 'til you see half a lemon in action on this copper teapot, BLAMMO! Un-tarnishing has the double whammy of mad scientist concoction appeal and the pleasure of a big reveal. Leave the curlicue spoons for another day: only the most enthusiastic polishers will sit through dealing with tedious filigree (another check in the pro-minimalist design column?), but large and smooth pieces like platters, pitchers, or vases are a particularly satisfying way to kill twenty minutes. Again, most commercial metal polishes are toxic-city, so try these household solutions instead:
- For silver: try toothpaste
- For brass: try ketchup
- For copper: cut a lemon in half and dip the cut end in the largest grain of salt you have.
Rub on, let sit, rub off, dry, buff, and enjoy.
BEAT RUGS: This is especially suited to active children who haven't wiggled their waggles away with Lillian's dance partylist yet and is just plain old fashioned fun. Take rugs outside and hang, back facing out, on a clothesline or sturdy bush. Beat. Watch gratifyingly gross clouds of dust come off! EWWWW! Using a real carpet beater is a sincere pleasure, but a tennis racket will work in a pinch. Dumb silver lining bonus: this is best done wearing a mask, but you're wearing one outside anyway!
SWEEPING TRICKS: Most kids actually love to sweep, though the ones we know aren't particularly good at it. Two tricks we've used are: Tape a square on the floor in room that needs sweeping and throw a cotton ball (or something) in a dustiest part of the room. The aim is to get the cotton ball in the square with the broom—and all the dust comes with it. If the broom isn't cutting it, try skating for dust bunnies: put old socks on and go "skating" around hardwood floor areas trying to sweep up dust and hair with your feet. Prize for the biggest, gnarliest hairball.
CLEAN THE DRYER LINT FILTER: This isn't a project, per se, but this is a random thing kids weirdly seem to love to do.
Do YOU have any tips and tricks? Do tell! It takes a village...
FYI: The Foundry At Home is our very own Foundry series of ongoing/daily/weekly/golly-as-long-as-it-takes activities designed and executed by our insane-amazing shop team to occupy your BRAIN and engage your BODY and help us all lean into the lovely moments of calm and beauty that are possible. See all of them here.