Kids and messes just seem to go together: poopy diapers, spilled juice boxes, muddy hands, scattered toys, backpacks stuffed with crumpled papers and moldy orange peels. But you don't have to be the only one dealing with those messes; if they're equipped with kid-friendly cleaning tools, children will actually help get things in order without being nagged.
Even very young children can get into neatness habits with a little prompting: toys in the toy box, dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. At school, kids take pride in being given weekly "class jobs" such as sweeping the floor or pushing chairs into place at the tables. As they get older, they can take on bigger responsibilities such as dusting shelves and tables, loading or unloading the dishwasher, and helping with the laundry.
As Mary Poppins wisely said, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun." Using kid clean-up hacks such as playing music or setting a timer will make tidying-up time enjoyable and save you a lot of nagging, as suggested by Working Mother. But giving your child the right equipment is important, too: Would you want to push a mop three times your size, or use someone else's filthy dust rag?
These cleaning gadgets are child-safe and easy to use, which will appeal to you and your kids alike. Let them know that you're giving them an important responsibility by helping around the house with their own tools, and you might just be amazed by what they can get done.
1. Kids' Clean-Up Set
Kids will get a kick out of having their own set of cleaning tools — especially when they find out that they really work. When they finish playing house with their friends, they can give Mom and Dad a hand
2. Laundry Helper
Nagging, "Pick up your dirty clothes!" will be a thing of the past with this Amazon best-selling product that turns a dull chore into a fun challenge. The net holds your kids' clothes until it fills up; then you can release the clasp to send the laundry into the hamper.
3. Hedgehog Helpers
Just plain dusting? Boring. Dusting with a hedgehog mitten? You might be tempted to fight your kids for the privilege of cleaning with these. (Fortunately, since this comes in a set of three, you can all share the chore.) The soft microfiber "quills" safely pick up dust and dirt from a number of surfaces, including TV and computer screens.
4. Easy Sweeper
Here's a "grown-up" cleaner that's fun for kids to use, too. Attach the dry-mop cloth to the sweeper and let your kids push it around the floor to their hearts' content. Your home will never be as clean again.
5. Dishwashing Tool
A recent study from the University of Utah found that women who did most of the dishwashing in their household reported being the least satisfied with their relationships, according to Slate. Quick — get your kids to help save your love life! With this easy-to-grip all-natural scrub brush, they can clean the dishes either in the kitchen sink or in a separate basin (a better option for little ones) and give you a break from the endless chore.
6. Microwave Mom
Since the microwave is cruddy from all the pizza rolls and pasta leftovers you've heated for them, why not let your kids get in on the cleaning? They can help pour white vinegar and water at the designated levels in the gadget, then watch it emit steam for two minutes in the microwave. Once the "Mama" is out, your children will find out how easy it is to wipe away the accumulated grease and gunk.
7. Basic Broom
Kids love doing things "just like Mom and Dad," so having a genuine child-sized broom and dustpan will show them they're an important part of the family clean-up team. They might even find spots you'd overlooked.