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Make cleaning a game and watch time fly

Tired of losing the battle of the "cleanup" with your kids? Try these 10-minute cleaning games that everyone will love. Arianne Cohen, Woman's Day

A few for the preschool kids

Bin it: Designate colored bins in their room, then sit with them to see if they know which bin each toy goes into and clap if they get it right. This new system will make it easy for them to manage cleanups on their own.

Alphabet: Have kids spot things that need to be sorted in alphabetical order.

. Make believe: By bestowing royal titles on the kids — "Princess of Clean" — and declaring dirty floors "enemy territory," all you need to do is clean it up in order to erect your organized "tent fort!"

Kid tip: Encourage kids to put toys in their "homes." This will lay the foundation for good cleaning habits as they grow up.

A few for the grade schoolers and tweens

. Race against the clock: Bet the kids that they can't clean up an area in under 10 minutes. For each minute they finish under, give them a treat.

Laundry: Install a hoop over the laundry bin and challenge the kids to a shoot-off with their dirty clothes.

Solo motivation

Strategy: Playing games in your head can make an activity a lot more fun.

Clear path: Pick up and put away whatever is in your path for one full day.

. Phone fun: Make a personal rule that while you are on the phone with a friend you must restore order to whatever is in front of you.

Family cleaning

Strategy: Make cleaning a group activity and watch time fly.

10-minute dance-off: Everyone gets to pick a favorite song and each will play one after another. Contestants must dance while cleaning and the loser has to clean for another 10 minutes.

Refrigerator factory: Everyone has a job in the factory line. One removes items, one tosses them in the trash, another cleans jars for recycling and another wipes the shelves.

Inspection: Set a timer for 10 minutes and see what can get put away. Kids can clean up their own toys and teens and adults can target problem areas. Make it a daily game.

Don't forget to reward the kids.

Make cleaning a game and watch time fly 05/19/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:06am]
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