COINAGE_5 Ways to Make Spring Cleaning Easier With Kids
Whether you're doing a thorough spring cleaning or just attempting to contain the usual chaos, get your kids to lend a hand. It'll help establish great habits and foster a sense of independence. Try these ideas and products designed to turn housework into child's play.
Go Small: Scaled-down tools that fit little hands make it easier for kids to pitch in -- and they're pretty cute! Tootle Turtle Kids' Push Broom, $12.99, and Let's Play House duster (in bucket; part of a set of six tools for $29.99 that also includes a mop and brush), both from melissaanddoug.com.
Wear It: A nail apron (available for a few dollars at hardware stores) keeps small supplies close at hand and makes your helper feel very official.
Tote It: Personalize a bucket with a face or initials cut from duct-tape sheets. Use it to gather gear, such as our dust monster (see Slide 3).
These homemade concoctions are free of harmful chemicals and cost less than store-bought versions (a particular benefit when young cleaners are dispensing them). Your kids can pick essential oils (available at health food stores) in their favorite scents and have some mad-scientist fun mixing up top-secret formulas.
Super Spray: Combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and 1 cup white vinegar in 4 cups of hot water. Add 25 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use it to add shine to countertops and tiles.
Sprinkle and Scrub: Stir 6 or 7 drops of an essential oil into 3/4 cup baking soda. Transfer the mixture to a shaker jar. Use it with a soft brush to freshen rugs or upholstery (vacuum it up afterward) or with a damp sponge to make sinks and tubs sparkle.