Countdown Cleaning For Kids (And Child-like Adults) | Giftie Etcetera: Countdown Cleaning For Kids (And Child-like Adults)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Countdown Cleaning For Kids (And Child-like Adults)

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Ander is seven. He gets overwhelmed by sweeping tasks, like "clean your room."

Loki is five. He gets overwhelmed by sweeping tasks, like "clean your room."

cleaning, parenting, kids, chores

Alan is forty-one. He gets overwhelmed by sweeping tasks, like "clean the counter."

See a pattern? I'd totally blame genetics, except that I think all of us sometimes get overwhelmed with multi-step tasks.

The Countdown Chore System

So, whenever something huge needs to be done, like cleaning out the garage or going through files, the people at Giftie Etcetera (the little people AND the big people) use a simple countdown method.

We do ten things. Then we do nine. Then we do eight.

TIP: For really little kids or older kids with attention issues, use a toy abacus for a visual countdown.

(That tip totally works for adults with ADD, too.)

The goal is to finish before you get to zero (or "Blast Off!" as Loki calls it).

TIP: A nice loud buzzer (with a custom message from you) gives kids a way to brag (and get an instant, positive reward) when they are finished. For bonus points, you know when they are done because you hear the buzzer!

How Kids Do Thier Chores

Need to clean out the car? Grab ten things. (I count each old french fry under the seat as one thing.) Toss them. Grab nine things. (Books. We ALWAYS have nine books in the car.) Everyone brings his/her own to the book shelf. Eight pieces of trash. Seven CDs go back in their cases. Six random items get brought inside and put away.

It works every time. I even manage to fool myself.


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Partied at: Making Your Home Sing, Funtastic Friday


Anonymous said...

Are you sure that we are not twins separated at birth? My kids and my husband are the same way with such things as cleaning. To help them "get it" and for my own sanity, I have lists to give them step-by-step tasks that comprise "clean the bedroom" or whatever.

My Mom did this for her four kids and it actually made it much easier for us to know exactly what she wanted. When I married and moved into our first apartment I already knew what had to be done, so I took a moment and wrote a list and taped the lists into a notebook binder.

I had no idea that doing so meant that I was using a planner. It was just easier to keep track of what needed to be done and when.

yezenia said...

I use a timer to motivate me.

Sheri said...

Great ideas! It's so smart to make it into a game for kids and they want to help when they're little so not putting out that flame would be great! I know I need some kind of motivation and often do the just 10 things idea and often that gets me going! Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday!