Cleaning Cards for Kids

When I was pregnant, sick, and didn't want to move off the couch, my house looked like a wreck. And I'm not talking fender bender, I'm talking full-on 18 car pileup. I knew I needed to enlist the help of my family, but wasn't quite sure how to delegate the cleaning to my 7- and 3-year-old.

Enter the Cleaning Card.

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I wanted something visual for my kids to refer to so I didn't have to micromanage them through the entire process. Since the kids are responsible for their own rooms, I made a list of the shared rooms in the house. In our home we have the kitchen, family room, downstairs bathroom and upstairs bathroom.

I opened up my word processor and got to work. I created a "cover page" for each room with clipart so even my 3-year-old can tell which room he's choosing to clean. I then made a card for each job that needs done in that room with specifics on how to do that job.

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They're laminated and hole punched so each room can go on a ring.

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The rooms all hang together on a larger ring in my kitchen. Every Saturday I pull down the cards and each of us chooses a room to clean. My husband and I helped our children for the first few weeks to make sure they understood each card. Now they're sharing the responsibility of cleaning and I get to enjoy the fruits of their labors for a change!

What do you do to get your kids to clean? Do you give them specific chores?