This post was sponsored by P&G as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.
Remember that “time is absolutely flying by” post I wrote the other day? For me, it doesn’t just apply to the calendar; it also applies to baby Red. Or FIVE-year-old Red as it were. My little redhead is finishing up pre-K and moving on to Kindergarten in the fall. With his little sister snatching up most of my free time and spare hands, it’s becoming more evident that he needs to help around the house. I just can’t do it all, even if I spaced the work out, tackled it all, or let the darn fields go to seed. It just can’t be done. I have successfully trained my husband to use a hamper and put his clothes away 😉 and I have some professional help for the big tasks, but how about chores for a five year old? I think it’s time that we had not only some chores, but some personal responsibility!
Red has a natural helping hand; he fetches diapers for Scarlett, puts his clothes in the hamper and even keeps his shoes in the mudroom. But I’m really needing him to start cleaning up his own messes. So why now start there? It’s really about extending the habits your kids already have to the next level. For instance, at the dinner table, we’ve been asking Red to carry his plate and cup to the counter, and I take it from there. So he’s used to clearing his spot at the table. One night this week, I gave him a Bounty Advanced paper towel (I can select-a-size so it’s not overwhelming for him, but still useful for me; that detail matters!) and I sprayed the table with some light cleaner.
He was easily able to scrub off his sticky peanut butter and “jellyfish” sandwich mess and absorb his small milk spill. I taught him to fold the wipe and keep going until the table was clean. Once he masters this skill, I’ll be getting him to wipe down his bathroom sink, too!
If I’m honest, I also have begun to hate shopping. Grocery shopping is becoming a chore I don’t want to have time for, especially because I’m juggling a child or two and I want to be doing something more creative! In order to stay busy with other stuff longer, I’ve been using our Costco Membership like a crazy woman. I’m there at least once a month, gassing up the cars and stocking up on everything from vanilla protein powder to gallons of milk to Swiffer Duster Refills.
It’s a little easier to get what I need and keep it in stock… especially those paper products and other P&G necessities.
So what’s next on the chores for a five year old list? Dusting! I loathe dusting and have even boasted about picking up a duster to my mom. I much prefer to have my husband, or now RED, take it over for me. Maybe its because dust bunnies remind me of warm fuzzy hugs? Either way, dusting is s a simple cleaning task that is great for teaching a kid to help. I snap a Swiffer Duster onto the handle and away he goes. Red really likes to see all the ikky dog hair and allergen buildup locked onto the duster… and also to chase poor Dooley with it. I can report that the dog is not harmed in the weekly chase, but still has not figured out how to evade the deadly Swiffer Duster.
I think having a special “tool” to help him clean really motivates Red. The blue-handled duster is now his to wield, so I thought about another special object that only gets brought out during cleanup; Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Red can activate it with a little bit of water and then scrub down everything he touches. (I’m quickly realizing what a HUGE MESS PB&J is… most of these spots are handprints of jelly).
It’s fun for Red to tidy up the small spots and scrub down bigger stains like dirty doors and stuck-on countertop messes. FYI: These work really well on that kid’s blue toothpaste stain, too. I kid you not, after Red was done with his Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, he showed me his muscles and the very clean spot; it was like his personal workout.
Next up on the chores list is emptying the trash cans once a week, helping Daddy with yard work and soon he’ll be putting his own clothes away. I can’t wait until both Red and Scarlett are pulling their own weight and becoming responsible little humans; that’s my ultimate goal!