Spring Cleaning Tasks for Kids To Help With By Age

Nicole Pomarico | Feb 21, 2020 Being a Mom
Spring Cleaning Tasks for Kids To Help With By Age
Image: iStock

mom and daughter cleaning

It comes around every year, and it has to be done, as much as we dread it. Yep, we're talking about spring cleaning, because throughout the year, it's so easy to let the bigger household tasks pile up, and they've gotta get taken care of at some point ... no matter how long it's been since we last washed those windows. And while not every household approaches kids and chores in the same way, no matter what age the kiddos are, they can definitely help out with spring cleaning in some capacity or another. 

Getting kids involved in cleaning can be a battle. Not all kids are super excited to help out, and some of them might seem so young that they'll make the cleaning experience even harder by being underfoot. But it doesn't have to be a miserable experience -- in fact, it's actually a good opportunity for some quality family bonding time (and yeah, maybe even a little shared misery over having to clean, because it's not like it's much fun for us, either!). 

It can be hard to figure out what chores are appropriate for which ages, but hopefully, this list will help clear some of that up. Kids as young as 2 years old can pitch in, and it might even make the whole experience a fun one. 

  • For Ages 2-5 

    toddlers reading a book

    While they may end up making certain tasks take a bit longer, kiddos in this age group can definitely get involved when it comes to spring cleaning. Many toddlers love to help their parents get things done around the house, and from a young age, this will help instill a sense of responsibility into them by being part of the family's cleaning team ... which will only make everyone's life easier as they continue to grow.

  • Be Mom or Dad's Extra Hands 

    toddler sweeping up

    Toddlers are great at focusing on one simple task at a time, so let them hang out with mom or dad while the cleaning is getting done to help out. They can hand someone a new dust rag or paper towel, or easily be sent to run tiny errands around to house to make the cleaning process move faster for everyone involved. 

  • Pick Up Toys 

    toddler cleaning up toys

    Toddlers can clean up their own toys, helping to keep their own bedroom neat -- especially if this requires something as simple as putting everything on the floor in a toy box or away on a shelf. This is more of an every day chore, but why not get their rooms cleaned up as part of the spring cleaning process, too? Can't hurt! 

  • Sort Laundry 

    toddler and mom doing laundry

    Chances are that spring cleaning involves doing lots and lots of laundry, and children this age can be a huge help in this department, whether they're gathering up all the dirty laundry and sorting it into lights and darks before it goes into the washing machine, or if they're taking the clean laundry and separating it for easy folding from the adult around.

  • Help Collect Clutter

    toddler cleaning up clutter

    Dealing with a lot of clutter around the house? Chances are, the kid in question definitely helped create it, so he can also help clean it up. Kids this age can put books back on shelves, create a pile by the stairs of things that need to go upstairs, and generally help their parents put everything back to where it needs to go, reinforcing that all these belongings have a home.

  • For Ages 6-8 

    kids cleaning kitchen

    Once children hit this age group, there are a lot more chores that will be appropriate for them to conquer. Not only can they be responsible for keeping their own rooms clean, but they can also help out in a much bigger way when it comes time to do the spring cleaning -- and with a bit less guidance required from mom and dad.

  • Clean Windows 

    kids cleaning windows

    Of course, if the windows are high up or need to be removed ... maybe not. But if the job can be done with a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels, have at it. Send the kid around to polish up all the windows (and windowsills) that are in their reach, and cross that big cleaning project off the list.

  • Dust Surfaces & Baseboards 

    kid dusting

    A rag and a can of Pledge (or whatever the favorite dusting product of the moment happens to be) can be used for this, and it might end up keeping the kiddo helping out busy for a long time ... which can definitely be good while mom and dad are getting other things done. They can dust all surfaces in the house, and then go through and get the dust off the baseboards, too.

  • Clean Out Their Own Closet 

    kid cleaning closet

    This can end up being quite a project, but it's an important one. Children this age should be able to clean up whatever mess has accumulated in their closet and put everything back in its place and the clothes back on the hanger. And if they decide they want to organize all their shirts by color? Have fun with it! 

  • Decide What To Donate 

    donation boxes

    A big part of spring cleaning can be decluttering the house, and that means getting rid of things we no longer need. Children this age can go through their own toys and clothes and decide what they'd like to keep and what they'd like to donate -- provide them with a box or bag that they need to fill (and probably check over what they've decided to get rid of before taking it to the charity).

  • For Ages 9-12 

    kid washing dishes

    Kids this age want a bit more independence, and that's reflected in the kind of chores they're now able to do, too. They can take on some of the bigger household responsibilities, and while they might not be as happy to help out as they were when they were younger, it's just part of being in a family -- sorry, kid.

  • Vacuum The House & Mop the Floors 

    child vacuuming

    The floors are a big (and sometimes time consuming, depending on the size of the house) part of spring cleaning, and kids this age can pretty much handle that task on their own. Have them thoroughly vacuum any area where there's carpet, and sweep and mop the areas of the floors that aren't carpeted, especially those high-traffic areas. 

  • Clean the Kitchen

    kids cleaning kitchen

    Time to get that kitchen sparkling, too! Wipe down all the counters and the appliances, clear clutter off of the counters, and they can even go through the fridge and the pantry, being sure to toss anything that's past its expiration date. As a bonus, they can also clean inside the microwave, which can get a little gross. 

  • Change All the Sheets

    kids making the bed

    There are few things better than getting into bed at the end of a long day with fresh sheets, and it's time for kids to learn the joy of making this happen! They're now old enough to replace the sheets on all the beds in the house, and even better if they work in pairs on this particular project.

  • Take on Pet Care 

    kids washing the dog

    It can also be a time saver for mom and dad if the older kids take on all the pet responsibilities for the day. This can mean feeding them and making sure they have water, taking them out when the time comes, and even giving dogs a good brush and bath.

  • For Ages 12 & Up 

    teenager washing dishes with dad

    There are few things that kids this age can't do, so it's time to put them to work. They can be trusted to do most chores totally unsupervised (although they might not do them quite as thoroughly as we'd do them ourselves). Either way, they're totally capable of handling almost anything we throw their way.

  • Clean the Bathrooms 

    cleaning products

    Handing over the project of making all the bathrooms in the house sparkle is a good one. This means cleaning the toilet and shower, wiping down the counters and mirror, taking the bathroom trash out, and cleaning the floors while they're at it. A few bathrooms will take awhile, but it's gotta get done.

  • Wash the Car 

    teenager washing the car

    Bonus points if it's a warm day outside, because then this activity becomes a lot of fun. Set older kids up with everything they need to clean the car, from soap, water, and cleaning brushes to a vacuum and trash bags, and have them get all the cars in the driveway sparkling from the inside out. 

  • Lawn Care 

    teenager mowing the lawn

    At this age, kids are old enough to take over most lawn care, like raking, pulling weeds, and even mowing the grass. Whatever needs to be taken care of outside, like cleaning the gutters or sweeping the front porch, add it to the list -- and this can even become a project the whole family gets involved in if the weather is nice, too. 

  • All the Laundry 

    teenager doing laundry

    At this age (and maybe even sooner, depending on the kid), they can easily take over all of the laundry in the house, from dirty clothes to sheets and everything in between. Make it their project to get everything sorted, clean, folded, and delivered to where it goes so at the end of the day, everyone can put their clean clothes away.

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