messKids and household messes really seem to go hand in hand, and while they seem to love making those messes, getting little ones to clean up after themselves can be a bit of a challenge.

Of course, when the kiddos don't clean up, that usually means more work for mom. On top of all the other stuff we have to do on a daily basis, we really don't need any added chores piling up, right?

The day always goes much smoother when you can convince your children to chip in and help around the house -- and here are a few tips on how to get your kids interested in cleaning up after themselves.

Turn the music up -- Show your kids that cleaning can be fun by putting on a CD and turning the music up nice and loud. Tell them to sing and dance their hearts out while they help you dust the furniture or sweep the floors.

Treat cleaning tools as toys -- Most kids get more entertainment out of household items versus the toys in their playroom. Give them a lightweight mop and agree to let them "play" with it. Your floors will shine, and your children will have a blast in the process.

Make cleaning a game - For whatever reason, kids love to try and beat the clock. Get an egg timer out and start a race to see who can clean up their mess the fastest before the bell rings.

Use a reward system -- There's nothing kids love more than being praised and rewarded when they do something good. Whether you use a sticker chart, give them a quarter for their piggy bank, or agree to let them stay up an extra half-hour, giving them a nice incentive to clean up their messes usually works like a charm.

Play the "big help" card - Kids love hearing that you need them, or thinking that you can't get a task accomplished without their help. Show them just how important they are as far as keeping things neat and tidy around the house, and they will get a lot more satisfaction out of doing their share.

What other tricks have you used to convince your kids to clean up?

 

Image via steve.ie/Flickr