So when Back-to-School is imminent, how do you ensure kids aren’t overwhelmed being back in their routines? After a long, busy and active summer, the words ‘back to school’ can seem daunting. So getting your kids back into a healthy routine before that first month back can set them up for success when the month starts to fill up with homework and activities.
Here are some great tips to get you started:
- Get on schedule. Set a bedtime and breakfast routine that allows for plenty of rest before by setting bedtime even 20 minutes earlier each night. Sleep is key to your child’s health.
- Menu plan. Spend a few minutes each week planning meals with kids before going to the grocery store.
- Get involved. Taking on a parent volunteer position at the school and talking to kids about their day and life at school shows you care and can help them feel connected to school.
- Don’t pack in too much. Get kids to choose the activities that are most appealing to them, and limit the activities to one or two so no one is overwhelmed.
- Re-introduce chores at home so they fit into each day. Check out our age-appropriate guide below for tips!
Ages 2 to 4
Toddlers are your little helpers, always eager to lend a hand. Although their technique may not be as perfect as you’d like, kiddies from two and four years old are at a prime age for learning the importance of cleaning. Introduce your little ones to household chores by letting them shadow you and by turning certain tasks into games. Search for treasures while pulling out spring clothes or set a timer to see if they can break the world record for fastest bed making. By adding an element of fun, kids will learn that cleaning is not such an ordeal.
Age appropriate chores:
- Help make the bed
- Clean up books and toys after playtime or before parents vacuum
- Wipe up spills and messes
Ages 5 to 7
Preschoolers are at an age where they love to spend one on one time with parents, creating the perfect opportunity to tutor kiddies on cleaning techniques. Take your little one aside and show them the best way to help mommy or daddy dust or sweep and introduce easy-to-use products like the Swiffer Sweeper – there are no motors involved, so parents don’t need to worry and the kids will definitely find it fun!
Need extra motivation? Test out a reward system such as a sticker chart. Give kiddies a sticker for each chore and build up to bigger rewards. Once the cleaning is done you can also reward yourself for your efforts by spending Sunday outside as a family or watching a film for downtime.
Age appropriate chores:
- Dusting. Although under four feet tall, your preschooler can get hard to reach areas with the Swiffer 360 duster extender.
- Help put away groceries
- Clear and set the dinner table
Ages 9 to12
Pre-teens strive to be independent. Guide your children towards self-sufficiency by tracking their tasks in a chore chart and rewarding them for their efforts by driving them to the mall or offering more screen time. This will definitely motivate your kids to keep working!
To make the experience more fun, suggest that your pre-teen cleans while listening to their favourite tunes. Also, find out what they like doing and what they hate. Many kids actually like cleaning the floors or wiping down glass. Let them pick the chore they love and can own on an ongoing basis.
Additionally, your kids are now at an age that you can trust them with handling cleaning products. Test out the Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle which has an auto stop cap, pouring just the right amount so less is wasted. Perfect for a nine-year-old interacting with cleaning products for the first time!
Age appropriate chores:
- Wash the car
- Refresh furniture and summer items with Febreze Allergen Reducer
- Help prepare easy to make meals
- Assist with laundry duties
After 13, your teenager should be capable of handling any cleaning task as long as you’ve instilled the importance of regular household chores. One thing parents need to keep in mind, however, is that teens often have a very busy schedule with school, extracurricular activities and (of course) their social life – all of which can often feel quite overwhelming. Make sure to keep up to date on what’s happening in their life each week and adjust chores according to exam days or big games. This way your teenager will not begin to resent cleaning – they’ll actually appreciate that you took the extra time to accommodate.
Disclosure: I am a #PGmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. Opinions in this story are my own.
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