This month we pulled an activity from the chore box for cleaning spots off walls. You’d be surprised at just how dingy walls get, especially with little fingers touching them all the time! I gave the kids rags damp with warm water and let them find spots to scrub off.
The kids were kept busy and actually did some helpful work. We didn’t try to finish all of the walls or door frames on our first floor, so I’m sure we’ll be doing more soon. I’ll have to keep this chore in a regular rotation of things they help out with, like cleaning off their table, sorting laundry and picking up their toys.
At first it was like the dirt spots were invisible to the kids. Kniya is always all about chores she’s never done before. She takes it very seriously.
We made sure to wipe along the edges that catch the most dust.
Areas near doorknobs always get the dirtiest. As we open the doors, our hands get all kinds of grime and oils on the doors. Wiping near all the doorknobs was a great job for them because it was very easy to get off of the smooth door surface.
Kaleb was in charge of wiping off the ledges that tend to catch dust and random spots.
There is a real value in having kids learn to help out around the house. Most of the time, my kids really want to help. Sometimes they want to end a job early or don’t feel like helping, but teaching them to do the jobs they can do well (even when they don’t feel like it) is important to me. They learn that they are a valuable part of our family and that everyone has to do things they don’t want to do sometimes.
Of course, whatever the older kids are doing, Big Man has to get in on as well! Kamden was super happy when I let him clean off their small table with a wipe.
He was super proud of himself. Another benefit to having the toddlers actually do a good job with their chores is that the younger one naturally follow suit!
Even when I was ready to be done, the kids weren’t! I let them clean a bit longer unsupervised, but eventually all good things must come to an end.
Wash Dirt Spots off Walls
► Idea Box
► Age of child
4, 3 and 18mos
► Length of time spent on activity (approx.)
► Materials needed/chosen
Rags and Warm Water
► Any prep-work? If so, what?
► Directions / What we did
The kids cleaned spots off of the walls with rags. We used special rags that use water and no chemicals. The infused silver is antibacterial and the microfiber holds a lot of dirt, so they worked really well for this job. Using these utility rags on the walls was gentle on the paint, free of harmful chemicals for the kids and removed dirt as effectively as possible.
► Possible ways to expand on the activity
We could add in dusting or other chores
► What would you do differently next time?
There isn't a lot I would do differently. The kids had fun and weren't ready to stop, so I might plan on them wanting to clean walls longer.
► What my child was able to do by themselves
The chore was simple enough for all of my kids to do.
► What my child needed help with
Since my kids are toddlers, they didn't always know what would come off and needed harder scrubbing, verses what wasn't going to come off (scratched paint). They also needed help seeing the spots
► My child's thoughts about the activity
Kniya thought it was "really hard work," which means she felt like she was being super helpful and liked the responsibility.
► Any other thoughts or info about the activity?
We definitely need to keep wiping down walls on our chore list for every month or so!
Alethea is a freelance writer, blogger, art teacher and influencer. Four kids within 5 years has kept her on her toes, but she loves having a family so closely spaced. She takes pictures regularly to document daily life and children's small shop fashions.
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