My family of six includes four boys ages 3, 5, 7 and 11. It is safe to say that I spend a good portion of my day cleaning up messes! It's funny, though, that most of our messes are made by someone called "Not Me." One of these days, I'm going to find out just who Not Me is and make them help us clean. It can be hard to convince kids to help out around the house. There is always something more fun they would rather be doing. Over the years, we have tried a lot of thing from Chore Charts to outright bribery. I have learned that some things work for awhile, depending on the child's age and what motivates them. Just a note that paying kids to do chores (aka bribery) can be a slippery slope. My older kids started expecting a dollar for any little thing they did to help out around the house. Nowadays, we don't pay for chores. We explain that chores are what we do as a family to keep our house a clean and happy place to live. The kids get that. Things we do to make cleaning fun for our family include: A Kids Cleaning Kit. Get an inexpensive caddy and fill it with fun, kid-friendly cleaning tools like spray bottles. I have learned that most kids will find it impossible to turn down the chance to use a spray bottle! Teach kids how to spray and wipe down counter tops, mirrors, windows and other surfaces around the house. Younger kids can simply use water and a microfiber cloth to clean windows. My 3-year-old does not even realize he is doing chores - he ASKS to clean the windows. And he will happily spray and wash for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Get into a Regular Cleaning Routine. Pick a day and time for family cleaning. Our family likes to get chores out of the way first thing Saturday morning. Everyone gets assigned cleaning tasks and we know that once our chores are done, we can enjoy the rest of our Saturday. Set a Timer. On Saturday mornings and any other time we parents decide is Family Cleaning Time, we set a timer. We tell the kids it is time to clean up, and we will work as hard as we can for the next XX amount of minutes until the timer goes off. A timer is great to use on weeknights when we need the kids to spend about 5 to 10 minutes of time spent picking up toys, putting away shoes, etc. Clean WITH Your Kids. How I wish I could just sit back and watch my little worker bees clean my house! But that won't happen in a gazillion years. It is much easier to get my kids to clean when they see me doing chores with them. Cleaning with your kids can be a fun way to teach them how to do new chores. My 11-year-old used to need my help doing the laundry. Now he can load, wash, unload and dry his own clothes! The best part is that he enjoys being independent and washing his own laundry. Point out the Positives. Make an effort to praise your child when they clean. I like to point out things like, "Isn't it nice that you can easily find your clean socks when they are put away in a drawer?" I also try to catch them in the act of doing a chore they haven't been asked to do. Don't worry if your child is not able to do a chore perfectly. My 3-year-old loves to mop. Of course, I have to go back and re-mop after he gets done! The important part is that he is making an effort to help clean. It can be fun for kids to feel like they are part of the family cleaning team. You would be surprised at what even young children can do. I think my preschoolers can outclean the big boys sometimes! How do you motivate your kids to clean?