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  Category: Articles » Home & Family » Parenting » Article

House Cleaning Can Be Fun and Educational

By Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes

Housework can be fun. . .and educational???

Okay, I'll admit it, I hate housework, but I hate living in squalor even more. With two kids, five animals and a husband, I was always cleaning. I knew there had to be a better way. So I thought, and thought. . .After all, you have plenty of time to think doing all that cleaning.

Then, one day, during our "what did you do at school today" talk, it dawned on me. Sean loves sorting. Let's see if we can make chores fun. And so it happened. (You would be amazed at how much sorting you do.) I started having him put away the silverware, matching big forks to big forks, salad forks to salad forks and so on. That went well, so I thought, "Hmmm, what else can we do together…" He was only three, but he seemed to enjoy it.

Next came sorting folded clothes. As I would get clothes folded, Sean would put them in piles by sleeve length and color---short sleeve blues, short sleeve reds, short sleeve greens…You get the idea. He enjoyed helping and would get a reward at the end, usually a sticker or hand-stamp.

The fun did not stop there, oh no! Then there were socks---big socks, little socks, blue, black and brown socks, I was on a roll! Each person had a bin devoted exclusively to socks. We would line up the bins and play a rousing game of H-O-R-S-E. Actually, in our case, it was more like C-A-T-E-R-P-I-L-L-A-R. We have a lot of socks!

As he got older, he was able to help pair the socks. Paired socks became ammunition. The faster you paired, the more ammo you had. When you got hit with a sock-bomb, you had to pair two more sets and add them to the opposing team's arsenal. The team with the most sock-bombs at the end wins the game. The loser had to put all of the socks in the correct person's sock bin.

Was it really that easy you ask? Well, I lost quite a bit of efficiency due to those pesky sock fights, but gained a ton of quality time. My son learned his colors, concepts of sorting, improved his eye-hand coordination and had lots of fun. Sean is now older. Sorting is not as much fun (although he still enjoys a good sock fight), but his little sister is not far behind…
About the Author
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes currently runs an online private practice
Dr-Is-In, and an online continuing education site All CEUs. She received her PhD in counseling from the University of Florida in 2003 and worked in community mental health for nearly 10 years.

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  Some other articles by Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Discipline and Consistency
We often hear that good parenting means consistency and discipline, but rarely does anyone ever stop to explain what that means. Let's ...

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