Kid-Friendly End-of-Summer House Tasks for Winter Preparation
Summer is coming to a close soon, so you’ll want to teach your kids some valuable, character-building lessons by drafting them to help out with winter preparation chores – so you’ll have more time to watch football. 😉
But seriously, there are some get-ready-for-winter activities you could certainly delegate to kids that require little supervision (unlike more adult-appropriate tasks like pool preparation). Having everyone pitch in will help your whole family get down to the business of enjoying cooler weather sooner, while instilling knowledge and a work-ethic in your kids who’ll have homes to manage themselves one day.
Be sure to sell leaf-raking as a (ahem) fun activity. You can work alongside your children for family motivation. And make sure they know that at certain points in the process, leaf-pile-jumping-fun may ensue (after you’ve made sure there are no dangerous sticks or stones in the mix). Of course, leaf-pile-jumping may lead to more raking, but leave that part out of the conversation.
After the raking is done, instead of trashing the leaves, have the kids help spread the leaves as mulch around trees and flower beds. It not only looks nice, but provides a lot of nutrients for your plants and protects them from cold weather.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture
Well, it’s your choice. Do you want to simply put your outdoor furniture away and have to clean it when you bring it back out next spring? Or get the cleaning out of the way now, so you can enjoy the furniture right away as things start to warm up again? If you like the second option, break out a bucket of soapy water and some scrub brushes, and let your kids have at it to clean the furniture.
Find age-appropriate areas in your home where kids can help with dusting. By age-appropriate, we mean having your kids avoid things involving fragile keepsakes and seek out places they can easily reach without having to climb on furniture.
Sweeping and Vacuuming
Assigning sweeping and vacuuming tasks isn’t limited to seasonal changes. But like a good spring cleaning, doing an extra thorough job before winter is an excellent task for your kids to tackle. Be sure to tell them this is more than a routine weekly cleaning, but rather to be especially conscious about out-of-the-way places that don’t normally receive close attention. Also let them know you’re prepared to step in when there’s a need to move heavy furniture and other objects to reveal hard-to-reach places.
Gearing Up for Winter
Does your family have a process to swap out summer wear for winter gear? Let the kids lend a hand.
Once winter sets in, you may be out of luck to wash your windows for months. Have your children help wash windows inside and out before the snow falls. Have fun with your kids by having them clean one side of a window at the same time you clean the other side. Decide which of your kids are old enough to reach higher windows with the help of a step ladder.
Make Preparing for Winter a Teaching Opportunity
While the kids do their chores, you’ll be doing yours, as well. What a great time to teach your kids the value of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
For kids old enough to understand, tell them why you’re testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and how often you check them. Have them help out with closet organizing – why you’re choosing to keep certain clothing and what donating old clothing means for the recipients of your donations.
Have your kids help with cleaning out the pantry. You can have them help identify expired products and teach why you throw these away. If you choose to donate certain pantry items to a charitable food pantry, teach your children how this impacts the lives of those receiving your gifts.
Why are you caulking windows and applying weather stripping? Because it keeps you warmer in winter and saves your family money. These teachable moments will pay dividends for years to come.
There’s a reason for everything you’re doing, and there’s no time like the present to start teaching your kids the importance of your seasonal cleaning rituals.