Just last Christmas my son had an overflowing Christmas Wish List, and one of the items he wrote down was an O-Cedar Pro Mist. True story. In fact, he watched enough commercials that he was sure our floors would be cleaner if I only picked up this handy tool.
Odd Christmas requests must run in the family... his father at that age asked for a Garden Weasel!
A year later, at 7, he is a year older and ready to pitch in with more of the household chores. In fact, this past Thanksgiving I was overwhelmed by all the cooking and cleaning I needed to get done. Enlisting more helpers means the holidays may run more smoothly and give me more time to create holiday memories with family, instead of just cleaning. So, I offered my son the chance to own his very own spray mop.
I took him into our local Walmart so he could pick out his mop. If you go with your kids, be forewarned that they are up high. Just look for the "Pro Mist" label in the cleaning aisle beside the mops and brooms.
The spray mop has been a welcome addition to our house. With a family of 5, a new puppy and 2 indoor/outdoor cats in Oregon, we have a lot of mud, hair and mystery items tracked through downstairs. I bought my son a few extra refills so we can rotate between in-use and the laundry.
Now, 7 is a glorious age. My son is finally coordinated enough to handle more advanced cleaning with ease and his is excited to pitch in for the family. In fact, once we got our new mop out of the packaging he was off cleaning without being asked.
I kept him motivated with music, Pharrell Williams' "Happy" is a favorite in our house to clean to, and my son has been known to break out into dance and sing along. Luckily the swivel head allowed him plenty of free movement for dancing!
I am a huge fan of spray mops that allow me to add my own solution. I prefer green cleaning solutions that are safe for my kids and our pets. On our floor I like to use a simple solution of 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar.
The refillable bottle comes off the mop with 1-touch bottle release and the fine spray of cleaning solution is dispensed with an easy to pull trigger on the end of the handle. My son had no problem being able to squeeze the trigger on his own.
And this mop is super easy for my son to set-up himself. The mop has Velcro patches underneath and each microfiber pad or microfiber scrubbing pad comes off and goes on easily. They can be tossed in the laundry with our rags so they can be used over and over.
Do you have kids old enough to start pitching in around your house? Here are some of my favorite tips to help things go smoothly.
Tips for Cleaning with Kids
- Make it Routine - Now that Owen has his mop, I have encouraged him to use it often. This way he will know what cleaning expectations there are before the next holiday party or get-together happens and I can pass the floor cleaning duty to him.
- Ditch the Chemicals - I go green with our floor cleaning because I still have a baby at home crawling around and I want my kids to be safe as they clean. Using a vinegar and water solution is also inexpensive.
- Let them Own it - Part of encouraging my son to clean was giving him his own mop. It is now his and I am teaching him how to care for it. I hope that he will always take pride in his cleaning skills. My kids have had their own brooms and dust pans (smaller sized for small hands) for years and I still think it has been the reason they are always willing to sweep up.
- Keep it Fun - We like to clean to music. Crank up the tunes and encourage kids to dance, move, sing and clean at the same time. What would you include in your family's cleaning playlist?
And now my son knows why I am always cleaning. ...and why we don't eat things off the floor...
With all these people and pets, there is stuff being tracked in all day. At least now I can have help to keep the mess under control.