Kids help around the house

First, we looked at teaching kids to help in the kitchen, then with that one household chore every family dreads: laundry. Now, we’ll look at ways kids can participate in the general cleaning, organizing, and maintenance of the home.

First, it’s important to note that kids need to focus primarily, of course, on being kids. That means having fun, enjoying social and active time with friends and family, and focusing on their homework. But it’s also important to learn a sense of responsibility, and gain a good understanding of things that need to be done around the house to keep it in tip-top shape (or as close to it as you can muster!)

With that said, there are some small, household tasks that are great introductions for kids, and something they can make fun to do.

Polishing furniture

Kitchen table

One of the tasks I remember doing and actually liking as a child was polishing furniture like the coffee table, TV stand, side tables, dining room table, and more. There’s a satisfaction you get when seeing dust and debris wiped away, leaving behind a nice, shiny, fresh-smelling surface. Kids can take ownership of this task, even if it’s in one room of the home, like the living room. Focus on wood surfaces that kids can clean using the same cleaner. Have them wear gloves to avoid getting chemicals on their skin and teach them how to spray, where to spray, and how much.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim - cleaningVacuuming

Vacuuming is one of those chores that can eat up a lot of time. Not only do you need to do regular maintenance vacuuming, but periodically, you should do deeper vacuums, moving furniture to capture those pesky, hidden dust bunnies.

A cordless stick vacuum is the best option when it comes to kids, as they can move freely without having to lug a big canister behind them. One with plenty of attachments will make the process fun as they can find the right one to tackle different jobs, whether it’s vacuuming the baseboards, the hardwood floors throughout the house, curtains, corners, and more.

Dyson V15 Detect cleaningThe latest Dyson cordless stick vacuums that feature laser technology, like the Dyson V15 Detect Complete I reviewed last summer, has the added benefit of being ultra-cool for kids. Have them turn off the lights and vacuum their bedrooms, being able to see the microscopic particles of dust under the light while also keeping track of what is being picked up on the vacuum’s screen. It’s like playing with a cool, electronic toy! With the latest models having a single push button versus a trigger you need to hold down, the job will be a fun one for kids.

You can go all out and get a robot vacuum, which can handle most of the everyday maintenance vacuuming. Kids will love being responsible for setting its clean schedule using the app, or summoning it to clean a specific room or area via a button or even voice with models from brands like iRobot. There are also dual robot vacuums that can both dry vacuum and wet mop, which kids and adults, alike, will be able to appreciate.


Before they get to polishing furniture, dusting is a simple tasks kids can handle. From lampshades to furniture, ornaments to toys, they can move throughout the home or a specific room with a dust brush.

Dyson V12 Detect pet hair - cleaningCleaning up after a pet

If the family has a pet, the child can be taught how to clean up after them. This might include vacuuming pet hair (vacuuming is usually done far more often in homes with pets), putting out food and water, and, with a cat, cleaning the litterbox. With other pets like fish, kids can take ownership of feeding as needed. Taking a dog for a walk is a great family activity as well: brings kids along so they are part of the task.

Tidying up

Costway kids toy storage - cleaningA big part of cleaning is actually just tidying up, getting rid of items strewn about a room, whether it’s books, toys, charging cables, loose papers, and more. Having kids get into the habit of tidying is a good one to have as they get older as well. Having storage furniture, like cabinets, shelves, and even a nice desk or workstation where the kids can store things like arts and crafts materials, school papers, books, and more can help make tidying and organizing easier.

With the right furniture, kids can work on doing things like organizing their books into series, types, or sizes on shelves, setting up different bins for different types of toys or stuffed animals. And keeping all their electronic devices and charging cables neat and tidy. Start with the general concept of always putting something away after you’re done using it. Over time, this task may simply be something engrained in their everyday activities. Thus, tidy up time will become less of a hassle on a weekly basis.

Contixo Kid Safe headphonesHow to make it fun

There are some simple ways to make these tasks fun ones for kids.

Add music – whether it’s whole-home music played through smart speakers or a pair of wireless headphones so they can dance away to their favourite playlists while cleaning, music always helps.

Use smartwatch features – some kids’s activity trackers like the Garmin Vivofit jr. 3 kids fitness tracker, actually have features where kids can check off various tasks and receive virtual rewards at the end, or rewards from parents from clearing out their list.

Garmin Vivofit jr. 3Have a whiteboard – I’m a lover of lists, and we have a whiteboard in the kitchen that I use to jot down my son’s daily tasks before he gets screen time. It’s the first thing he looks at when he arrives home from school. It’s usually simple tasks, like emptying the dishwasher, sorting the recycling every Monday, tidying up his room, or even refilling the single-cup coffee maker pod drawer. Usually, the tasks don’t take any longer than 15-20 minutes to complete, but it provides a sense of responsibility.

Make it all about their bedroom or playroom – You can have your child take ownership of their own space, like a bedroom. Each week, they vacuum, dust, and sort and/or put away laundry, for example. Their bedroom is their own personal space, and they’ll feel a sense of pride seeing it clean and organized, and knowing they accomplished that.

Kids can help, too!

Kids need to be kids, which means focusing on schoolwork and social time with friends and family. But getting them into the habit of participating in the household cleaning, even if in a small way, is a positive small step towards teaching them good habits into their adult lives.

Start small with a few items from this list and the other two articles in this series on the kitchen and with laundry. Create a checklist and give the child the satisfaction of crossing items off each week. It might only be 15 minutes per day, but it’s 15 minutes less they’re spending on screens. That 15 minutes might even become 5 or 10 once they get the hang of chores and take steps to reduce the need for them. They might just start picking up their dirty clothes and putting them in the hamper more regularly, or hand-washing dishes when they’re done with them so there’s less to empty from the dishwasher. It’s a win-win for everyone in the family.

Check out plenty of furniture, cleaning appliances, and more for the home at Best Buy online. 

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.