Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Can spring cleaning be fun?


Do you have an amazing playhouse that your kids just don't play in?  Maybe they loved it at first but lost interest?  There may be a very simple reason.  It may just need a good Spring cleaning.  No one wants to play in a dusty little room full of creepy crawleys, not even kids.  Cleaning the playhouse is often a project that is overlooked...with good reason.  Trust me, as a busy mom the last thing I want is one more thing to clean or maintain.  Don't think of this as a dreaded task to check off your list, but as a way to get the kids outside and taking ownership of their space.  It may even be easier to get your kids to help clean out the playhouse than it is to get them to clean their rooms.  I mean what kid wouldn't love to drag all of the furniture and toys out into the yard?  Sometimes you have to make a mess to clean up right?  So how do you go about tackling this project?  

It's really basic, but I broke it down into a few steps:
1.  Gather supplies:
     wasp/bug spray
     broom
     bucket of water & rags
     mild soap (kid safe)
    shop vac is handy if you have one
2.  Check for bugs such as wasp and spiders and remove them.  Don't forget to check under the roof eaves.
3.  Also check for mold or mildew, splinters and loose or protruding nails.
4.  Get the kids to help move everything (furniture & toys) out.
5.  Wipe down all of the furniture.  It's amazing how dusty everything can get!
6.  Use a broom to knock down cobwebs.
7.  Wipe down all surfaces - walls, windows & floors.
8.  Before you move everything back in, make sure you still need it all.  If your children have outgrown some of the toys/furniture don't put it back in.  The playhouse should not be a storage area for unused toys (unless your are just using it for storage).  Age appropriate furnishings will encourage your kids to use the space.
9.  This would be a good time to check out the local flea market for some new fun decorations or maybe frame the kids artwork and hang it on the walls.
10.  This step goes a bit beyond cleaning, buy you may also want to add a fresh coat of paint or repair any rotten wood.  Playhouses require the same maintenance as you home does, just on a smaller scale.  
11.  Oh, don't forget landscaping.  Something as simple as a potted plant by the front door can make the playhouse more inviting.  (Great opportunity to teach the kids about gardening).
*  If you have a play structure with a bridge or tower that the kids climb on, make sure the ground below is free of debris and properly padded with mulch.  More on safety here.


The images above, both from Mari of SaimaaLife brought back childhood memories of cleaning our playhouse.  Fond memories...probably the only fond memories I have of cleaning.

Saimaalife.com is a blog about natural wellbeing. Wellbeing that comes from simplicity and is inspired by nature. 


    

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