Fall Home Cleaning Projects Provide Teachable Moments for Your Kids

As summer shifts into fall, the kids return to school and you settle in for whatever the season brings.

For many of us, this means tasks around the house. Including the children in home cleaning will provide you with plenty of opportunities for teachable moments.

Whether you plan to clean from floor to ceiling or just do a few little things, you can use some of your fall projects to educate your kids about a variety of topics.

Cleaning Out Drawers

One task that many parents face with disdain is cleaning out drawers. However, you can use this project as a wonderful way to introduce young children to sorting and counting. Learning to group “like” things together is an important aspect of developing math skills.

For older kids, cleaning out drawers helps to sharpen organizational skills as they must decide how to store their clothing in an orderly fashion. Parents might offer suggestions or reinforce the choices their kids make when cleaning out drawers.

Raking Leaves

Teaching kids about how work pays off will put them on the road to work success in the future. One fall project that demonstrates how to have fun and get results from hard work is raking leaves.

Kids of all ages can join in. Parents can assign “jobs” depending on the kids’ ages. You can teach about taking responsibility for their jobs, the importance of cooperation, and the pride of getting the desired results from your work.

While you’re raking leaves, feel free to educate your children about what happens to plants and animals when the weather starts cooling down. Ask questions about what they’ve studied in school that may relate to what you’re doing or to the changes that occur during fall.

Rearranging Furniture

Including your children in this home project will provide plenty of teachable moments.

Have a simple measuring tool, such as a sewing tape measure, that can be easily manipulated by little fingers. Assign jobs of measuring furniture width, height and depth to the kids. These jobs pertain to all types of subjects: math, algebra and maybe even geometry.

Encourage your children to visualize how the room will look with certain furniture placed in various ways. If it’s their own room, ask them what arrangement they’d like most. Then, discuss how and whether their plans will work.

If you like, you can even have the kids sketch out their floor plans on graph paper as a simple introduction to design and engineering. Of course, you’ll want to show the kids about cleaning before you place furniture in its new space.

Cleaning the Garage

In cleaning the garage, as in any task around the house, you can talk about a positive quality that your child has and reinforce their efforts.

Also, encouraging your kids to think of “green” ways to re-use or recycle items you no longer want provides a fantastic way for them to learn about reducing your family’s carbon footprint.

Discuss local charities and swap meets where you can take items you don’t want. You’re educating your children about those charities and why they’re necessary. Also, you’re teaching about the social agencies your community has to offer.

Including your kids in your seasonal tasks may take a little more time and effort on your part. However, they’ll grow up loving to learn if you infuse education into working around the house. Increase your children’s chances for success by using fall home projects to provide teachable moments.

5 Quality Family Activities to Enjoy During Autumn

Autumn is a season when you can spend more quality time together as a family. Shorter days mean that the kids are home earlier, and cooler weather invites everyone to spend more time indoors.

Try some of these ideas as inspiration for wholesome family activities this fall:

  1. Have a fall fun day. If you have younger children, plan a day to just experience the season together.
    • You might start out by raking leaves, collecting and bagging them and moving them to the curb for pick-up. Encourage the kids to collect leaves of various sizes and colors.
    • Point out the sights and smells of autumn in your yard and community. This activity has all sorts of benefits: outdoor physical activity, elements of cooperation and responsibility, and plenty of communication.
  2. Visit your local pumpkin patch or farm. Especially if you have younger children, they’ll be delighted to experience the sights, textures, and smells of agriculture.
    • Let each of the kids select a pumpkin or two for the fall holidays. Grab some decorative gourds to bring the sights of autumn into the house. Add some cinnamon or apple pie potpourri wafting in the air, and you’ll help the entire family get into the spirit of fall.
  3. Enjoy fall-focused dinners. Encourage family members to work together to prepare a favorite fall meal. Even little ones can participate by setting tables, stirring ingredients together and serving a favorite food.
    • Corn on the cob, fall squash, potatoes and a favored entrĂ©e can help create memorable traditions around fall dining. Dessert can be pumpkin or apple pie or other seasonal family favorites.
    • Provide art materials for the kids to make autumn-related placemats or place cards.
    • Preparing and enjoying a special meal together gives every family member a chance to participate. It also makes great opportunities for communication to enhance your family relationships.
  4. Hold a story night. With the fireplace going and everyone sipping hot chocolate and snacking on their favorite goodies, fall is a perfect time to enjoy reading together.
    • Find a book that everyone in the family will enjoy. Harry Potter can be a great place to start, but there are many other options, too.
    • Have everyone take turns reading a few pages or a whole chapter.
    • Holding story night one evening a week is a wonderful way for your family to re-connect, relax and enjoy each other’s company.
  5. Spice up your movie night. Do a little initial research by finding movies that have family-friendly plots or storylines that stimulate family discussions.
  • Some examples include: What About Bob, Pay It Forward, Freaky Friday, Kung Fu Panda, and Finding Nemo.
  • This is another activity where you might allow the kids to take turns selecting. However, if you’re seeking movies with morals or special messages, you might want to help “steer” the children’s selections by providing the names of 3 or 4 movies and letting the kids choose from among those.

Take advantage of the incredible opportunities that autumn offers for making memories with your children. Whether you go for a family outing together or just gather for an old-fashioned movie night, you can spend more quality time with your family this fall!