Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making Cleaning Fun for Everyone: Play Hotel

Playing hotel may have been one of the best ways to get my kids to help me clean. I am always trying new ways to get them to help a bit more and to not feel like I am constantly cleaning just to have a trail of messes being made to steps behind me. Believe me, cleaning has never been more fun for anyone.
Here's what we did: First, I made some door numbers and room keys for all of the rooms. I just printed something really quick and laminated it but my kids thought it would have been even more fun to make their own signs and name the hotel. So, next time, I am going to cut cardstock for the keys and door numbers and let them go to town creating their own, laminating them afterwards.
I told the kids that I needed them to help me get the hotel ready for the day. To make it a bit more fun, I had each of the kids get each others rooms ready. (Isn't it always more fun to clean for someone else!) They thought it was the best thing ever. They super cleaned each others rooms and made each others beds (they vacuumed and made the beds?!?!?!? unheard of around here).
I let them know that when they were all finished, we could leave a little note on the pillow with a mint (the squealing and cheering was awesome!) The Boy begged for them to be Chickfila mints...done!
They worked hard on each others rooms and could not wait to show the other their room and better yet, to see their own.
Here is the best part...once the hotel was completely ready for the day, they could begin checking in their guests. I pulled our console table away from the wall in the foyer and made a check-in desk. They lined up the keys and checked each other in. 
They also invited everyone they possibly could to the hotel. They graciously offered my half of the bed too (I am sure there was a rate increase for cuddling with The Gent). I'd like to think they saved another room for me but I am pretty sure they were all booked with all of the hype going on about the hotel. 
They love playing hotel. It has been a few weeks and we still play hotel on a regular basis. The door numbers are still up and the kids check each other in, take each other to a room, and swipe the pretend card before opening the door for each other. They love it! And I dare say that my house has stayed cleaner than it normally does because it really is great fun for everyone.
I thought playing hotel would be a fun thing for our Summer Fun list but it has far exceeded my expectations. Everyone cheers when someone says, "let's play hotel" and I get a kick out of the fact that I am not nagging anyone or asking for the quadrillionth time for anyone to help me pick up even ten things. I am pretty sure cleaning is more fun for me too!