Sometimes it can feel like you spend half your time at home wiping, washing, scrubbing, bathing, dusting, sweeping... all on auto-pilot. If you've got active kids in your house, it's time to put them to work -- and play. Here are five simple-but-fun activities that will keep them occupied and keep your home organized.
1. Burst Those Bubbles
Okay, washing the dishes isn't exactly exciting... or is it? One way to sway the kids into lending a hand is to rev up the fun factor: Make bubbles by mixing together one cup of water, a third of a cup of dish soap and a little bit of light corn syrup. The kids can use this bubbly, soapy concoction to wash their own plates after a meal with more giggles than groans.
2. Spic-and-Span Simon Says
Gather the children into the room that needs to be cleaned and tell them it's time to play Simon Says. Each time a child follows a command without hearing "Simon Says," he must do one quick chore. Want to make the most out of this game? Sneak in a cleaning command—such as, "Simon says, put away one item with red on it,"—just in case this is one of those rare times when the kids are actually listening intently and obeying your every single word.
3. Racing Music Mania
Once again, select a room in serious need of organization and gather the kids, an iPod, some speakers and their favorite playlist. When the music begins, the children must run around the room cleaning it with the goal of having the whole place totally organized by the end of the song. For an added twist, toss in a "freeze tag" element by stopping the music occasionally to make everyone freeze until it starts back up again.