It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Sweeping the floor. But the truth is, this fairly simple household chore actually requires instruction and some patience as you are teaching it to your kids. If you really think about it, someone actually took the time to show you the proper way to sweep at some point, and you should pass that seemingly basic knowledge to your children.
Again, sweeping is easy, and the truth is, it’s downright essential if you’re attempting to keep your home clean. In a room like your kitchen, where you’re cooking, the kids are grabbing snacks and munching on them while crumbs inevitably tumble onto the ground. We’ve all pulled out the broom and dustpan and collected a pile of discarded junk that is almost embarrassing.
I know how to sweep and have known how forever. I think I watched my parents do it and figured it out pretty easily. But the truth is, I was doing a crappy job. And it wasn’t until I had the job of cleaning up the front of the house of a restaurant as a teenager that I learned how to REALLY sweep. The manager pulled me aside after noticing my technique and patiently showed me that actually pulling out the chairs around the tables gave me more room to sweep up the stuff on the floor. He showed me how important it was to not leave behind half of the pile I’d collected when transferring it to the dustpan and truthfully, it helped me learn how to sweep, the right way.
It might sound dumb, but when I watch my own children sweep now I realize they actually need this type of instruction. My ten your old still thinks that he only needs one hand on the broom, for example, and has yet to master the technique of holding the dustpan and broom at the same time.
Here are some quick sweeping tips for your kids.
1. Choose the right broom for the job: You don’t want to use a pushbroom to sweep under your dinner table, it just won’t work as well.
2. Clear the area that you plan to sweep: Sure, it doesn’t take as long to keep the chairs in place and sweep around them. But you just won’t get as much up. Move them, then sweep and move them back.
3. Sweep the dust, crumbs and junk into small piles: Get the junk together so you can see it and prepare to get rid of it for good.
4. Walk around with a dustpan and collect the piles: Collect the piles in a dustpan, and help the kids out with this a few times until they get it down, it’s tougher than it looks for small hands.
So the next time you see your child helping sweep up, take a minute and give them some instruction on how to do it the right way, it could make them an expert sweeper for life.