Timothy and Brittany have just moved into a new house with their three-year-old daughter, Melani, and one-year-old son, Cameron. And somehow they're still smiling at each other. In addition to being full-on #relationshipgoals for the rest of us, they have some brand new #parentinggoals to go with their new living space. Melani and Cameron are still young, but Mom and Dad think that they're old enough to start learning good habits, even if it's as simple as putting their toys away.
"It seems like whenever we clean up one mess, another mess starts to create itself," Timothy told us, gesturing toward an overturned jar of sunflower seed butter on the countertop. And Brittany said that even Melani's kitchen playset could become a sticky mess after she "made" some "meals." Fortunately, the family is about to meet Sarah, the Apartment Therapist. She's got a few easy cleanup tips that don't use any harsh chemicals on kid-friendly surfaces, and they might be just fun enough that the little ones will actually want to help out.
What's a safe way to clean sensitive surfaces like food-prep areas or kids' toys?
Whether Mom and Dad are prepping meals on their adult-sized countertop or Melani's stuffed animals are getting a feast in her own tiny kitchen, both surfaces can be cleaned quickly and safely. Just sprinkle some Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda on a damp sponge and give those countertops a good wipe-down. Then give them a second wipe with a clean, damp sponge and you're good to go, whether you're about to feed a hungry kid or a hungry stuffed horse.
How do you clean smelly stuffed animals?
When a favorite stuffed horse has a long (and dirty) day, he needs a quick stay at the Animal Spa. To freshen up plush toys, sprinkle them with Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda, put them in a zipper-top plastic bag, and let your "Spa Assistant" give them a few good shakes. Let the toys relax for 15 minutes, then take them out and give them a quick once-over with a handheld vacuum. That should keep them clean until, oh, dinnertime.
How can you get kids excited to put away their things?
We can't help you if your son is still flat-out refusing to eat a vegetable, but we can help with his messy room. One of the easiest (and sneakiest) ways to get your kids excited about cleaning up is by turning it into a game. (Who knew Mary Poppins was so manipulative?) Give each child their own tote bag and tell them to show you how quickly they can pick up the pieces of their doll's expansive wardrobe. Or you can hang small, soft baskets at child level and let them race to fill each one up with toys. Who's the winner? You.
In the end, Brittany and Timothy were delighted to ditch a whole bunch of specialized household cleaners. With a box of Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda on the pantry shelf, they had enough tricks to get everybody on board to start pitching in.
This post was created by Apartment Therapy's Creative Studio with our partners at Arm & Hammer™.
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