Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Cleaning Family Activity! (Plus Free Printable Play Money)

SPRING is officially here! I opened my windows and let fresh air fill our house.  I wanted to just play outside all day and not do the Spring Cleaning that was calling my name.  It's times like this--when there's a lot to be done and no one wants to do it--that I call in the troops and we have SERVICE BUCKS (or sometimes we say Movie Bucks, you'll see why). This is a fun way to have happy helpers when there is a lot of work or cleaning to be done. Plus,  I've got a FREE PRINTABLE of PLAY MONEY for you HERE.

1) Using play money, I offer the kidlets $5 per job (the pink one).  I make a list of all the jobs that need to be done in a certain amount of time (usually 2-3 hours).  If needed I will assign certain jobs based on their age levels.   I also tell them what jobs My Man and I are working on and we clean right alongside them.  We turn up the music and just go!  This is different than their regular job charts or daily jobs.  This is a great Saturday afternoon activity. I rarely get whining from them when we do this.

2) The more jobs they complete, the more bucks they earn.  When they complete a job, I'll go check it, and if it is done well they get $5.  I pay them right away so they can get a visual idea of how much they are collecting and it motivates them to go faster.  They love the notion of getting paid $5 to sweep the floor.

3) When the cleaning time is done I open a Movie Concession Stand and we'll watch a family movie that night.  They get to spend their movie bucks at the stand for treats during the movie.

 This is how I set it up.  Nothing fancy.  I treat them like real customers too.

 4) I'll usually combine the movie night with dinner.  So they have to "buy" their dinner.  I'll have a main course and a drink they can buy. That way they don't just spend their money on candy. But they can choose. This time I had corn dogs (yes, I actually bought a box of corn dogs . . . I'm one of those moms after all).  A corn dog costs $5 in movie bucks each and so do the drinks.

 5) In order to encourage them to eat something healthy, I'll always provide a few free options.  Low fat popcorn is always free, along with a fruit like apple slices (since it is dinnertime).

 6) The other items for sale are candy for the movie.  Each one is $5 each (just like the inflated prices at the real movie theaters).  The high price also keeps them from overloading on too much candy.

 I only buy small treats and I don't spend a lot on it.   I'll get something that they don't always get or our favorites.  These lemon heads are only 25 cents in real life.  But at my store they are $5!

Peeps are fun because we rarely get them . . . and yes, it was $5 per Peep.

In the end, the kidlets love being able to choose what to "buy" for their own dinner and having candy as a option is a huge plus.  They work really hard and will usually earn about $20 in Movie Bucks each.  That's enough to get them a corn dog, drink, and 2 candies, plus some free popcorn. Movie Bucks are only good for this one night.

Then we all sit down and watch a movie together in our sparkling clean house.

Hope you find a way to enjoy Spring Cleaning with your family this year!

Again, click for FREE PRINTABLE PLAY MONEY is ready to use!


  1. I LOVE this!! How in the world do you come up with all these perfect ideas???

  2. Hey Lisa, your idea is good, but i guess this will only work for the certain age group kids. Older one might still be the same, running away from the cleaning. I know it because I've experienced it. "Cleaning sucks, I hate cleaning" This is what I get every time i summon kids for cleaning. And also they don't want to be in a family movie, they are better going out with their friends, spending most of time. Maybe something else is needed to be used instead of money tickets. Besides not working on elder kids, it is a great idea as kids want to be with their parents, nice share Lisa.

  3. I love your inflated prices! Made me laugh. We'll be trying this soon. Thanks!

  4. My grandmother was very smart. She woke us early on Saturday morning when we stayed all night. After a good breadfast we started our chores around 7:30. She had a nursing home at her home and we cleaned, dusted, fed patients, and did what ever else was ask of us. Sometime in the afternoon we went to the store with Gram and got to pick out what we wanted her to cook for supper and a dessert (She often made a cake or pie) That evening after doing dishes Grandma's time was our time. We could choose shows on TV like Gunsmoke or games to play. She taught us to all kinds of cards. We could also go out to Bingo where she bought our cards for us but if we won we had to split the winnings with her. I remember those days with great fondness. She made me a little white nurses uniform and I felt very useful as I helped patients. We had great times with Grandma and she taught us work hard and be rewarded. A great lesson.

    1. OH my heavens, what a wonderful way to teach children! You're grandma sounds pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing this!


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