The School Of Mom- Sweeping the Floor

The SchoolOf mom

I was going to combine this lesson with dumping the trash because I thought it would go rather quickly, but when it was all over, we were all exhausted. Who knew that sweeping the floor would be so much work? Maybe because brooms are automatic weapons or toys in the hands of a young boy…

I tried coming up with something clever, like a Mr. Miyagi “sand the floor” kind of tutorial, but I was at a loss for creativity on this one. I just kicked it old school.

I started out showing them how I sweep down the hallway, I talked about how controlling the broom is important because it controls the dirt. I showed them how to keep a broom flush with the wall and how you have to hit it at different angles in corner spaces to catch all the dirt. I also pointed out where crumbs like to collect and hide under cabinets, dishwashers refrigerators and ovens.



The Toddler Task for this lesson was a 3-parter, and he embraced it like a champ. He was in charge of holding the dust pan, dumping the dirt, and separating the tiny Lego pieces from the dirt pile (since it’s hard to tell the difference these days!) He got to do each one several times.



My oldest insists that sweeping while sitting on the floor is easier. I did have him stand up and I stood behind him, holding the broom with him so he could get a feel for the control of the broom and how much pressure to use, how to gather dirt into a pile.

I let him try it both ways, saying that he can do it any way that gets it done, but he has to at least try it standing up too. As long as it’s done well, I will live.

He swept and created about 10 mini loose piles of dirt, and it took so long, little brother eventually just kept dumping the dirt back onto the floor and he lost interest.


After half of it was done, he came back and they switched roles, the little one got to sweep while the big one held the dust pan. I gave them the smaller brush and it actually went a lot faster that way since the brush was easier for them to handle.


It was a lengthy process of stop-and-start, but we got it done. I think we will need a few more refreshers before they’re able to handle it on their own, but they did a good job and had a good attitude about doing it. Earning video game time is a great motivator right now for my oldest.


What I learned: Patience is a virtue. Cleaning their own crumbs out from under the table is a big eye-opener. And brooms make excellent swords, guitars, and devices to twirl above your head.


See all of the lessons in the School of Mom:

Teaching kids life skills by sweeping the floor

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