mindful living, effortless style

skip the candy this year and make your small kids a personalized cleaning kit they'll love with this easy DIY - Mine littles went crazy over these!

Candy-Free Valentine: Cleaning Baskets the Whole Family Will Love

You know what’s great about having toddlers around? They actually want to clean! It’s a treat to them.  So much so that I’m giving my littles cleaning baskets for Valentine’s Day because I know they’ll adore them – not because the net result will be a cleaner home for me (that’s just a bonus).

Actually, I already gave my tots a sneak peak of the goods so I could show you how much they loved their new kits… Love them they did and I’m positive your kids will feel the same.

Unless they’ve outgrown the cleaning stage that is.  I’m not entirely sure when that happens but I do know that if you attempt to gift this to your 13 year old, you’re going to be the recipient of some serious eye-rolling.

Want the details on just what’s in our basket (and a few shots of the kids cleaning with glee)?  I’m happy to oblige…

candy-free Valentine, kids cleaning kits, kids chores, Valentine baskets

The inspiration for these kits came from a few places.  First, I’ve been meaning to make S and C their own cleaning caddies ever since Kaley first posted these DIY kids cleaning kits for us.  Second, I kind of have a tradition of coming up with candy-free holiday gifts – see our Water Bead Easter Eggs and Creative Play Easter Baskets for two examples.

I picked up everything I needed at our local grocery store (QFC in case you have one locally).  The baskets were from the Valentine aisle and everything else was readily available in the cleaning aisle:

  • Method all-purpose cleaning spray (lavender and pink grapefruit)
  • Dish sponges (I thought the pink stripes were especially festive)
  • Microfiber dish clothes

candy-free Valentine, kids cleaning kits, kids chores, Valentine baskets

In each basket, I left one sponge intact and turned one into a sponge ball.  I made these sponge balls for the kids as bath toys a few years back and they were a big hit so I figured including them would only up the cleaning fun.

To make: simply cut your sponge into strips, tie some floss around the center, and twist.

candy-free Valentine, kids cleaning kits, kids chores, Valentine baskets

That’s it – the easiest, lowest-prep Valentine basket ever!  And, as predicted, the kids couldn’t get enough.

First it was the table, then the cupboards, and finally the sink.  And, no, they didn’t want to stop there but it was time for S’s nap.  Actually, the kids were so exuberant in their spraying and wiping (in typical toddler fashion) that I may decide to water down the method spray tonight.  That way they can still spray away without totally overdoing it.

candy-free Valentine, kids cleaning kits, kids chores, Valentine baskets

Question of the Day

How do you get your kids involved in the cleaning?  Suggestions from parents of tots and older kids would be equally appreciated!



P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?

MPMK's Famous Toy Gift Guides


Special holiday offer!


POYEL ebook and printables


sign up for the newsletter and get a free 6 week meal plan

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment