Kids do not like to clean their rooms, I knew that as a kid, I know it as a parent. But my kids’ rooms were out of control! I had to think of a plan that would make cleaning their rooms fun. When my oldest 2 were little we’d have races. I’d send them to their rooms saying, “Put away 3 yellow things.” Then I’d say, “Pick up 5 square things”. I would go back and forth between their rooms to see what needed to be picked up and think of a creative way to get those items picked up. Instead of saying “Put your cars away”, I’d say, “Put away 6 things with wheels.” We’d have several races until the rooms were more manageable.
But now, I have 17, 14 and 7 year old boys. That old idea was not going to fly with them. I needed to spice things up…starting with a cool name…and anticipation. So yesterday I began to say things like, “Brother…vs. brother…vs. brother…in the Ultimate Showdown” using a mysterious announcer voice. Each time I walked by one of them, I’d say something like, “Who will win the ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN?” Not surprisingly, the teens came back with, “This better not be lame!” And, “Oh, it’s going to be lame!” And even, “This better not involve cleaning our rooms!!!!”
I simply said, “We’ll see at 10:30 tomorrow morning, won’t we?”
To not be lame, this idea needed some graphics and a prize. The graphics? A large chart that said, “Brother vs. Brother vs. Brother Ultimate Showdown” at the top, 3 columns for their names and the rounds numbered 1-8. The prize? A giant Hershey Bar and the winner’s before picture is not posted on this blog! LOL!
I cannot begin to tell you how much better this went than expected!!! They were begging me for more time! The 17 year old pleaded with me to give him time to vacuum his floor! And they all asked if this could be a bi-annual event! I am NOT kidding! I planned the events to take about 30-40 minutes. The competition began at 10:30 and ended at 12:15 because they wanted more time!!! And not one person complained about how long it was taking, or how tired they were!
Here is a how it worked:
Brother vs. Brother vs. Brother Challenge: The Ultimate Room Cleaning Showdown
Ground Rules: Stand in your doorway while I tell you the challenge and say “go”. When you have completed the task, you run back to your doorway and shout, “DONE!” Minus 2 points for every complaint of unfairness. When voting occurs, you cannot vote for yourself.
All contestants must tour each other’s messy rooms, as we will be voting for “Most Improved” at the end of the challenge.
Round 1: Bring me 6 articles of clothing that you will no longer wear. (At the completion of the round, they had to fold said clothes and put in a pile.) Points awarded- 15, 10, 5 from fastest to slowest
Round 2: 2 Bag Challenge- you have 5 minutes to fill one plastic grocery bag with trash and one with recycling. Contestants may not empty currently bagged trash into their trash bags. This must be newly gathered trash off the floors and flat surfaces. Points awarded: 15, 10, 5 x 2 (one for recycling, one for trash) awarded to the fullest to least full bags as voted upon by your siblings. Bonus points if ALL trash is picked up.
Round 3: Put away 10 books, videos, magazines or notebooks, then bring me 5 books you’re not keeping. Points awarded: 15, 10, 5 fastest to slowest
Round 4: This was supposed to be 4 minutes to pick up all clothes- with clean clothes going into dressers and dirty clothes going into the laundry. Drawers must be closed with nothing sticking out and all dirty clothes will be washed by YOU TODAY. (So don’t just dump everything in your laundry basket!) Points awarded: 15, 10, 5 with the most points award to the person with the fewest articles of clothing still out at the end of the challenge. Note: This round they begged me for more time than 4 minutes!
We totaled the scores at the end of round 4 to see where everyone was at.
Round 5: Bring me 6 things to sell at our yard sale. Bonus points for additional items. Points awarded: 15, 10, 5 fastest to slowest. Round ends when third person is finished. 1 point for each additional item.
Round 6: You have 5 minutes to clear a 12 inch path down the long side of your bed. Cleaning, not shoving! Points awarded: 15, 10, 5 cleanest to least clean as voted by your siblings.
Round 7: Completely make your bed with sheet and comforter. Points awarded: 15, 10, 5 fastest to slowest. (One child makes his bed every day, so he won before the round even started and helped his littlest brother with this challenge.
Round 8: 7 Minute “FREE Clean”- In this challenge contestants are going for “Most Improved” and “Overall Cleanest Room” again as voted by your siblings. Points awarded: 25 for Most Improved, 25 for Cleanest Room- these cannot be the same person. Again, the boys asked for more time and here is when my eldest pleaded for time to vacuum!
I think it was important to award points to everyone in every round. That way, no one ever had zero (which was very important to the 7 year old). No one was ever completely out of the competition until the last, high-scoring round.
The results? First Place- 17 year old, Second Place- 7 year old, Third Place- 14 year old!
And for those of you keeping track for Challenge 365: that is another 30 items to sell at our next yard sale, plus 6 bags of trash/recycling = 36 more items out, bringing our total of items removed from our house to 256!
I’d love to hear from you if you try a version of this challenge!
I’m in my first link party! You can see it here on The Simple Home if you scroll down.