Life with My Plucky Little Penny

Spring Cleaning’s a Family Affair with Bon Ami

Spring Cleaning’s a Family Affair with Bon Ami

This post is written in partnership with the folks at Bon Ami.  As always, opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Full disclosure: I am NOT a natural housekeeper.  On the scale of Martha Stewart to HOARDERS, I lean toward the latter.  When it comes to cleaning, I use a checklist for weekly/daily chores, as well as overall seasonal “to-dos” because I’m just not wired “that way.”  I’m a clutterbug by nature, and it’s only by grace and J being MUCH tidier than I am that I’ve learned to keep things clean at all.  This is definitely one regard in which I definitely want Penny to take after her dad, so I’m taking steps NOW so that Penny grows up being part of the household chores.

There are lots of easy and toddler-friendly ways to get involved.  And even with the steps I DON’T have P take part in, I like to make sure I use a nontoxic cleanser free of harsh chemicals or odors.

Spring Cleaning Chores for Toddlers

In addition to cleaning up her toys, I have Penny help out in other ways:

Making Beds

Every morning when we wake up, I have P “make” the beds with me.  She loves it and is always proud to say, “I’m helping make the bed!”  She helps me pull the blankets up, and places the pillows on the beds – albeit a little lopsided.  I don’t tend to redo it (especially not in front of her) because with making the beds “good enough” IS good enough.  I want her to be proud of the job when she does it and let her grow and improve as her skills develop.


Penny LOVES doing whatever I’m doing.  Dusting is an easy chore we can do together.  We use microfiber cloths and I have Penny follow me and do as I do.  We dust shelves, baseboards, and when she’s older I’ll have her help me wipe down the walls with a damp cloth as well.

For the deep “spring” cleans, we pull everything off shelves and dust them as well as the shelf itself.  Penny gets to help with the non-breakable items as well as handing me the things on the floor to go back onto the shelf.


With wooden floors, we do more sweeping than vacuuming. Last summer I bought Penny a toddler-sized broom because she was constantly stealing the ACTUAL broom.  We’re currently teaching her the basics of “sweep the crumbs into a pile/ sweep the pile into the dustpan” and it’s going alright.  Her eye-hand coordination is still a little lacking, but we’re getting there.


For about a year now, Penny has been responsible for putting her dirty clothes in the hamper in her room.  Now when we do laundry, she helps load the washer and dryer.  It’s a game.  I ask for clothes of a certain color. Or a certain number of items. Or a specific item.  Or a big pile/ small pile.  And like every chore, we end with a big high five.


P is responsible for clearing her spot at the table when she’s done eating.  I ask her to bring me her dishes if I’m washing dishes at the time, or to put her dishes on the counter or in the sink if I’m still eating.

As Penny gets older I’m going to have her start setting the table, too, but we’re definitely not to that point yet.

Have the Right Supplies:

As I mentioned above, having the right supplies (for both mom and toddler) is crucial.  When it comes to making cleaning FUN, Penny and I have matching aprons. Penny loves it.  I grab my apron and she know’s what’s up and asks for hers.  Microfiber cloths, microfiber sponges, and spray bottle are perfect multitasking tools.  As for cleansers, we stick with nontoxic and simple cleansers that are free from bleach and perfume.  I love Bon Amifor that reason.

Bon Ami is a perfect deep cleaner.  It polishes surfaces clean without scratching them and is multi-use, too.  I’m all about a cleaner I can take from room to room and Bon Ami conquers the kitchen, living rooms, and bathrooms.

In the bathroom, it keeps grout white and removes stains from bathtubs, toilets, and sinks. In the kitchen, it removes stains from porous countertops materials, cleans glass-top cooktops and caked-on food from pots and pans without scratching. Everywhere else it will remove scuff marks and fingerprints from walls and floors.

This powder does a lot and is gentle on most hard surfaces, but best of all it’s a nontoxic cleanser that I feel comfortable using around small children.   It’s also easy to use.  Sprinkle the powder on the surface, and use a damp cloth or sponge to make a paste, and then wipe.  Bon Ami is tough on grime, but no on your hands so there are no gloves required.  As Penny gets older I feel comfortable letting her join in with more deep cleaning because I trust the ingredients in Bon Ami.  Definitely check out Bon Ami’s website to learn more!