Dusting! A curious word to be sure. It’s a study in contradiction.
In the kitchen, it might mean the flour you sprinkle on a surface to ensure that the dough you roll will release! Seems like I am always underestimating how much flour to use. But it’s a balance because too much flour makes a dough tough. Most important to remember above all: don’t let working with dough be a study in perfection. It should be the fun you want to return to if you love to garden or play in mud. That’s what I aim for when I work with flour.
Back to dusting. In the rest of your home, dusting means removing the dust settled on your surfaces, as opposed to adding fine powder like flour. Part of me resists this activity. I think, “What’s wrong with some dust? Just let it be. Don’t stir it up.” But logically speaking, most folks sneeze from dust. Lungs and nasal passages don’t want dust.
Disclaimer: Adults you will need to make peace with the inevitable broken priceless object that shatters in the process of dusting (or stow those away like I did in boxes until your children become adults) Be prepared. And above all try your best not to be mad or exceptionally sad when this happens. Maybe even let the child be a part of repairing or gluing the item. Or take high-quality photos of your treasures ahead of teaching your child how to dust so at least you can remember items when they were whole.
STORYTELLING AND MOVING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
Here’s some ways to make the process of dust removal become FUN for children:
Have kids brainstorm with you about the many tools in your home you might use to dust. What will make it more fun is to inject some ridiculous and silly ideas in there. Here’s one that came to my crazy mind: Training a mouse to sweep in gently with a plane with a cloth to do the dusting. It’s also fun to laugh about the tools that would definitely wreck the process of dusting. Could you imagine how a T-Rex might dust a space with a bowling ball?
Make up a story, with your children adding parts of the story, as you are dusting the house about magical creatures that send, create, or enjoy the dust. Why? How? What do these creatures look like? How do they sound? Is there a chance we might find one under something as we dust? If so, what would you do? Say? This strategy has some downsides – the children might get so excited wanting to find the creature they rush to upturn every item in the house and risk breaking something. If this is the case, consider incorporating the next strategy to slow them down a bit.
Pretend you and the children are on an expedition. Uncovering ancient artifacts. Wood from the Cretaporosic Age (made up name) that has never been seen in ages. This strategy could be good in the sense that it encourages children to be careful, slower, more deliberate in their movements as they dust.
COLORING AND ART PAGE FOR YOUR KIDS:
I made a coloring page for your children to have fun thinking about dusting (it’s listed in the Just for Kids page). I’d love for you to share their work or a story you created about dusting (my email is listed on the Contact page). I drew the monster BUT I want each child to draw what the monster is using to dust AND what they are dusting in the home.
Here's a preview of the coloring page. I only put the monster in. The child gets to add what the monster is using to dust. A bowling ball? A fairy cloth? And what is being dusted? An outrageous lamp or a ceramic monkey?