How are such little people capable of making such big messes??? Yikes. I find it quite interesting, actually, how their little brains seem to just tune out the craziness. Or do they really? Maybe the mess is their secret revenge for all the times we say "no"!! Hmmm. Brats ;-)
Gina at Kids And Kiddos wrote a great post about getting her kids to clean up their toys. She has some tried and true strategies for motivating them to make order out of chaos. At the end of her post she asks readers to share what works for them, and her question is what inspired this post for me.
What I do is simple. I require that my kids clean up the activity that they're finished with before they can move on to the next.
This works in two ways:
1) The desire to move on to a new activity is their inspiration to clean up.
2) This strategy keeps the overall mess down to a "dull roar" - at the end of the day when everyone is tired, there are only a few things to pick up.
They're not always happy about it though: "Aw, Mommy!! Do I have to do ALL of this?"
(uh... yup. You dumped the puzzle pieces on the floor ALL by yourself, so you can put them back in the box too!)
Here's another strategy that a friend of mine uses with success:
1) Any toys that her kids leave out, get packed up and stored in the basement for awhile. Her kids know that if they want to play with the toys tomorrow, instead of in a month, they need to tidy up and put them away.
There's no perfect solution, and what works for some kids might not work for others. At least there's a variety of different things to try!
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