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1.15.2009

Clean Up Time!!

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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5 comments:

ginabad said...

Hi Jeanne, great tips. I really like the basement idea too! Yes, this is a good way to get them excited about the NEXT activity and leave the old one behind. Thank you!
ginabad
Mom Blog

Tammy said...

We sing the clean up song while we clean and if that doesn't work we do the "If I have to pick them up then they are going in the garbage can". Man you never see kids move so fast if you threaten to throw their toys out. LOL

JEANNE said...

My husband uses the garbage can threat, but they never listen because they know he won't actually throw the toys out, lol.

Jaina said...

Those are some great strategies. I'll have to keep them in mind. My little brothers have finally gotten the hang of it, and actually cleaned out their playroom themselves before Christmas. My mom called me completely shocked, because they had a whole pile of toys to give away!

LadyBanana said...

I used get my kids to have a race against me to see who could put more toys away in the fastest time, me or them..

Of course I always let them beat me so they felt they were cleverer then Mummy.. so next time I said, today I will win, but of course I never did.

They loved the "competition"

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