The clock ticks toward 8 pm and the next episode of your favorite show is calling you. All you need to do is get the children snuggled into bed and then you get to settle on the couch for some grown up time. So close! The playroom is a disaster though...hmm... You have 2 choices. Choice #1: Pick them up yourself...again. This ensures that you will be the one picking them up tomorrow and the next day and the next. Choice #2: Use one of Toylady Janet's tips below to turn your child into a toy picking up machine making clean up time quick and fun and enable them to one day be able to live on their own. Which do you choose?
#1 - Follow the ideas from last week's newsletter of limiting the number of toys out and getting them organized into small labeled bins. Please see the My Toy Garden blog to read it again. By the way, we sell great bins for organizing at My Toy Garden!
#2 - Set a Timer - Races are so fun! Bet you we can't clean this up before the time goes off? Your phone has a timer on it with a fun sound. Set it to quack, buss, doink or vroom and watch the toys disappear. Timers work well with many of the ideas below.
#3 - Create a Pile - Push toys into 2 piles. A small pile is less overwhelming than toys strewn all over the room. Say, "This pile is yours to put away and this pile is mine. When you have yours put away, you get to blank." Make the blank something fun they want to do. Go outside, play a game, do a craft, eat a snack. Be consistent with your expectations and you'll see the pile disappear faster and faster with each opportunity.
#4 - Pick a Color - Try saying, "What color are you going to pick up?" or "You pick up the blue ones and I'll pick up the red ones" Giving a color helps them tune into a few pieces making the task seem more doable.
#5 - Pitch it - With toys with lots of pieces, it's much more fun to throw them than to pick them up. Keep blocks and such toys in buckets and then let them wind up their pitcher's arm and pitch them in. Keep score of how many make it in. Impromptu fraction lesson perhaps?
#6 - Special Basket - Have a special basket just for cleaning up. One for each child. Let them fill their baskets with goodies of the day and deliver them like a mailman to their proper homes. My Toy Garden carries cute shopping baskets that would work great for this!
Toy Lady Janet