No kid wants to stop their fun to clean up! So don’t let them stop. Make the clean up part of the fun! Here are some ideas.
*Have them pick up all the red toys, then the green toys, then the square toys, then the round toys. Give a little treat after each assignment.
*Don’t let them wear everyday clothes for cleaning up – that’s boring! Instead call out a Firefighter or a Princess or a Doctor or a Baker to come help! And make sure those boys are making noise while they clean – they are made for that!
*Have them count while they put toys away, and every time they count one you put a raisin in a bowl. If there are 20 toys out, they’ll get 20 raisins. What’s more fun than a snack?
*Play Eye-Spy. I Spy with my little Eye something that says: “Choo-Choo!” When the right toy is found and put where it belongs, they get a chance to see if YOU can find the right toy and put it away.
*Use the alphabet for young learners. Put away something that starts with a ‘t’ sound, or a ‘b’ sound.
*Set the timer for 30 seconds and see how fast they can go! But the rule is as soon as the timer goes they have to (play dead, or dance, or sing, or twirl, or jump, or pretend to be an airplane…) until the timer goes again (another 30 seconds). Repeat until it’s all cleaned up.
*Hand out bags and see how much they can put in a bag and still carry it to the toy box. See who can put the most in – a sibling (or friend, or you) or them.
*Turn on dance or praise music. Have them put away as many toys as they can until the music stops and then they have to freeze! Do this in short bursts.
*Put away things from biggest to smallest.
*Race. Make 2 equal piles of toys on one side of the room, farthest from the toy box. On your mark, get set… GO! Race with your child to see who can take one from the pile, run it to the toy box and go back for the next until they are all gone. If you win… help out!
Carla Anne Coroy