Getting kids to start tidying up can be a chore in itself. They love to get everything out to play but when it comes to putting it away you can be met with moody faces,tantrums and tears. It does not need to be stressful. It can be fun!!
Unfortunately we can't snap our fingers like Mary Poppins, but we can use her theory....'In every job that must be done there is an element of FUN, you find the fun and SNAP... the jobs a game.'
Looking at an entire mess can feel overwhelming but to break it into smaller numbers seems manageable. A few simple fun games will get them tidying up in no time.
Use colour to tidy up - Ask your kids to find everything that’s blue and put it away. Repeat with all the colours until everything is picked up.
Beat the clock - Give each child a bag or box and it's a race against the clock. Aim of the game is to pick up all the toys before the bell rings.
Pick up in categories - pick up all the balls, or blocks, or doll stuff, etc.The bag/box mentioned above, helps with category cleaning. It keeps them focused.
30 Second Clean-Up Game - This one is a quicky and gets them moving. Similar to the beat the clock. Set the timer and off they go. If everything isn't picked up in the 30 seconds you can jest with them ' I think we can get more items in the next 30 seconds' it will spur them on to want to do better and beat their last score and the fast race will keep them entertained and smiling.
2. Give visual lists
Often, kids can feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Giving kids a visual list to mark off either mentally or with a pencil will help keep them focused and know the expectations.
3. Make it a dance party and turn up the music!
When it is time to clean up turn on the music. Play the kids favourite music, turn it up and sing and dance along. You can even have a game of musical statues & make full use of the music. It's amazing how much easier and fun it is to clean up when you are all enjoying yourselves.
4. Have a tidy up song.
Kids love singing, you can make up your own words to a catchy tune you know, the kids will join in and it will keep them focused whilst putting everything away.
5. Reward chart.
Kids love praise and rewards. A reward chart is a great way to show them when they've done a good job. They keep your child motivated. The rewards themselves reinforce good behaviour & keeps them focused.