Tired of picking up after the kids, or stepping on LEGOS or other toys that end in injury? Stop the madness now. Use the following tips to get your kids to pick up their toys every day…it IS possible!
Make It A Game
Set a timer to make a timed game out of toy pick-up. Add extra incentive to the game by awarding prizes such as 10 extra minutes of outside playtime, 10 minutes of extra TV or computer time, etc. If you do decide to give out prizes, make sure the child who doesn’t win doesn’t feel bad–provide encouraging words or a smaller prize, such as five extra minutes of playtime.
Don’t watch your children as they pick up their toys–set a designated timeframe and let them have at it. Watching them will only annoy you if they do it too “slowly” for your liking. They might also resent you watching them like a mom-shaped hawk, and go slower on purpose.
Create A Ritual
Ensure toys get picked up every day by creating a ritual. For example, toy pick-up time could be every day before or after dinner. Routine is important to children, so if they know they have to pick up their toys at a certain time every day, it will become a habit they won’t question.
Help your children pick up their toys, but don’t make it a regular thing. Help them out when they’re feeling particularly overwhelmed or you simply haven’t spent enough time with them that day. Make it fun by playing music and dancing around as you put stuffed toys back on the bed and action figures in the appropriate bins. Your children will dance along and laugh–and not realize they’re working!