We’re just a few weeks into summer and already I was finding myself constantly nagging the kids to clean up their stuff. They seem to take every toy out in the backyard and then just leave them there lying in the grass. It’s as if they expect little green men from space to beam down to pick up after them. The same thing was happening in the playroom. Legos, puzzle pieces, army men, dollhouse furniture and toy cars littered the floor while the kids are on to the next activity. Meanwhile, I’m hobbling around from stepping on Lego pieces (Dear God does that hurt).
Since my nagging and yelling at them to clean up every day was getting a bit old, I decided to turn the cleanup process into a game. We call it King & Queen of Clean. It’s worked wonders and has brought much needed order to our summer days. (It works best for kids ages 3-8). Here’s how it works:
A couple of times throughout the day, I pick one of the kids and make them King or Queen. I give them a few choices of rooms and areas that need to be picked up and they get to call out which room they’ve chosen. We set the timer on my phone for 4 minutes and we all race around and pick up the chosen area. When time is up, the King or Queen gets to stand up and declare order. They can then resume playing and enjoying themselves.
It’s an easy system, can be adapted for wherever we are; home, a friend’s house, grandparent’s house etc.. It’s gotten the kids to clean up without arguing about it and their friends have gotten in on it too. Much needed order has been restored to our house.