If children only picked up their toys after they were done playing with them, a great deal of the messiness of most family homes would disappear. Here are three ways to get your kids to clean up at the end of the day:
1. For younger kids, put a song on that is 3-5 minutes long. Tell them they have to have all their toys put away by the end of the song. My mother-in-law, a preschool teacher, swears by this method in her classroom. Note: This only works if the kids know where everything goes. Make sure every toy has a home, and that home is labeled.
2. Find a small jar and some marbles. Every time your child picks up at the end of the day, she gets to put a marble in the jar. When the jar is full of marbles, she gets a special treat or outing. If she doesn’t put away her toys one night, she has to take a marble out of the jar.
3. Model good behavior by picking up after yourself at the end of the day. If your child sees clothes and shoes strewn all over your bedroom, she’s going to believe that it’s ok to leave her bedroom a mess as well.
These are my favorite methods. Does anyone have other methods they like to use?