Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday K.I.S.S.: A family affair

Today's Monday K.I.S.S.:
    Let everyone  help with the cleaning
    If you were to come into my home today, you might find things a mess at the moment.
But everything has its place.

And more importantly, the kids know where that place is.

Each toy has a spot that it belongs. Legos go in one container. Books on certain shelves. Cars in a labeled box. Costumes in a toy box in the corner. Swords in an old metal boot that came with the house.

When we clean up, toys go where they are supposed to go. When my kiddos are between 1 and 2.5, I have them start helping to clean up on very small levels. They help put cars in a box or stuffed animals on the bed.

But when they are about 2.5 (the age Abigail is right now), they begin to help clean up more and more. They are given a specific task and asked to complete it. They learn where items go and put them away.

When they are somewhere around 4, they are old enough to start tackling tasks completely on their own. I make sure to give them their own individual job so that they are not facing consequences for a sibling not cooperating. "You pick up all the blocks." "You put away all the balls."

Toys that belong on another floor are put in a box by the stairs, and after a room is cleaned, we bring those items to the room they belong in.

The more the kids can help with the better.

I make sure to make clean-up something that they can actually do. Toys must be able to be put within reach. I can't be picky about how things are cleaned up. And while they are cleaning up, I participate. I help with things that are really far away from where they belong or with direction on where to put something away.

We do not have one toy box with gads of toys in it. We have small containers or tubs or drawers or boxes where things have a place. If you want a certain toy, you know where to find it.

And you know how to clean it up.
P.S. have a K.I.S.S idea? Please email them to me at!

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