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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another toddler tip

I don't really mind picking up the house every evening, finding a spot for discarded shoes, toys or dishes. It's almost like I'm putting my life back in order when I tuck away the items that we used throughout the day.

But now that Aspen is older, I know she needs to have more responsibilities around the house. She needs to feel important and useful. Also... do you remember those roommates you had in college who were seemingly unable to move their dirty dishes from the sink to the dishwasher? Yeah. I don't want Aspen to be one of those people.

So last weekend I came up with the two-minute-tidy. I mean, I didn't come up with the concept, obviously. Just the cute little name.

I explained to Aspen that we needed to take two minutes to move out-of-place items to the right room. We didn't have to take the time to put them away on a shelf or in a cupboard or drawer; just take them to the right room. I set the timer for two minutes and we ran around the house moving things. Sometimes we don't get it all, but that's not the point. I'm just trying to teach Aspen that our home is a wonderful place and we should take care of it every day.

Another motivator I had for doing this was Aspen's recent reaction to seeing some of her clean clothes folded in the laundry hamper in her room. She was so excited to see her swimsuit that she declared it was like magic that it was upstairs again. LIKE MAGIC? Heck no, little one. It wasn't magic that got your swimsuit clean! (It was technically the washing machine, but at least I can take credit for getting her clothes into and out of it).

So I'm trying to teach her that things aren't "magically" getting cleaned up around here. And the two-minute-tidy is proving to be both fun and helpful in that respect.

What tips do you have for getting your kids to help with chores? I'm always open to suggestions for teaching Aspen to be a big helper!

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7 comments:

  1. That is a great idea. I have started asking the kids to pick up 5 items in the room each night and to put their pjs or clothes from the day away, either back in the drawer or in the hamper. The biggest success I have found is just being consistent. If I forget once, chances are I will forget again and again until we aren't doing it anymore. So if I can keep this ball rolling as long as possible, eventually, it will start rolling on its own, hopefully. Honestly, I shouldn't be giving advice anyways, my kids just got their first real schedule chart, and they are 7 & 5. Pretty sad.

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    1. That's why I'm glad I'm *trying* to be consistent now; I don't want to feel frustrated in a few years when I'm still the only one cleaning up! And it's so good to just set a limit on the cleaning- whether the number of items or the time spent. That way it doesn't get overwhelming for everyone.

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  2. That's so cute about her reaction to her clean bathing suit. I used to sing a song with my little sisters while cleaning up, but they could only do that for so long. Great idea using the timer.

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    1. When Aspen first started nursery the clean up song motivated her. But now she just asks me to stop singing. HA!!

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  3. We play Mommy and Bug Cleaning Company at our house, and Bug loves it. Essentially, we pretend like we own a cleaning company and have to get the randomly chosen princess of the day's house all cleaned for the party. Bug has actually gotten so into it that she insists on having the fake phone call with the princess ordering the service herself, and then we have to do a cheer before we can start.

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    1. That's a great idea! I bet we could do that if we pretend we're cleaning a My Little Pony house. And maybe I could even steal a coin from Aspen's piggy bank so we could "pay" ourselves afterward.

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  4. So smart! Just recently I've been trying to get Henry to help put his toys away. Which he'll do for about 5 seconds and then dumps them out all over again (because obviously that's why we put them away in the first place, right?! haha). He's so little that he likes to be helpful anyways. This is definitely a great idea for the future! :)

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