How To Get Kids To Pick Up Their Toys

I need to do some serious re-organization in my kitchen. I need to decide where to put the stuff that I simply unpacked when I moved in nearly a year ago. It’s time, don’t you think?  That led me to think about tidying and organizing in general so I have shared a few thoughts and ideas on toy pick up.

But first:

Parenting Today would like to invite you to take advantage of a few upcoming trips. While I am in your community, let’s see what work we can do together to help the parents in your workplace or neighbourhood. You might be thinking of a public workshop in your region, a parent conference through your schools or maybe Beyond Childcare would be perfect for your workplace.

While you read this newsletter, I’m going to be trying wines and golf in the Okanagan.  Hope you’re having as good a time as I.

I am pleased that some of you have decided to take advantage of my trip to Ottawa just before National Child Day, which is November 20, 2010. I still have some time around that trip, so if you are looking for a professional development event, Beyond Childcare program, or a speaker for your meeting or conference get in touch.

While I’m in Ontario, I will also have some time in the Toronto area. The schedule for this trip is still flexible so look at your calendar and see what might work for you.

I’ll be in Montreal in early December and would love to work with you then.

And, I’m working on a trip to Central Alberta in the spring. Stay tuned for more information.

Toy Pick-up

Here’s a scene parents tell me drives them crazy!

Five-year-old Adriana has been in the playroom cleaning up her toys for the past fifteen minutes. You go down to see how she’s doing and there she is sitting in the middle of the mess, playing with her blocks.

What can you do to get her to simply pick up her toys and put them away? How hard can that be?

One reason she’s not doing the job is that she simply doesn’t care. The mess doesn’t bother her a bit. So when we try to convince her that the room would look so much better all neat and tidy we’re wasting our breath.

The second reason is that she doesn’t know how to do the job. Seems strange to us. She took the toys out, why can’t she just put them back?

She needs direction. So you need to teach her. Tasks, which seem simple to us, can be new and confusing for her. So, give her direction. “The blocks go in this box, so why don’t you put them away first.”

A little organization will go a long way. Lots of containers for different toys work well. They can be fancy plastic boxes or simple cardboard ones, it doesn’t matter. These break the job down into manageable bites for kids. It’s easier and faster to put all the blocks in this box and all the cars in another.

Young children are rarely self-disciplined enough to work alone. They love to work with us. So make toy pick-up a joint task and you and Adriana will find that job will go quickly and pleasantly.

If your child has too many toys, put some away or give some away. Often toy pick-up is a major problem because the number of toys is just too overwhelming. It gets so that there’s too much to play with so they all get strewn around the room.

Once you have finished helping her with her pick-up she can come and help you fold laundry. If you are doing it together, she will love it.

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