Home Real Talk Cleaning Up Is Hilarious When You Play These Games By Tinybeans VoicesMarch 15, 2020 Search more like this how-tofairy-talemindfulnessmusiccleaninggameplaysilverwarekiddishwasherhugfeel-scareddependfruit Read next Real Talk 10 Splurge-Worthy Keepsake Gifts for Baby Real Talk 30 Meaningful Activities for Families to Try in November Real Talk New Health & Safety Innovations for Babies & Toddlers Real Talk 12 Creative Crazy Hair Ideas That Won’t Stress You Out Real Talk Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya Is Making a Big Splash I developed the Sneaky Tag Cleanup Game in my classes with Child’s Play NY. We use this technique to clean up crafts, props, and snacks, but it’s actually fun to play it as a game in and of itself. And my experience as a mom has led me to realize it translates equally great as a game you can play around the house to get things done. As a matter of fact, the Sneaky Tag Cleanup Game is the best way to kick-off spring cleaning!Get into characters: KIDS: Spirited, wily, do-gooders who love to clean up/restore-order/right a wrong. YOU: A grumpy, evil curmudgeon who is desperately sleepy doesn’t see well and loves a mess. Find the Drama: Kids try to get objects cleaned up You are snoozing but then… You wake up and notice something awry! (things are missing/cleaner) Kids have to freeze. Play around with not noticing the kids in their frozen state, or thinking that they are new statues in your garden/trees in your woods. Set the Mood Use music like soundtracks or orchestrations. Tell a great story beforehand. Use Story Clap or read a fairy tale where wily characters get the upper-hand. Tom Thumb, Jack, and the Beanstalk and Anansi are the trickster characters who are favorites in my house. Be a character—but not too scary. I like to make my bad-guy persona someone who is not too clever and a little slower paced to let the kids feel empowered even though they also may feel scared (depending on their age). Working through their fear and strengthening their courage when faced with a scary character is actually a great bonus to this game. Other games to play to get the kids in on the clean-up action: Sometimes you just have to focus on getting the job done and play The Super Speed Clean Up game. Kids are motivated, through play, to get their toys or mess put away. Although it is a game, it is completely purposeful. Here’s how to play: Wind up your child Wind up yourself Enjoy the super-speed clean-up Play with slowing down Recharge with another wind-up, a hug or bite of fruit (for example) Continue cleaning until the mess is gone! There is a joyful energy that goes hand-in-hand with this game. Even though the mess might be enormous, kids love the playful premise when tackling it. Kids assume a character or a cleaning up machine, and with this role comes liberation and empowerment. Furthermore, they love the “breaking down” process where the gears slow and they need to be wound up again. Customize the with the way you re-charge: Is it a hug? A wind-up? A fruit snack? Jumpstart Chores: If you’ve been reluctant or unclear about how to start delegating chores in your house, use spring cleaning as the kickstart you need. Julie Lythcott-Haims author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Over-parenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, says, “Even if our child’s sweat equity is not needed to ensure the smooth running of our home, they must contribute know how to contribute, and feel the rewards of contributing in order to have the right approach to hard work when they head out into the workplace and become citizens of the community.” Here are some examples of chores for our youngest kids (not including pet or yard related chores—add ‘em if you’ve got ‘em). P.S. Until you feel like your child can do these on their own, these chores should all be done with adult supervision. Age 2-3 Help make bed Put away groceries (especially pantry items) Empty dishwasher (Tupperware, kid crockery/silverware) Sort socks Put placemats out Light dusting Scrape personal plate and bring to the sink Put dirty clothes in hamper Water plants Age 4-5 (previous chores) Clean windows/mirrors Help food preparation Hang towels Plump pillows Load Dishwasher (Tupperware, kid crockery/silverware) Dry pots/pans Set/Clear Table Fold towels and dishcloths Ages 6-7 (previous chores) Make Bed Prepare parts of lunch Use small hand-vacuum on furniture and their own room Load and empty washer/dryer for personal clothes Empty indoor trash bins Take out recycling Cleaning Up with Mindfulness As you clean up and discover items to give away, talk about the younger kids in your life (siblings, cousins, family friends) who you will hand things off too. Have your child mindfully separate the clothing/toys into piles for the people depending on their ages and interests. Donate to a shelter. For New York-based readers, I love Little Essentials Have your child write a note to the people who will get their things. “I wore these snow pants last year and they kept me warm and dry on snow days! I hope you love them too!” While this seems like a simple exercise, it strengthens your child’s gratitude muscles enormously. By doing this, whether they write words or draw a picture, it will make them appreciate what they had and feel great about passing it on. Extend your cleaning to the street and make it a point to pick up trash on your block or in your neighborhood. You can even make a day of it and use one of those fun trash grabber things! Maybe one day I’ll be able to do the KonMarie method correctly! Until then, I’ll be enjoying the simple pleasures of clean-up games with Nathaniel.