Tidying away after playtime
Mary Poppins famously sang, ‘A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down,’ in a bid to put the fun into tidying away toys. What worked for the Banks children might not necessarily go down too well with kids who would much prefer to keep playing with toys than spending time packing them neatly away.
From Fisher Price xylophones, to Barbie dolls, to glittery arts and crafts, little girls acquire an impressive selection of toys and their rooms can get pretty messy. It is important to instil a sense of responsibility for tidying up at an early age after all, it’s going to be you tripping up over mountains of teddy bears and standing on forgotten paint tubes.
But that is not to say you should suck all the fun out of playtime! Here are a collection of ideas that will spark the fun in tidying, which Mary Poppins herself would probably agree on.
Sing a rainbow
Toys are colorful things. So, try singing a rainbow with your little girl and see how many toys she can pick that match each color. For those trying to remember the rhyme, it’s ‘red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue’. Pause between each color and give a thirty second time limit for each one to make it even more exciting.
Box it up
Keep boxes under the bed or stacked up in the corner and only allow for one to be played with at a time. You could have a princess box for when she wants to think pink, a crafts box for when she wants to make something and a board game box for when she wants to play a game with you. Little ones might also feel more grown up and in charge if you let them make and decorate signs to stick onto the boxes.
Nobody likes it when playtime comes to an abrupt end, so try giving a five minute warning before it’s time to start clearing things away. It’s important to signal to kids before transitions, so this should help avoid any tantrums, especially if you are about to put lunch or dinner on the table. The smell of a good meal on the table is enough to make anybody chuck things in a box and get to the dinner table!
If playtime leads up to bedtime, a lovely idea is to put any dolls or teddies to sleep. But let your little girl know that toys only sleep once they are back in their rightful place. Giving her the chance to take one doll to bed is a good incentive that might even help make bedtime a straight forward and stress free experience. This means more time to put your feet up
knowing the kids are tucked up and fast asleep.
As time goes on you will likely notice that tidying up becomes the norm rather than a chore.
Keeping things organised, setting some reasonable rules and adding a fun element will all