Kudos to the MotherNatureNetwork for reminding us of this rainy day or snow day or just plain slow day activity for our kids that actually helps us parents keep order. Wish I’d though of this one back in the day.
Give the kids something fun and then get something back in return when everybody’s stuck inside on a weather day, – the reverse order usually works better with kids. Before you take them sledding down the big hill or outside with their buddies for a big snowball fight followed by hot chocolate, get an hour of cleaning out time from your kids.
You participate with them in the sorting, and make it fun so it doesn’t feel like punishment. Turn up the music and sing and dance while you sort out. Go through the toy box one day, the bookshelf another, the stuffed animals on yet a another day. Then there’s the movies and dvd’s and video game shelf. Maybe you’re even up to tackling some dresser drawers, but that’s pushing it with the kids.
Just as Mother Nature Network suggests, make 3 piles- garbage, donate and keep. Then turn it all into a real lesson in giving some afternoon shortly thereafter and take them with you to actually donate the stuff. They’ll feel good about that, and it might even make them more willing to repeat this cleaning out process next time :).
There’s nothing wrong with a little bargaining where you get some help keeping the house in order when you give them a fun afternoon that could have been all boring.