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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This Week

*I am sitting in front of a fan, hating this humidity. Yes, it's the end of October and we are dealing with 80 degree days and a horrible blanket of humidity. Yuck!

*I started my part-time job last night. The hardest part of it was trying to open my locker. So far, so good.

*I've read The Year of Learning Dangerously; Adventures in Homeschooling by Quinn Cummings and Purses and Poison by Dorothy Howell.

*The kids and I have been reading The Magic Tree House series.

*I've finally "popped out" and look very pregnant now. Unfortunately, my regular pants don't fit well and the maternity clothes are still too big.

*I'm fighting a losing battle with toy clutter in this house and would love suggestions. We paired way down on toys and really only have a few bins full of favorites. The favorites are tiny pieces though (LEGO, Star Wars Figures, train set, cars, etc.) and no matter how much cleaning we I do, there are tiny pieces of toys everywhere. I get a room clean and within a few hours someone has brought out their bin, played with their toys, and left it all scattered on the floor. I get the basis of cleaning up when you are finished playing, have drilled it into their brains, but it doesn't work. How does clean-up and toy time work in your house?


  1. I don't have any kids yet to scatter toys around. We're due in April so mine doesn't do anything but make me sick and exhausted so far ;) BUT I've seen people who pick up things that are left out and keep them until the end of the week when the kids have to buy the toys back. Either with their allowance money or with chores or a point system of some sort. They don't make a big deal of it. The kids don't get "in trouble" when they leave their stuff out, they just get the consequence of not getting get it back until the end of the week and maybe not even then if they don't have enough of whatever currency you decide on. Seems like that might work well for some personalities and be a good chance to teach consequences.

    But what do I know? My kid is the size of a lemon :D

  2. I feel your pain re: toys laying all over the floor... Happens here ALL THE TIME. I'm to the point where I just want to seriously pare down to a few favourites each! For now I will declutter & hope for the best..l

  3. Beth, when the kids were younger, they were always told to pick up toys after playing with them. If they didn't, I would pick up the toys, and put them in a separate bin with a lid, where I kept them until they could show me they would pick up their toys for two days straight. Sometimes they earned them back within two days, sometimes it took longer, because more toys would be added the next day. No matter how long it took, that system worked pretty good. Every once in awhile they'd forget, but losing the toys to "mom's bin" would remind them pretty quick. We also had a rule that no toys were allowed to be left in the common living areas of the house. Every night before bed, picking up toys was one of their chores. It eventually became habit. Now, if you can tell me how to get an 18 year old girl to pick up the trail of bobby pins I keep finding through the house, let me know. ;) -Marian

  4. Maybe something like this? http://www.layngo.com/products.php There are lots of different versions/brands and it probably wouldn't be too difficult of a sewing project.

  5. We always have a clean up time before the kids bedtime each night. All 3 of my kids pitch in and help, knowing that if they get it done quickly then we will have time to read books (which they LOVE). If they don't help, they don't get to listen to the book. If they do a fantastic job helping, then they get to PICK the book. Maybe it sounds harsh, but books are my kids currency. They love to read, so sometimes I need to use that to my advantage!

    We've had a standing rule that they are not allowed to get out a new tub of toys without putting away the last ones they were playing with. They're *usually* pretty good about this, although sometimes need a good reminding!

    As far as the tiny pieces, I try to keep specific tubs with lids for each toy. My son has a tub of imaginext guys, a tub of cars, and a tub of legos. My girls have a tub of playmobile. They know exactly where each toy goes and are more than capable of cleaning them up. We used to have a vast assortment of dress up clothes and accessories, however after numerous times of me fighting with the girls to clean it up, and them disobeying.....I bagged up EVERYTHING and it went into the attic. One day I'll bring it back down, but not until they can convince me that they'll keep it clean!

  6. Erin- I like the idea of making them "buy back" the items that they left out! We hvenot implemented an allowance yet but hubby and I were just discussing it this week - so this would be an added incentive to keep their money! (And congratulations on your "lemon"...sounds like we are due around the same time!)

    Carla- I bet it was so much easier 100 years ago when kids had a cloth doll or rocks and sticks as their toys!

    Marian- I like the tub idea, especially the part where the toys are "off the floor and out of reach of the children" for a few days. Wish I could put ALL the toys out of their reach! ;) But I think your idea, along with Erin's, will make the kids realize that if it's on the floor it's mama's now!

    Melinda- I love the idea of the Lay n' Go. The problem I see is that the kids wouldn't lay it down before playing. I can see it workin for more responsible kids or older kids though! That's an awesome concept!

    Nutty Mom - Your concept goes hand and hand with Erin's and Marian's. And my kids LOVE their aloud story times! I need to now decide if they need to buy back, earn back their toys, or forego their story times if they don't clean up.

    Thank you all for your ideas! I will keep you updated on this struggle!!

  7. Oh I am several posts behind reading your blog! When my now adult sons were kids, we had a Sunday Box. Anything that was found laying around throughout the week was put into the Sunday Box where it stayed until right before Church on Sunday morning. (because those dress shoes needed to be worn to church. LOL) I like the buy it back idea. My kids had to clean to get their stuff back. (after all, it was MY cleaning that got the stuff in there, so they had to pay me back.) There were times that items for school ended up in that box. The only way they could get it back early was for the child to write a note to their teacher explaining how/why they lost the item, apologize and promise to do their best at being more responsible with their school things. That note had to come back signed by the teacher.



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