Picking up Toys. Yuck! This is one of those hard things. Little Mary is the main culprit in taking out all the toys and arranging them like this every day. Babycakes helps her, but she just goes along with Mary. Mary likes to take a little of every container and make her own stuff. Take a little from every container and fill it in purses, houses and her bed. (under the covers) Behind the couches, under the tables.
So when clean up time comes, usually before we leave to go somewhere or for sure every night before bed, she disappears and we are left to pick up. We try to get her to pick up, but she really only helps with a few items and somehow disappears. Oh, we call her back and make her come, but not without tears and screaming. The big kids are the ones who end up picking up the majority of it all. I feel kind of guilty for this, but at the same time, when they were her age, they did the same thing, so what goes around, comes around. Last night we did "everyone helps" This worked pretty good, but it took 4 of us (Babycakes doesn't count, she takes out as we put away) 20 minutes to clean up! My perfectionism just can't let me leave it alone. I want them to clean up, to have the fresh start in the morning. I need it cleaned up, so when they go to bed, I have that feeling of some organization.
This past year, during dance class, I met another mother who had the kids pick up after school (she was not a homeschooler) so the mess was only cleaned up for a few minutes before they played and then it was messy from the time they played until the next day at 3pm when they cleaned up and then played again. (messing it up) Now, this just did not make any sense to me. Why would you clean up and only have it clean for a few minutes? It got me thinking though. How do people clean up toys in other families? I thought most people do what we do. I do know lots of people who never clean up though, I guess, their toyrooms are always a mess, nothing goes together, nothing on shelves. I, personally could not live like that. It would drive me crazy.
We never had a toyroom until we moved here last fall. We had toys wall to wall in every room, our living room was the toyroom. Now we have a toyroom, and you can see Mary is gradually going through those glass doors into the living room to make her house. She takes out all the blankets and sets up everything on the couches and behind the couches and under the side table. Then she will take all our board books and lay them all out accross the floor, kind of like the yellow brick road. Fun, imaginative, yes, but a LOT to pick up!
How do you pick up toys? When do you pick up toys? How can I make it fun? We have tried the clean up music..."I like to move it, move it" That's a great one! Is it fair to make the older kids help with what they did not take out? If I don't, I end up picking up most of it "teaching" the little ones. What do you do?