What Parents With Kids Under 10 Need To Do With Toys
In one of my posts, I talked about how I stayed positive when the storm encroaches. I explained some of the things I do to stay motivated during moments that I am down. As a working mum with 2 kids, one of the stressful things I face is seeing the environment where the kids play dirty. Just like many mums, I feel upset when I see things not in their rightful places, especially toys. A little scolding here and there will not always help as it will repeat itself.
It’s not easy when your kids are below ten years of age. When the kids start coming, know it’s time to make some readjustments in your daily tasks. One of such is cleaning.
I paid a visit to a colleagues home and instantly noticed how difficult it is for her to keep the kids play area and her home tidy bearing in mind she has just one child. She told me “I always get the feeling you’ve got everything figured out because your home is always tidy and in order”. She asked me what I did for my home to always be tidy even with the presence of two kids under 10.
This is a common problem faced by mums all over the world unless they have a paid cleaner and nanny to support with the kids and some chores. For those with no nanny like myself, I wish to share with you some cleaning tips that I use in other to keep my home tidy.
Let the kids get involve in tidying up
They should be part of the cleaning. Humans in general learn to understand and do things the hard way. This does not keep toddlers aside. In the beginning, it may be a little difficult, but with consistency, success will be achieved.
Even at an early age, you need to teach a child how to pick up their toys or clean any mess they make. The earlier they start, the easier they will learn. It will also help them to learn new skills like following instructions. It may at the end become a game. I remember when I was in primary school, one of our best moments was when we had to go out of class and pick litters around the school campus. We usually sing beautiful songs as we go about tidying up.
Doing something similar with your kids will keep them not only busy but will also help them to become conscious of not making a mess around. This number one rule has worked well with our kids and they have stopped making a mess with their toys. Even when they do, they help to pick and put them away even without being told at times.
Reduce or minimise the decorations
Like bees get attracted to flowers, that’s how kids get attracted to beautiful decorations. They will want to pull it down ignorantly to enjoy the beauty, unlike the bees. There is always a mess when they get hold of this. At times it’s a broken vase, or water all around the floor from a fallen flower jar.
I make sure any decorative or sentimental items I display in the house is kept above arms reach for the kids. If you are a mum, you know very well that you can’t stop children from touching things in the house. You can’t teach them either on how to avoid touching things like candles, picture frames or coasters. These things placed within their reach will become attractive to the eyes. If you want a win-win situation, keep those decorations of yours above arms reach or reduce the number of decorations at home.
Schedule cleaning time
This may be the most difficult of all but worth practicing. I know some mums like me have to deal with office work and home affairs. However, scheduling daily cleanups means scheduling specific times during the day to pick up most especially their toys.
In the case your children have 2 naps a day, make sure before they go to bed, they, with your assistance pick up their toys and park before taking each nap. You can also schedule quick pickups before meals. And last but not the list, they should not go to bed without picking up all their toys.
If your kids hear their show comes on the TV, the tendency is to leave their toys where they are in a rush to watch their favorite TV programs. This is where the discipline comes. “You don’t pack-up your toys, no TV”. You don’t need to tell this to them all the time. A few times is enough and you will realise it being done without you calling on their attention. It’s not worth missing their favorite cartoons because of some toys that they can get back to playing with after watching TV. Kids are very clever and instinctive too. Do not minimize their intelligence.
Reduce the amount of toys
Reduce is the watch-word if you really want to reduce the time you spend in tidying up your home. The less toys your kids have, the lesser the time you will have to clean up. Don’t over indulge your children with toys. More toys can have some negative effects on them. It may over stimulate them. Very little toys too is an issue as kids learn alot through play. striking a good balance here is so important.
Limit toys in specific locations in the house
This has greatly helped me. Toys are restricted from the bedrooms in my home. So if you don’t want to pick up toys from every nook and cranny in the house, make sure you limit an area in the house where they can play with their toys. This has been one of my most successful methods and I will recommend every mum to try it out. If you have an office at home, make sure the doors are kept closed. Same with the bedrooms and bathrooms.
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This method also helps reduce the tantrums you will get when a toy is missing. Limiting where toys are used will help them easily find their toys where toys are allowed. The moment you hear a complain of a missing toy, you should already figure out where to find them.
There are many other methods you could use to reduce the mess around your home from toys. I practice the above 5 methods on a daily basis. What other cleaning tips do you use to keep your home tidy? Please share with us in the comment section.