Confession Time

In the comments of the previous post, my (younger) sister Leslie apologized for making me clean up our room when we were younger. But what she doesn’t remember (I think) is me making her clean up the room under the guise of playing games. So maybe I’m the one who owes her an apology! In order to cleanse my soul, I’ll share with everyone the games I tricked her into ‘playing.’

Red Light, Green Light: Basically, tell the kid to pick up as many toys as he/she can after you say ‘green light’ and before you say ‘red light.’ Pretty straightforward and you don’t even have to be paying much attention unless the kid is cleaning up something hazardous. Then again, you may want to rethink that or furnish some personal protection equipment. My boys are too old for this one now – they’ve got this trick figured out. And they’ve outgrown their haz-mat uniforms.

Pick up everything that’s purple (or pirates or cars or dinosaurs. . . you get the idea). This one still works for Matthew, and it kind of breaks the overwhelming task of cleaning down into a more manageable task. I use this one on myself to clean the house – say, every room that has a sink or just the upstairs or just the downstairs. Then I reward myself with some chocolate and forbid the children from entering the clean area of the house. This lasts approximately 30 seconds – long enough for Matthew to decide the clean area would make an excellent pirate-dinosaur battleground and then suddenly, there are skeletons and dinosaurs and pirate ships everywhere.

Anyway, I feel better now. Glad I got that off my chest! Sorry Leslie, for tricking you into cleaning the room, but after all, what are older siblings for?

P.S.: If anyone feels the need to share some of their games/ideas/tricks to get their kids to clean up — comments are open!


One Response

  1. I do remember the Red Light, Green Light game. It was a very creative way to trick me (or any kid) into cleaning up. I actually used the game when I taught preschool. Trust me, I will be using it with Grant in the near future. However, the “Clean Up” song works for him right now. Can I be naive and think that he will always be this excited about cleaning up?

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