Here are 8 suggestions for making pack away time a whole lot more fun at your place;
1. Start young but have flexible expectations. I think it is good that children get into the habit of helping to pack away and clean up but we also need to consider variables like their age, the time of day (ie. are they overtired or hungry), what else is going on at the time. Be consistent but realistic.
2. Pack away with them. Young children are more likely to join in if you are doing it as well. Divide the chores between you, “Why don’t you put the blocks into the box and I will do the animals?”
3. When playing with them, observe times that they move from one activity to another and use these as teachable moments, “I will come and play with the blocks too but I am just going to pop the book back away in the basket first.”
4. Make pack away time fun by singing a song or playing music as you tidy up.
5. Build routine tidy up times into your day. For example, before lunch and dinner have a five minute tidy up together.
6. Use a timer. Setting the timer for 3 minutes and seeing how much get’s packed away makes it into a game for preschoolers.
7. Have familiar, clearly identifiable places for belongings to go – books, toys, dress ups, art materials.
8. Have a workable system for those projects which can’t yet be packed away, such as those suggested in my previous post, ‘The Case for NOT Packing Away.”