Something else is changing for us today, though, and it involves the kids' toys. The playroom has always been somewhat of a wreck at the end of the day, but recently the kids decided it would be fun to start systematically emptying all of the toy boxes and scattering their contents about the playroom. As a result, Ted and I do nothing but trip over the discarded toys all day, and then we're stuck cleaning up this disaster area after the kids go to bed:
|(Click to enlarge)|
The way we figure it, the solution to this mess is twofold. First, we have decided to make half of the kids' toys "disappear" into a closet for the time being. After the kids get bored with what we've left in the playroom, we'll make those toys disappear and rotate the other group of toys back into service (until the kids get tired of them, and then we'll repeat the cycle). We are hoping that this will help the kids to better appreciate all of the wonderful gifts and hand-me-downs that our family has been blessed to receive up to this point and keep the playroom from looking like it was hit by an F5 tornado.
Secondly, we want to start training the kids to pick up their toys before they go to bed. Last night, when we asked them to help us put away their toys for the first time, reactions were mixed: Although the boys totally ignored us, we did get some half-hearted assistance from the girls. Unfortunately, however, none of the kids seem to grasp the concept of leaving the toys alone once they're back in the toy boxes. Anyone have any good ideas on how to teach kids this age to put away their toys—and then leave them there?