When my older daughter (Sunna) was around 4.5 years old and didn’t want to clean her room because she didn’t know where to start so I set up a simple visual “game” around it…like a simple Kanban board.
There were post-it notes for every kind of stuff that needed to be put in place. For example all teddy bears and then that post-it also had a picture of a teddy bear since she couldn’t read. All the tickets where then put on her closed and that was the ToDo list she could work on.
Also we had a cartoon face for her and when she started cleaning something she would first put her face on that post-it note (pulling from the list). This was her WIP, only one task at a time since she only had one face. When all the things on that post-it were cleaned up she’d move the ticked to the other side of the closet where the completed tasks piled up and she was quite happy when finished with her accomplishment of cleaning the room all by herself.
A couple of years later she came to me and said “Daddy can you create cleanup stickies for me to clean up my room”.
I was thrilled that she remembered this activity and wanted to do it again. I was more than happy to create new post-it notes even though it took me more time to create them than to clean up her room.
This time she got her younger sister in on it and when she dropped out she even got me on her cleaning team =)
The task of cleaning your room isn’t really much fun…or even very clear when your a kid. But this simple “game” around it really changes the way you look at it. The kids can see what has to be done and that they can do it themselves…plus it’s fun and rewarding to move things on a visual board into the Done column.
Do this with your kids…not only do they learn to clean up their room, they also learn very fundamental way of breaking large tasks into smaller ones and see how they can resolve complex problems in small steps.
Start by creating faces for the whole family and then set up a simple visual wall with ToDo’s and get something fun going around it =)