My poor kids have cleaned the toy room two too many times this summer. Yes, they are the ones that messed it up, but I still feel bad that they spend as much time as they do picking up. It's summer!
Part of the problem is that they are cleaning up toys - fun, way cool, easy to operate toys. The draw to stop cleaning and play is so strong their eyes glass over.
Sometimes, I try to make it a race with a reward at the end. For example, if they beat the timer they get a cookie. Sometimes, I just tell them to get it done. Sometimes, I help and we all stay miraculously on task.
Since I was busy today, I needed a race. Instead of the same old beeping timer I gave them each a piece of gum and told them they had to get the room picked up before their gum lost its flavor. The one rule was that they couldn't spit it out until they were done. They loved it. In fact, it worked so well with my Rub (4) that he rushed through not stopping once. He hates yucky gum!
Now I wonder what else I can get done...