The Zebra Box

The Zebra Box

Hello and happy Friday! This week I’m excited about sharing something wonderful that’s been happening in our house. I hope that it might be of some service to you as well!

My kids hate to clean, which is fine–a lot of people don’t like to clean (myself included), and they’re both still very young. Nonetheless, it’s important that they learn to clean up after themselves. We ask them regularly to tidy up once they’re done playing, but they are oftentimes so busy having fun that my pleas go unnoticed.

One evening, after a particularly hectic day, I sat down on the bed and looked at the bedroom. Our girls sleep in our bed, but have two toddler beds as their own personal spaces. Clothes and toys littered the floor. As I was cleaning up the mess I had a multipurpose idea: what if someone left them each a small box to entertain them when they first woke up? I could wake up more leisurely and get dressed without hearing “mommy, pick me up,” and they would be happy. Perhaps the condition under which this occurs is that the floor is clean enough to walk through.

The first morning when we woke up I told them that on the way to bed I met a zebra that told me he’d like to do this for them, but it had been very hard for him to get into the room with so much stuff everywhere. If they kept it clean enough then he would make sure that they had new items in the box every morning. The box is very simple: a few quiet, low key items such as a book, a stuffed animal, and some blocks or figurines.

To my surprise, it’s working! Tonight before bed it was extremely messy in the living room, so daddy asked them to please pick up so that the zebra could fit through the living room, and to both of our astonishment they both tidied up the entire floor (while singing “Tidy Up” from Little Baby Bum).

The stray necklace came later.

My two and a half year old excitedly jumps out of bed to see what’s in her box! What other creative ways do you get your kids to help out? I’d love tips and new ideas!

 

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