Penny Pick UP
For every item that the kids pick up and put away, they get a penny. Every item...even if it is LEGO. Once they have earned their pennies, they can buy things from the mom store (10 pennies for one candy, 1 penny for a chocolate chip, 20 pennies for a small container of playdough...you get the idea..whatever works for you...).
My kids all want to participate in this game, and they are 7, 5 and 1.
You can adjust this game to fit your needs...need laundry put away, one penny for each piece put in the right spot!
The purpose is to get the kids to enjoy cleaning up, and have some fun, but if you can throw in learning a few basic math skills, all the better, right?
Here are some other ways to get the kids involved in cleanup found at BabyCenter.com
1. Whistle while you work
Snow White's dwarfs had the right idea: My 3-year-old loves to sing the Barney cleanup song or make up tunes to go along with the task at hand. Singing really makes our jobs go faster. — April, mother of one going on two
2. Clean sweep
Here's a fun way to keep hardwood floors free of dust bunnies: My 4-year-old daughter and I put dry, dusting mitts on our feet and skate around the house. — Julie, mother of a 2-year old
3. Scavenger hunt
My son loves to help me clear the clutter around the house when I turn it into a seeking game. For instance, I'll ask him to find everything on the floor that has wheels on it in five minutes and have him put it in the appropriate storage basket. Or we'll go around the house on a dirty dish hunt. — Susan, mother of a 3-year-old
4. Mini me
My kids love to use miniature brooms, mops, and snow shovels to work alongside my husband and me. They have so much fun and we get such a kick out of watching them in action. — Jenn, mother of two
5. Beat the clock
I get my boys excited to pitch in by challenging them to the "ten minute tidy." I set a timer, and we race around the house picking up as much as we can before the buzzer goes off. My kids have so much fun that they don't even realize they're cleaning. — Melissa, mother of two
6. A clean house is in the stars
My son used to hate picking up his toys until we started the "star system." I bought colorful, star-shaped stickers and listed his responsibilities in a notebook. Now he gets a star for every task he accomplishes and exchanges them for ice cream, sweets, little toys, or stickers when we go grocery shopping. — Pauline, mother of a 4-year-old
7. Crank up the tunes and dance
My daughter and I play music and dance around while we're picking up toys and doing other housework. It's a great bonding time and we have so much fun that the chores whiz by. Plus, it's a great workout! — Elizabeth, mother of a 5-year-old