Musical tidying up
Play their favourite music for a set amount of time – whoever’s done the most tidying when it ends gets a reward.
Buy clear plastic bins for toy storage and let your kids decorate them, ideally with a picture that represents what goes in each box, eg, a teddy for cuddly toys. The kids will be happy to use something they have ‘made’ and their friends can easily help too.
List tasks on a piece of paper, eg vacuuming the living room, emptying the rubbish, putting away clean clothes. Your child takes as many or as few as he wants. When the job’s done you sign the slip. At the end of the week or month, you pay a set amount for each task completed.
Put the toy box in the middle of the room and see who can score the most direct hits. (Non-breakable only!) Great fun and good for hand-eye co-ordination.
Beat the clock
Set a timer and see how many toys go in the box before the time is up. Can they do it faster and faster each time?
Time it right. Five minutes before ‘The Simpsons’, for example. The thought of missing their favourite show is too awful so tidying is swift and sweet.
Pass it on – sell your mess
Encourage the kids to chuck out things they no longer use with a cash incentive. Check out our Expert view: Beginner’s guide to eBay.