If you want your kids to help clean up you should teach your kids to be ninjas! I discovered this trick when my sons were little. They had just discovered ninjas and were obsessed with wanting to watch ninja movies and make ninja stars out of paper.
One day, I walked into the living room and there was paper and toys all over the place. In frustration i said something about how my sons must not be ninjas because they left such a trail behind them. It became a game. My sons decided to see if they could be so stealthy that I couldn’t even tell what they were doing. They cleaned up every scrap as soon as they were done and there was no sign that they had been playing in there. I proudly told them that they knew how to play like ninjas!
After we adopted our daughters, that became one of our challenges for the kids. I would challenge them to pretend they were ninjas and remove all evidence of the dinner we just ate, or the game we just played.
The concept of cleaning like a ninja works so well that I think you should teach your kids to be ninjas! It motivates the kids to do a really thorough job cleaning up after themselves and it makes it a fun game for them. In our family we still clean up like ninjas. We use this as a challenge when we are doing a lot of jobs.
Good Times To Teach Your Kids To Be Ninjas:
- Play with your toys like a ninja – Challenging kids to play with their toys like ninjas is a fun way to get them to put their toys away. I like to make it a game. I told I would be coming into the room in a couple of minutes to guess what they had been doing. If I couldn’t guess by what was left out, they won and were real ninjas. My kids loved that.
- Party like ninjas – This started when my husband took my sons hunting and my daughters and I had out first Girl’s Party. (For more about our tradition of Girl’s Parties see my post here) We had so much fun that we didn’t want the boys to be jealous so we decided to party like ninjas. We cleaned up and put away all traces of our party so the boys would think we were just home bored while they were gone. The girls thought it was a fun game and it made cleaning up fast and enjoyable. Now we proudly party like ninjas every time we have a party at our house. As soon as the guests go home, we see how quickly we can remove all traces of our party. We like to imagine someone forgetting their coat and coming back to our house to be surprised that there is no sign of the party.
- Eat like ninjas – It drives me crazy when I come into the kitchen and I can immediately tell exactly what my kids have been eating and where they ate it because there are bags, plates, and crumbs all over the place. So I encouraged my kids to eat like ninjas from the time they were little. I would tell them that they could pic any snack from our snack cupboard as long as they ate it like a ninja, but if I could tell what they ate they would have to wait until dinner next time. They loved tricking mom but eating their snacks like ninjas.
There are a lot of other times to teach your kids to be ninjas. I always remind my kids to try to be ninja guests by cleaning up after themselves when they go to a friends house or a party. Turning a chore into a game is a great way to get kids to want to help. There is something exciting and mysterious about ninjas that kids really like, so why not teach your kids to be ninjas and make cleaning up fun?!