The Tidy Up Game

I don’t know if it was just my big sister who was this mean, or if it’s something which is done in every house across the world…

When I was little, my big sister “L” used to look after me & my other sister, “D” in the school holidays. She would receive payment for the childcare, but in return, she had a list of jobs she had to complete
each day.

Every day without fail, she would make me & D play the tidy up game. (She called it a game, but it really was not)!

The rules were: Me & D both had to do a job & whoever did it the fastest was the “winner”. Jobs involved hoovering, polishing, washing the dishes, drying & putting away the dishes, making the beds, hoovering the stairs, cleaning the bathroom…. etc. It is worth mentioning at this point that L was 16, D was 11 & I was 8 ish while the “game” was being played.

Now I am sure my elder sister’s intentions were to get her chores done by someone else, but what actually happened was she spent the whole Summer listening to me & D moan about the tidy up game. Had she
bothered to offer us prizes for our victories, or even rolled up her sleeves & helped out once in a while, we may not have moaned quite so much. If we refused to play, she would hide the TV remote so we
couldn’t watch cartoons, or hide our favourite toys & make it part of the “game” be to find them while we cleaned. (This was perhaps a genius idea, I have to admit).

Fast Forward 20 years and now I am 28, I have a 9 month old son & another baby on the way. L is now 36 & we were laughing this week about the tidy up game. She swears blind it was her greatest achievement to date. We were discussing the pro’s & cons of the tidy up game & whether or not I’d be “playing” with the kids in a few years’ time. My answer was a strong “NO WAY.”

I have no idea how I plan on making chores fun, but the “Tidy Up Game” definitely does not fit the bill! Perhaps I’ll make chores fun by hiding treats in places the kids have to tidy? (If I hide a new football under Sam’s bed when he has to clean his bedroom, he will only find it if he does a decent job?!)

Or maybe Robyn will have to put the rubbish out & will find a new skipping rope tied to the bin outside?

I think in reality, rather than making each chore fun, I’d reward the kids for completing them with some sort of chart? 1 star for each chore completed & a gift to the value of £xx for 10 stars, or let them
roll over for more expensive things? My reason for this: I think it is important for kids to realise that not everything in life is fun, but completing these boring tasks can still be rewarding.

I am linking this post up to the Tots100 Morphy Richards Innovators linky.

This is not a sponsored post.

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