Any early childhood education expert knows that the best way to get children to clean up a mess is to make it to make is as fun as possible, whether by singing songs or turning it into a game. For example, even small children can lend a helping hand when directed to pick up the objects shaped like circles (plates) and squares (napkins). Also, try assigning specific tasks, like throwing away disposable napkins or putting condiments back in the fridge, to give each child a sense of responsibility and achievement. Older children can assist adults as they clear the table, load the dishwasher and package leftovers for guests. If all else fails, bring out the big guns: Withhold dessert until the kitchen and dining area are spotless. This time-honored tactic is sure to produce a cleaning frenzy that will make even the most skeptical parent's head spin.
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- "Clean Up Game." A to Z Teacher Stuff. (Sept. 10, 2009). http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/pages/1737.shtml
- Crouthamel, Michelle. Personal interview conducted by Alia Hoyt. Aug. 25, 2009.
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- Williams, Julie. "Games for the Grocery Store." Education.com. (Sept. 10, 2009). http://www.education.com/activity/article/grocerystore_kindergarten/
If you're planning on deep-frying your turkey for Thanksgiving, HowStuffWorks Now recommends reading this first.