How to get young kids to pick up their toys

To tidy in a way that is clear, preplanned, co-planned and defined, let’s use the easiest strategy I know: the family meeting. On a stress-free Saturday morning, for instance, call everyone to the table, floor or wherever you’d like. Then say something such as: “I’ve noticed there are a lot of toys out every night. I’m afraid I’ll step on them, break them or trip, and it’s safest if they’re put away. What do you think?” Then wait for your children to respond. This is an opportunity for them to be creative with their solutions — and for the family to come together to meet everyone’s expectations. It is more important for you to co-create small, clear and doable solutions than it is for you to conquer big, sweeping, generalized ideas. For example: “All wooden blocks go in these two baskets,” rather than, “Put all the toys away.”

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