Tidying up After Kids
We're always happy when our kids are involved in a fun, exciting activity, but maybe we're less excited afterwards, when faced with the tidying up. Being a parent often means having to tackle a load of clothing stains, broken toys, messy playrooms, and even terrorised furniture. Thankfully, there are loads of helpful online resources with great tips on tidying up. But to get you started, here are some of the main ways you can restore order to your home after your kids' playtime:
Tackle clothing and other fabric stains â Arts and crafts, outdoor sports, cooking and baking â these are all great activities to keep our children engaged. But they often result in spilled paint, smeared cake batter, grass stains and mud stains â all over your childrens' clothing! With websites like the one listed above, you can quickly find out how to get rid of all manner of stains, on all manner of fabrics. Just remember that most stains will be much easier to remove the sooner you act on them. (With the exception of mud: let the mud dry first, as it's much easier to scrape off when dry.) So don't wait until later, pre-treat any stain once you find it. And if your hands are too full with the kids, at least apply a good commercial stain remover, laundry liquid, or even dish soap, as soon as you can. Bear in mind that fabric stains aren't limited to clothing: curtains, carpets, upholstered furniture â all these can fall victim to a messy playtime, too! But all these items can be easily de-stained if you act quickly.
Get your kids involved in the tidying up â It'll be much easier if you have several sets of hands putting away toys and clothes. And it's never too early to teach your kids tidy habits to last a lifetime. So have your children play their part in cleaning up after themselves. You can even make this part of the play activities by turning it into a fun game: who can put away their toys the fastest? Who can identify the stained clothing? Establish a reward system for best tidying job, or play music to keep it fun. Whatever you do, teach your kids to be responsible and patient in cleaning up their messes, and you'll be teaching them a valuable lesson for life.
Check the play area and equipment â It's important to give the play area and equipment a quick once-over to make sure that nothing is broken or out of sorts. Broken toys or play equipment can lead to injury later on, so remove them from action until they can be mended. Sports kit and even dolls and soft toys can easily pick up dirt if they've been used outside. Especially filthy toys or equipment should be soaked in warm soapy water to remove any mud or other stains.
Be prepared when on holiday â Kids can be even more active on holiday, so keep the same attitude when away from your own home. Whether you're on an all-inclusive resort package or a DIY glamping trip, stay prepared by bringing a good commercial stain remover and maybe even super-glue and a sewing kit, in case there are any breakages or rips when on holiday. If it's a day at the beach or a picnic in the woods, your kids can still help tidy up, minimising the clean-up time for everyone, and maximising the leisure time.
In my previous job as a nursery manager I attended courses for child protection and health and safety. No amount of theory can prepare you for having your own children or looking after others, but it does help!
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