It is not always such a difficult task to keep the main areas where you know you spend most of your time on a daily basis, clean. However when it comes to the bedrooms it is a different story.
No matter how often the children’s rooms are tidied, they always seem to look messy only a short time later. They seem to have a habit of just throwing things on the floor or putting something on the cupboard hurriedly because they don’t want to miss out on what they are doing or what else maybe happening.
I know these little people of mine are quite capable of cleaning up and keeping the house tidy, so why can’t they keep their rooms tidy. I had to come up with a solution, one that was dedicated to the bedrooms only. I already have a roster of jobs for the children to do, so it lessens my work load. They are old enough to help out and I find the younger children are even more eager to help out than the older children. It also teaches them about helping others and team work.
Their current roster is for unpacking the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, setting and clearing the table after dinner, and during winter filling the wood box with firewood. During the summer months the wood chore is replaced with clearing the bench and wiping down the bench and table or whatever job needs doing.
now I needed to come up with a solution that wasn’t so much a roster of jobs for them to complete but a way for them to be enthusiastic about keeping their bedrooms tidy.
So this is what I came up with, it is called the StarBar Challenge. Calling it a challenge, makes it a bit of rivalry and competition between them. All kids love a challenge and love to win a race. At the end of this race though is a reward, a StarBar! This could be any chocolate bar or prize you would like it to be, some may choose to do a special outing etc. But it can only be for the ones in the room that have completed the challenge. So you may like to call it the Mars Bar challenge etc.
I like the sound of the Star Bar Challenge! It seems to give it more of a status about being a star than the actual chocolate bar being offered.
I run this challenge for 7 days and in this seven days they have to keep their room tidy every day. So nearing the end of the day, usually before or after dinner they tend to sneak off to their rooms and pick up papers, books, clothes any junk that may be laying around and their beds have to be neat.
Before bed time I go and inspect each room and give them a tick or a cross, and maybe an explanation of what needs to be fixed if a cross is given. This has saved me a lot of time and energy in asking the kids over and over again to clean their rooms. Less Stress!
On the right of the sheet I have bonus point chores which can be done to make up for a cross. These can easily be changed to whatever jobs would suit the age of your children. I am amazed at the positive reaction I have had from my children with this challenge and they all are so eager to keep their rooms clean or do the bonus point chores.
After the seven days the kids with the room that has the most ticks, they all get a Starbar.
One thing I would probably consider changing with this would be to have a different reward for each week, so it would make it a little bit more exciting. But for now this has been working for me. Why don’t you try out the Star Bar Challenge with your kids and let me know how it works, or doesn’t work. I would love to hear any ideas you may have.