Today it’s my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Operation Clean Up Day by Jason Tucker. Thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Authoright for inviting me to be a part of the tour. I’ll be sharing Jason’s top tips for making chores fun for kids, as soon as we’ve taken a look at what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
This is the story of two very imaginative little boys and their resistance to cleaning up their toys…
Two little boys are about to go out for the day to the swimming pool as a treat. But before they can go, they must tidy up all their toys – which are all over the house – as requested by their Mummy. The boys consider this a mission! The boys attempt to clean up their toys in various parts of the house while making all sorts of excuses to Mummy to leave the toys where they are. The boys are easily side-tracked when attempting to clean up each room, as they find themselves playing with their toys again, their imaginations taking over. They find themselves driving trains, defending castles from ogres, climbing high mountains, flying spaceships, catching sea serpents and meeting prehistoric dinosaurs. All while trying to clean up their toys!
Written by Jason Tucker and stunningly illustrated by Nick Roberts, Operation Clean Up Day is a fantastic journey through the imagination of two children, who can turn a simple set of toys into an entire fantasy world, whilst teaching children the valuable lesson of tidying up their toys after playtime!
Top tips to make boring chores fun for children
Wow, children vs chores, this is always going to be a tough one, I have 3 small boys (6, 4 and 1 years old each) who can need some motivation at ‘chore’ time shall we say. We have developed some solutions to make this ordeal a little less painful. In my book ‘Operation Clean Up Day’ the Mother is constantly pushing the children to just ‘get on with it’, but these tips below may provide some further tips.
Tip 1 – Rewarding:
We have an awards chart on the kitchen wall at home, and our current ‘reward’ up for grabs is a day out at a water park. So basically we have these stickers and we reward on occasion for all sorts of chores carried out. Let’s say ‘writing practice’ is 2 stickers etc. The water park on this occasion will take 50 stickers total, so we try not to make this too easy to achieve, and once a chore or activity is done we do the whole ‘apply the sticker to the chart’ ceremony bit, and count the remaining stickers required. They can get a little excited about this one!!!
Tip 2 – Sing along:
We use this one especially when cleaning up toys – We’ll put some music on, I think it was’ Mary Poppins’ the other day and whizz round getting everything done, the singing is great as my middle child can be a little bit shy sometimes around the rest of us when singing or something similar to that. So when everyone is singing (and on this occasion tidying), I’ll catch my middle boy getting into the songs as well. You then see that a small piece of confidence is also getting built along the way.
Tip 3 – The Race, the winner:
This one is easy, it builds a little bit of competition if you have siblings too (but try not to build too much)… So for a simple example, when say laying the table…. You get this moving and get them prepared and then its ‘On You marks, get set… GO….’ Eventually someone wins and they are announced as the ‘Table Laying Winner’ – Simple but really effective.
Tip 4 – Counting game or Countdown:
In my book ‘Operation Clean Up Day’ the children were heading off to the pool anyway but could not leave until the toy clear up was done. So we have used this method before which isn’t exactly in the line of reward, but is for a type of chore which needs to be done quickly. Therefore we count down or use this cool little egg timer we have got which has this bell that goes off in 3mins, as I said this particular method is used for quick fix chores. So as an example we need to head out and go shopping, we’ve got just over x amount of mins to go and I want all my children at the door with shoes and socks on!…. Kids you’ve got 3 mins ‘go go go’ (almost like a Drill Instructor). The other method is everyone doing a ‘countdown’ from say 100… Which then helps with the whole numbers side of things as well
Tip 5 – Just like my Hero:
My last tip of the day is basically aligning what chore my child does, with how one of their heroes would also approach that chore also. OK, so my boys are into Power Rangers, who are the good guys especially the Red Ranger who is the leader. So when carrying out a chore, I would say’ How would the Red Ranger do that’ or on another approach ‘the Red Ranger would always do this’. My 2 eldest boys all do Martial Arts which they love, but practice time can be difficult so I need to motivate them into getting up and getting on with it, this is one method that works for me and subject to what chore it is, it brings a sense of imagination to the task which makes the whole process a little bit more fun on both sides for Parent and Child.
Those are just a few tips that work for us; as with everything it’s all about balance, so not just one tip on its own may work, but a combo of a few things could, anyway good luck and hope some of these are useful to you, and I hope you all enjoy my book.
Thanks Jason. I’m sure parents across the globe can identify with the pain of making kids enjoy tidying up! Operation Clean Up Day is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Born and raised in London, Jason Tucker is married and is a father of three young boys. He is enjoying an international working life basing himself between London and Dubai. This is his first published work with a number of other titles in the pipeline as well as working on a number of other ventures including TV, Film & graphic novels.
Do make sure to check out some of the other fab blogs taking part in the tour