Little kids are much like cats — zealous in their simple pursuits. (And they’ll always play in the toilet if given the opportunity, but that’s a different story.) If you’re a parent, why not have their natural tendencies work for the greater good?
Reddit user Manodactyl was tired of tired of making his two- and four-year-old daughters clean up by “yelling and running around pointing out each individual item in the floor”. Sound familiar?
Then one day, he remembered how much fun it was to wield a laser pointer around the house and watch the kids chase the red dot, pretending it’s a bug.
So he came up with a new plan. He explains in Reddit’s Parenting community:
I went and got the ‘bug’ and sat on the couch and had them chase the ‘bug’ around the living room. Anytime the ‘bug’ hid under something on the floor, they had to pick it up and put it away. If they didn’t remember where something went, the ‘bug’ would run over and show them.
Got the whole living room picked up, without me getting up from the couch, yelling, or having someone start crying. I’ll mark this one down as a win! The ‘bug’ just might be making many more appearances when it’s time to clean up.
Fun! Some words of caution if want to try this at home: Only use a class one laser, which is considered safe. And never point the thing into a kid’s eye.
I’m all about gamifying hard things, especially chores. It’s best to have a whole arsenal of options — you never know when your child will stop, look at the bug, figure it all out, and say, “Hey, wait a minute ...”