Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Clean-up Game, and Many Thanks

      Recently, we enjoyed visiting with good friends - an evening of nine kids running around, fellowship and fun. At the end of the visit, the room was strewn with matchbox cars and trains (not an unusual state, actually). Tom, the dad, taught us the "game" he'd been using with his kids to make cleaning up quick and fun. We've since tried it twice after busy mornings, when the house was strewn with not just toys, but books, curriculum, and clothes (where do they come from - especially the socks???). It gets the job done so beautifully that I had to share!

       Here's how it went. I set the timer for two minutes, and each child had to scurry about as quickly as possible, picking things up, putting them where they belonged, and keeping count of the number of items they'd cleaned. I had to be very clear that the items were to be put in their proper places - not on the hearth or coffee tables or counters - in order to count. At the end of two minutes, each child gave me their total, and the child who'd put away the most items was now excused from the game. The timer was set for another two minutes, and at the end of that time, the next child with the winning total was excused. Another two minutes of cleaning followed, and the last guy left had the timer set for just one more minute, to finish the job. I kept myself busy during this time too, and it was amazing to see, at the end of 7 minutes, just how much we'd gotten done!

      It was so much nicer to do our afternoon reading in a clean living room - could it have attracted the hummingbird spotted outside the bay window as we read, or the sparrows scolding there a bit later? Perhaps not, but still, the game is a keeper.

      I'm off to bake for a picnic. How blessed we are to have the kinds of freedoms we do, to enjoy this Memorial Day weekend and worship as we see fit. My thoughts and prayers are with those mourning loved ones who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and with those who are serving now.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
John 15:13

Thank you doesn't seem like enough.

Trusting in Him,


  1. Thanks for sharing. I'm definitely going to try the cleaning game!

  2. Nancy, hope it works well for you too! I'm amazed with the results of doing this every mid-day.