FLYing with Preschoolers

“I have been flying since the beginning of February. My 2 year old still talks about the Flyladies & Flybabies we had coffee with at the Flyfest! She has her own feather duster, but loves to steal my big one & use it! I have washed, folded & put every ounce of laundry away for 7 weeks! Little did I know that my DD would love to “help” with laundry. Every time she sees the laundry basket, she yells “I help”. She & I sit on the living room floor & “fold” the clothes, then she gets a ride in the basket to the stairs. Since I’ve been keeping the floors clean with my weekly house blessing, her socks have stayed much cleaner too! I love walking into my house each afternoon without tripping over clutter. I also seem to have more time to play with DD, instead of saying Mommy’s busy cleaning. It’s a miracle, the house is cleaner & yet I’m “cleaning” less!” – Flybabies in NJ

Using a Timer, breaking it into Baby Steps

1. I have been flying since the fall and things are falling into place. I thought I was marching along very nicely until I actually considered the meaning of FLY. Loving comes naturally for me as I have two girls, both under 4 years old. But loving ME, well that was what was missing. Sure I could work and work and work. Do the zones, the missions and the routines, but with the two little ones, I completely missed the boat on taking breaks and pampering. My ‘breaks’ were time to focus on the girls, not on me. Burn out city and no balance. The solution of course was a baby step and a timer. My watch has a timer and when my break time arrived, my timer when on. The girls knew it was mommy time until the alarm went off and eventually, astonishingly, they have come to (mostly) respect that space of time as mine. If I am playing with them, it’s because I choose to, not out of guilt, not grudgingly, but because it is what I love to do. No more whining parties and screaming matches, and now they help -me- bless the house, cope with laundry and hunt down dust bunnies. We three are a team instead of fighting and complaining. – Thank you with puddles from Flybaby in NJ

2. I have a 5 year old who loves the Fly lady concepts. They fit her to a tee, because she is so much like a SHE. She would prefer to play, rather than clean; must take constant breaks; gets distracted very easily; etc. However, if I set a timer for 5 minutes and ask her to make her bed, it is wonderful! She does a great job. You’d never know it otherwise. Any job is too big unless it’s broken down into manageable steps. She actually loves to clean, when it is presented in the proper way. Otherwise, she cries and feels overwhelmed. I can relate! – in MN

3. To make clean up more fun for my 3 ½ year old daughter and I, we play “Beat the Beep” with the timer. We both like racing against the timer and we cheer each other on as we do. She can have her toys picked up in record time this way. Whenever I am cleaning windows or doors, I give her a paper towel with a little squirt of windex so she can help. She also loves getting out her toy broom, mop and vacuum and helping me that way as well.

4. My 4 year old son is never hungry for dinner. But we no longer argue about it or even talk about his dinner. I set the timer for 15 minutes. That is dinner time, you must be at the table whether you eat or not. Funny thing is, while we are talking about anything else except food, he eats!

5. I find that the 15 minutes can apply to my preschoolers as much as it can apply to them. If I just sit down with them and give them attention for a few minutes, they are content to go on playing on their own while I do other work. Everyone needs to validated. They need to know that they matter to us, and that they fit into our “to do list”.

6. My timer has helped me keep my sanity many-a days. I use the timer not only for moving on to my next task, but also to allocate time to play with my girls. They understand that when the timer beeps it time for Mommy to ‘do some of her work’ and when the timer beeps again I will be back to play. It keeps me from being ‘the bad guy’ for leaving the play session. Of course the timer helps in other situations to, from time-outs, to sharing computer time. Unfortunately the girls are starting to realize that my work time tends to be a bit longer than the play time…..LOL Flybaby in CT

7. I am a SAHM with DD2 and DD3. I am trying to use the timer with them as well- 15 minutes of pre-reading activities, 15 minutes of playdough, 15 minutes of dancing, etc. This makes certain that I am doing this activities with them. I am also using the timer to make sure that my older DD is taking her nap. She sets the timer for 2 hours (that is what she needs) and then she can get out of bed when she hears the beep- usually, I have to wake her up because she wants to sleep more! – FLYbaby in S Cal

8. I had already been wondering about sending you this idea, just because it sounds so much like you. Years ago, when I had 5 children 6 and under, somewhere I heard the idea of giving out mini assignments when there was a big job of cleaning to do that the little ones needed to learn to help with. So I started by having my kids do a “5 Point Pick-up”. It was not as overwhelming to them as telling them to go clean up their whole room. They only went and found 5 items to put in their place.With 5 children that meant 25 items were put away in a short time.This would be very encouraging to them and sometimes we would do another round. As they got older we usually did 10 point pick-ups. We still do this and my oldest is almost 12. I can still see a difference in their attitudes when I use this to show them the job is not as big as it looks. I also learned to use my timer in the same way you do. Children go clean your room, closet, etc. for 15 minutes. I wish I knew who to give credit for the ideas,because they are such good ones, but I just can’t remember. Thanks for reminding me of some great tools in so many areas that I had forgotten in the midst of a lot of changes in our lives. Sincerely, A Homeschooling Flybaby

Surprise

I have been told these tips are so helpful and enjoyable, that it is too easy to become sidetracked while reading them (we are SHEs afterall). Before you know it, several hours have gone by and you feel like you have not accomplished anything. Time for a Surprise! Diaper bag fling! Before you read any further, go grab your diaper bag, toddler backpack (or whatever you use to transport those diapers, bottles, kid snacks, cardboard books, towelettes, crackers, small toys, etc.) and completely dump it. Give it quick wipe, inside and out, and then put back ONLY the things you or toddler actually use. Go! Go! Go! Let me know what weird items you find inside (if it is soiled, I don’t want to know about it LOL). Send your email to FlyCrew@flylady.net and put “I did it – bag” in the subject line.

Routines, Routines, Routines

“Routines, Routines, Routines! My morning routine keeps the family on track and knowing what to expect (and even excited about helping!) and ds’s bedtime routine ensures a good night’s rest for the whole family with less whining the next day.” – Flybaby starting to FLY in Iowa.

9. My 3 year old daughter has her own evening and morning routines. Her established nighttime routine includes picking up her toys and laying out her clothes for the following day. On a night when we forgot to lay out her clothes, she reminded me that she couldn’t go to bed until she pick out an outfit!! She knows that it’s the routine! She also knows that she can’t go downstairs until she is dressed and her bed is made (with a little help from Mom or Dad). It’s about routines on her level.

10. I have a DD who is two years old. A few things I do daily are: set out her clothes during my before-bed routine, I wash her sippy cups and make her drinks for the day as part of my morning routine, and we have a nightly routine that consists of room-rescuing the family room, reading, brushing teeth, read one story in her room, then bed. When I come downstairs from putting her to bed I have a nice clean family room! FlyBaby in Massachusetts

11. When I started flylady my morning routine included making my bed. Over time I added making my children’s beds to set the example. I told them we had new rules and now we make the beds in the mornings. I made their beds for them every morning for several weeks…maybe a month. One day I told them they were big boys now (5 & 3) and they could make their own bed. They weren’t excited, but they knew I was willing to do it and they were used to having a made bed. I checked the bed every morning for awhile and gently reminded them that we don’t have breakfast until we make our beds if I had any resistance. Nine months into flylady and they have a wonderful habit that makes us all smile! Who would have thought? Flying in GA

12. My almost 2 year old actually fly’s with me.  He picks up his blocks and toys and puts them where they belong all I have to do is ask, he sweeps the floor with momma and his bwoom, he puts his clothes in the clothes basket, throws away anything I hand him and ask him to throw away. All of this I didn’t “teach” him. He learned from example. I never realized what he was capable of until I saw him at daycare putting away his toy’s when I came to pick him up. ( he goes to an awsome loving christian daycare) He is already BO at age 2. He organizes his toys, stacks his blocks on their shelves and so on. Definitely didn’t get this from his mom. He even folds up his notebook he colors in and places his crayon on top when he is finished. It is amazing to me. Here are some tips for Working SHE’S with toddlers. The baby step nightly routine is a lifesaver, even if you don’t do it for yourself do it for your toddler. I lay out his clothes, down to socks, shoes and diapers the night before, set out his sippy cup, pack his bag (extra diapers, clothes, snack (just in case we have to run errands or have doctors appts after I pick him up, it saves you from crying babies at offices and grocery stores) he also has asthma so I pack his nebulizer with meds and instructions for his caregiver. I place all of his bags by the door to grab on the way out in the morning. His clothes are on his dresser ready to go. And if I am flying high….the bags make it to the car the night before so that all I have to load is him. It saves time and sanity and gives me time to snuggle in the mornings with my sweet baby (aren’t they the sweetest when they first wake up). And makes for a happy toddler and momma for the day. When I don’t do my night routine the mornings are stressed and hectic and both of us are grumpy and gripey. And there is crying and holding on at daycare. On the mornings we fly…..there are kisses and hugs and smiles when I drop him off. What a big reward. Flying in Alabama

13. I am a WAHM with a 4YO DS, who also has ADHD. Before I started FLYing last year, I had constant battles with keeping him focused on basic tasks, including getting ready in the morning and for bed time. But once I got my routines down, I set up some basic routines for him as well. It’s become fairly automatic now most of the time.
Morning Routine:

Make bed
Get dressed
Have breakfast
Brush teeth
home school lesson

Evening Routine (starts after dinner):

lay out clothes
bath
put on pajamas
pick up toys
story time
before bed snack (usually fruit or veggies)

We do the weekly home blessing together. He cleans windows and dusts (he loves my feather duster). At first, I thought at 3YO he was way too young to help, but he loves it. He loves my timer so much that I may have to get him his own soon, so that we will no longer fight over it. LOL We are still working on the concept that, as soon as you finish with something (i.e. toys or books) put it away, but I think Mom is still working at it too. LOL

14. I used to go straight from dinner to my darling 2-year-old son’s bedtime routine (which, as any parent of a two-year-old knows, can be a bit, shall we say, challenging–LOL). After he was in bed, I would come back to a giant messy kitchen, with dishes still on the table, food-covered high chair, etc. Just looking at it all made me tired.But no more! I learned from Flylady to Do It Now. After dinner I pull up a chair to the sink, get the water going and let my son play with a measuring cup and whatever dishes I put in there from dinner. He loves playing with the water, so I have time to put away food, wipe down surfaces, etc. Then I stand next to him and take dishwasher items out and put them in dishwasher. Last, I wash the pots and pans — again, right next to him — and I let him move the faucet around to rinse them off. Then I dry and ask him where each dried item goes. It’s a game for us.This all works because I am strict about the “keep the water in the sink” rule–if any water gets splashed out, on purpose or by accident, then I gently but firmly declare sink time over. My son is now very careful to keep the water in the sink. :-) And now when bedtime is done, I am done for the day. What a treat! Flybaby in Virginia

15. For my “special needs” preschooler- routine is so important! I recently add dressed- TO THE SHOES in his getting dressed routine so he’s ready when the bus comes to pick him up. Because he is already reading, I also created his own series of laminated cards “J. Can Do” that lists his “school morning”, “school afternoon” and “school evening” routines (as well as cards for the same three on non school days. It seems to help. I can ask him to check his card to see if he has done everything. I also give him a 15 minute “room mission” each afternoon to help him in keeping his room tidy  - FlyBaby in Utah

16. In the evening, I lay out the children’s clothes, pack the diaper bag with anything I might need for the next day’s outing, I prepare the snacks and sippee cups**(this step is a huge help!), and put it all by the door, ready to go in the morning. Sometimes, I ask my DH to run it all out to the car that night…saves a bunch of effort and running around in the morning!

17. To help with putting my 4 and 1 year old DD’s, I dress them for bed BEFORE I cook dinner. I am too tired after dinner to get them ready for bed. I was putting them to bed late because I just couldn’t get up the energy to get them changed after dinner. I am mush by 8pm. This way, the kids get to bed on time, and they don’t fight as much to go if they are already in their pajamas. This leaves me with just enough energy to finish my evening routine and to relax with my DH. – in Deptford, NJ

18. Children crave structure. It makes them feel stable and safe. This is where routines come in. With my son, to begin with, I was VERY lienient. He never had a bedtime, which meant he would stay up till 1 in the morning and sleep in till 1 in the afternoon, which messed up our meals schedule, along with everything else. So first we made a bedtime routine. Because he couldn’t read (just turned 2 yrs old) we made a routine w/ pictures. We started small with brush teeth, bath, read book, and sleep. Once that was down, we added MORNING routine. VERY small. Wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed. Once that was down we added a time to start in the morning, which in turn made him tired earlier at night. He now (3 1/2) has a bedtime, and a wake time that we both like and a routine for both. I also inform him 1 hour prior to “bedtime” (when we start his routine) so if there was anything he wanted to do that he hadn’t done yet that day (ie. specific books he wanted read, block towers he wanted to build, etc) he can get it done, and he has no reason or excuses to not be ready when it’s bedtime.As far as cleaning goes, parents are their childrens role models. They truly do want to be like mom and dad, and learn by example. However at this age, they don’t always understand what they see, hear, and feel, but they want to. If you want to get your children at this age involved you have to explain, and show them what you mean in a way that they understand, and be sure to include why (The reasons I give my son is so grandma won’t fall down and get hurt {my mother lives with us} and so his toys won’t get broken {because he knows if it’s broken, it goes in the garbage}). With my son, I would say pick up your toys. He would pick up any that he thought he wasn’t playing with at that time. Which consisted of maybe 2 or 3 toys, which left ALL his cars and trucks, and ALL his dinosaurs, ALL his animals, and ALL his blocks everytime. So, I showed him what I meant when I said “pick up your toys” and he hasn’t had any major problems since. Also baby steps are very important right now, just like they are for adults, and then some. They have the added dificulty of not being able to focus on one thing for any long periods of time. So I don’t get upset when he stops to watch some teletubbies, or calliou when he’s supposed to be cleaning, I just gently remind him after a little while that he has to pick up some more toys and then he can continue watching. Also, just like us SHE’s cleaning can be a daunting task sometimes, and he wants mom to “help.” I have learned that when he says this, he is actually asking me to spend a little extra time with him. When these times come around, I jump at the chance. The only invovment that I really need to do at that point is pick the toys up off the floor. He takes them out of my hand and puts them away himself. Last but deffinately not least, is shopping. Jonathan ALWAYS comes with me when I go shopping. I always bring toys with for him to play with, and a snack to munch on while we are shopping. Usually a few cars, or a few diosaurs, or mixture of the 2 and a package of fruit snacks, or some crackers in a baggiework wonders. I also let him help pick out what we buy whenever I can. (ie what kind of of fruit and veggies in general we get that week, as he LOVES them both and eats those as snacks through out the day. Also the more specific Which kind of apples? Which color of grapes? Snacks are his choice which usually include mixed nuts, chex mix, oyster or cheese crackers, fruit snacks, ice cream, etc. Also any food that is bought for him specifically. His yogurt, his juice, etc.) Now that he’s old enough to walk through the store if he wants to, I give him a choice between walking and riding. If he picks walkings, he’s usually riding by the end of the time, but he likes walking in front of the cart, holding onto it with one hand, and getting to put stuff in the cart. We also play games while we’re in the store. Color games, shape games, number games are all easy and entertaining. At the end of the trip if he has been well behaved he gets a “treat” usually one of the following… a new hot wheels car, or a dinosaur from the store itself or, a sticker for his toy box, a bouncy ball, or another 25 or 50 cent toy from the machines out front, or a ride on the rides in front of the store. Shopping with a toddler or preschooler doesn’t have to be, nor should it be a nightmare. It’s always a pleasurable trip for us. Sorry this is so long, but my child is the most important aspect of my life, and I know a lot of people feel the same way, and could always use extra tips. Feel free to edit this however you feel fit to do so. – in Minnesota

19. number one for me is making time to write the check for daycare. i pay it every 2 weeks, but for some reason (pre-flylady) i couldn’t get my act together and write the check on sunday night. i always ended up writing it on the steering wheel on the way to work (only at stop lights). now i make sure it is fit into my sunday night “before bed routine”. something so small can relieve loads of stress!

20. We have a bedtime routine for our almost 3-year-old. When the oven timer beeps (we either set it ahead of time, or just set it for a minute when it’s the appropriate time), he knows what that means: “Toys Away!” We go around and put all of his toys and books back where they belong. Most of his toys have their own spot in either his toy tent (inexpensive at Ikea, and really useful) or his toy bins. Little pieces of toys (people, cars and trucks, etc.) go in ziploc bags labeled with contents and quantity (so if something’s missing, we can look for it right away, when he might still remember where he put it). After that, we put on his pajamas, brush his teeth, wash his face and then he gets to choose a story. After storytime, Mommy and Daddy sing to him, he says “good night” and “I love you” to Daddy (who then turns out the light), and Mommy puts him to sleep. This works really well (the vast majority of the time). Sometimes, if he’s especially sleepy, he’ll tell us that it’s time for the timer to beep!

Surprise

This one is going to be fun! Do you and your preschooler(s) have a before bed routine? Is it written down? Can your preschooler can “read” it too? If not, go grab a piece of paper and some markers or crayons. Do this one with your little one beside you. This should take no more than 15 minutes – set your timer. Now, list out just a few (four or five) things that your preschooler needs to do everynight to get ready for bed (pyjamas, brush teeth, lay out clothes for tomorrow, bedtime story, etc). Don’t make it too long or complicated. BabySteps! Now for the fun part, and you need your preschooler for this one: draw a simple picture for each thing (like a pair of pajamas, a toothbrush, a book, etc). Let your little one color it in (that way, they own it too). It doesn’t have to be perfect. And even if a stranger doesn’t know that it it a picture of a toothbrush, your child and you will know! Now post this simple list on your child’s door (or close to it). At bedtime you will be amazed at how proud they are of “doing their list (or routine)”! A gentle reminder each night will help make it a habit for both your child and you! Now, don’t do the SHE thing and try to build both a before bed AND a morning routine for your child(ren). One babystep at a time. Let them get into the habit of their before bed routine for at least a month first. Let me know how it goes. Send an email to FlyCrew@flylady.net and put “I did it – List” in the subject line.

21. Just before nap time, my ds does his afternoon routine….

  • Eat lunch and put dishes in sink.
  • Put all toys back in their bins
  • Say good night to his trains.
  • Shoes in closet
  • Unfold blankie and climb into bed.

22. This Flybaby has 2 DD … four and a half and 16 months. My older DD has a developmental delay and is learning to talk along with her sister! (They’re so much fun!) Since neither can read as of present…. Their written schedules are pictures. I illustrate their routines with stickers (raid scrapbooking stash ) or simple drawings. They love being “on schedule”….gives them a sense of responsibility and importance of place in the family. My older angel has been known to mistake midnight for morning and begin her routine without mom or dad! When she gets to a task that she decides Help is a must….she takes my glasses from the nightstand and places them in my hand, announcing “it’s time to get up!” then she will say “shoes? Shoes?”

23. I have a 13 month old girl and a 30 month old boy (as well as a 10 year old boy and my older daughter who’s in college). I find it helps when, each night before bedtime story time, my 30 month old cleans up his playroom. My husband usually supervises, and together they get all the toys picked up and put away in about 15 minutes. This has become their routine since I’ve been FLYing (dh’s idea, not mine!), and I am much more likely to vacuum and mop the room with all the toys put away. Also, in addition to my morning and evening routines, with 2 very little ones I need an after lunch routine also. It consists wiping down their chairs first, then sweeping and mopping the kitchen. If I do this routine every day, the floor stays clean, and I don’t have to worry about them eating off the floor or crawling around in the muck. Thanks, Flylady, for all the help you’ve given me and countless others. With you, being a full time homemaker is not just a job, it’s an adventure! Learning to FLY in SC

24. I have a 4 and 2 year old. They have their routines too. I took a posterboard and wrote them down and decorated it pretty and hung it in their room.One has “morning responsibilites” (note: responsiblites instead of chores – that change in wording made a HUGE difference in their and of course, mine, attitudes, lol) Brush teeth, brush hair, wash face, wash bathroom sink for 10 seconds (its amazing how clean you can keep your sink in 40 seconds a day), clean up after breakfast, make bed and put books away.Another has “afternoon and evening responsibilites” brush teeth, brush hair, wash face, wash bathroom sink for 10 seconds, 5 minutes clean up of toys and laundry, clean up lunch dishes, clean up dinner dishes.They also have weekly home blessing responsibilites, they dust, turn the plants and swiffer the bathroom and kitchen floors once I vaccuum them. They each have one of the $8 swiffer which comes in 4 pieces to put together. I only attached one of the handles on so that it is at their height. I learned a lot from the Flylady and crew – housework done incorrectly still blesses the house. So what if the floors aren’t perfect or the dust is in swipes – when I am in that particular room for the zone work, I dust with my vaccuum attachment and wash the floors well. – A flybaby in PA

25. I’ve been saving some time and effort by teaching my 3 yo dd to do things herself. She has a little list in a frame that we keep in the bathroom for ‘getting ready for the day’. It shows a picture of a shirt and pants, then a toothbrush, then a washcloth, then a hairbrush. Now when she gets up, she wants to look at her list and get ready for the day. She can do it all herself too, then she’s proud. This is much better than when she used to stay in pajamas all day because I had no morning routine. We also don’t have to rush around getting everyone ready at the last min when we need to go somewhere.I also cleaned out her room and kept only what I can fit in her rack of bins. Each bin has a collection of something and she knows how to sort them and put them away. We are trying to do this each night before bed. – Flybaby in Washington

26. I have three kiddos — ages 5, 3, and 2. We have a morning routine and a bedtime routine to help them get dressed each morning and ready for bed each night.I’ve drawn pictures on a 5×8 index card for each routine — a sunshine for morning and a moon for bedtime.

27. Morning routine: brush teeth, brush hair, make bed, get dressed (including socks & shoes!), put pjs in hamper

28. Bedtime routine: brush teeth, put on pjs, lay out clothes for next morning, put dirty clothes in hamper, bedtime story, prayers It helps them knowing the routine, and it encourages me to keep mine! – Flybaby in Fort Worth, TX

29. I am flying with a 10 month old, a 2 year old, and a 4 year old. They love to do Weekly Home Blessing Hour with me. Last week they weren’t home on Monday morning and I missed having them to “help”.I start out with sweeping and mopping. I use the big broom and one of them gets the little broom and the dust pan. Whoever has the broom helps me by making their pile and the one with the dustpan holds it while I sweep my pile in. They are so cute. Then my four year old gets all of the toys out of the way while I get out the vacuum cleaner. The 2 year old shouts at the top of his lungs, “I not scared of the bacuum keener,” until I turn it on. Then he goes and hides. When we dust they each get a dust rag and the older two help. (I don’t have a feather duster yet, but when I get one for me I will have to go to the dollar store and get one for each of my helpers too.) By then they have had enough and they go watch TV while I finish up the rest of the Home Blessing.They love the timer. They know that the timer means that it is time to switch to something different. We use the timer when we pick up toys and sometimes we use it when we need to take turns.I try to let them help with as many things as I can. As my home gets in better order it becomes easier to let them help. I try and schedule one or two tasks that they can help with along with a one that I need to do myself. Then they have had some time to help mommy and it is easier to get them interested in something else.

30. The best thing I did was teach my oldest dds (nearly 4 and nearly 2) to do the home blessing with me. I give each of them a paper towel with a squirt of Windex & they scrub the fronts of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, fridge (below 3 feet!), and oven. They also like to use their kid size broom & mop while I use mine. They take turns with their feather duster and they scramble to pick toys up in their room before I get there with the “screaming, sucking monster” aka vacuum! LOL! We make a game out of it. It sometimes takes a little longer, but it’s FUN!! :) I am looking forward to when their little sister, 9 wks, can get in on the action!! :)

He won’t take his nap until he’s done all that! Bedtime runs about the same. Only we add putting clothes in the hamper and get into his pjs.

Bless the Home

“My children don’t complain about doing things and cleaning up because Mommy doesn’t complain either!! They want our house to be a peaceful, happy place as well. Attitudes are caught, not taught, right?” – FLYing in Sunny FLA

Surprise

Now, before you start reading the tips for preschoolers and blessing your home, it is time for a “Surprise!” How often do you tell your little one to “Go clean your room?” (yup, I am guilty of it too!). Now how would you feel if someone told you to “Go clean up your basement, or garage, or attic – right now!” Does that make you feel a little panicky? Overwhelmed? Well, your child feels the same way. Try BabySteps instead.

Have you made your bed yet? How about your child’s? Grab your timer. It is time for a game of “beat the timer”. Announce to your little one that you guys are a team and the goal is to beat the timer. How fast can you make up mom’s bed and son or daughter’s bed. You will be amazed at how fast it can be done. Remember, a pre-schooler’s bed does NOT have to be perfect! Let me know how fast you can do it. Send an email to FlyCrew@flylady.net and put “I did it – Bed” in the subject line.

31. Hi! My 2 1/2 year old really gets into helping me! I bought her a little vacuum ($3 at a garage sale) and we do our weekly home blessing together. I give her little jobs with precise instructions (“Please take these shoes to Mommy’s closet”) and thank her and tell her what a great helper she is. Someone told me once to not go crazy saying ‘clean up your room’ as that is so abstract it’s hard for them to understand (and I think it might create SHEness in the future as it can seem like a huge, ominous task!), if you tell them exactly what you want them to do, it’s much easier for them to understand. I don’t obsess when I ask her to do something and she doesn’t do it exactly the way I do (she like to ‘sling’ my shoes in the closet). She is responsible for taking her things back to her room when she is finished playing with them. – Indiana

32. Here’s my little tip: Order two feather dusters! Little ones love to imitate Mommy and Daddy. I have a two year old daughter and I dust the high areas and she dusts the low areas. SHE LOVES IT!! When we get home at night, she heads right for the cupboard under the sink where we keep the dusters. She pulls hers out and starts dusting away! (And you know what? She does a pretty good job!)

32. My preschooler helps me fly by putting the silverware away out of the dishwasher, she helps me put the clothes in the dryer. But the thing that she does the most to help is put her clothes away. I put stickers of clothing on her dresser so she can tell where her clothes go.

34. Hi Flylady and Crew! I must admit I often cry the ole-poor-me blues because I have a 17-month-old DD and “can’t get anything done”. But I know that I’m being silly and the testimonials prove to me that people in MUCH more difficult situations are managing to FLY. So on a positive note here are my tips for flying with my flytoddler:She LOVES the big purple feather duster. She happily dusts whatever she can reach. Even better though is that I introduced this ‘game’ to my husband. Now he carries her around and they dust high and low together, having a ball! I don’t think he realizes he’s doing housework. Isn’t that what this is all about?Also, I have made laundry fun time for me and my baby. She gets excited at the word laundry and goes right to the machines near our kitchen. She transfers clothes (both machines are front loading) and puts things in the baskets, then we fold together on the kitchen floor. The real tip here is that I’ve let go of my laundry perfection (yuck!) She loves to help mama and it is more important to foster that than to have everything folded MY way.Thanks so much for changing my home and life. We are so much happier in our mostly clean and mostly decluttered house! – Flyfamily in Upstate NY

35. Things that have been working for this FlyBaby: 1) Get up before your child(ren) 2) Give them small tasks to help you. My little one is only 2 and she already feeds the dogs (with a small bit of help) and helps me put things in the dryer and dishwasher. I even took one of those “Swiffer” mops and screwed just the handle into the bottom –now she helps me clean the floor –and she thinks it’s really fun! 3) You have to be in the bathroom while they’re in the tub, so why not clean up while you’re in there? I take paper towels and an all purpose cleaner in there with me and I can pick up the room and at least get it wiped down while my little one is bathing/playing. 4) Sing Barney’s Clean Up song together as you pick up a room. Puts us in a good mood! Just my 2 cents! K. Palmer Michigan

36. My neighbour introduced me to Flylady just before Christmas, and I’ve been loving it! I have 3 yr old twins and a 1 yr old, and finding those 15 min. segments in a day can really be a challenge! It’s so wonderful to have a neighbour who understands what you are trying to do and who is so helpful (she has a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old, too!).We trade babysitting back and forth so that each of us can get our “home blessing hour” or “antiprocrastination stuff” done. She will call in the morning and say “Send those kids over…go get your ZONE!” It makes it a lot of fun, and easy to stay on track because you know you need to stay on track when you are accountable!Since none of our children are reading yet (all 5 of them are under the age of 4), my neighboor made up their morning routines by cutting up newspaper flyers with pictures of clothes, a toothbrush, a bed etc. then pasted them on coloured paper and covered it with clear plastic. She then gave them stickers to cover the picture with when the job was done. We did the same for the evening routines as well. I found this very helpful, too, as we would then be reminded to brush their teeth!I am blessed by the fact that my 1 yr old sleeps about a half an hour later than the twins, so this is when I must get my morning routines done. If I procrastinate, I may not have time to do them at all!Thank- you flylady, for helping me go from a mom with three toddlers that just tried to hide in my house all day, hoping everyone would understand, to a mom (still with three toddlers) who enjoys planning dinner parties and having people over because the house is always ” ready”. (still working on the bedroom decluttering, though!) – flying in Victoria, B.C. Canada

37. Teach children from an early age (three, at our house) to take their own empty plate, cup and flatware to the kitchen and put them in the dishwasher. The dishwasher is nice and low so even little ones can do this task. If you need to use melamine for a few years it’s worth it to establish this habit. We often ask our kids to take Mom’s and Dad’s plates as well, since Dad worked all day to buy the food and Mom cooked the meal. I’m still doing the rest of the after-meal cleanup, but it’s a big help to have most of the table cleared. Seattle flybaby

38. Our Weekly Home blessing hour takes one hour and 10 minutes. Since I started flying back in October, everything seemed to be coming together except for my Weekly Home blessing. My boys 5, 3 and 1 loved blessing the house especially since they were awarded a blessing from their father (special dessert, time with daddy, a game, a movie, ect.). They each have their own special jobs and of coarse flydusters. They received the same sense of pride, accomplishment and fun that I was getting, so they love blessing the house. Now don’t take me wrong, we have fun being soldiers in search of enemy invaders, detectives looking for finger print clues and trash truck workers; playing is definitely a huge part of our fun. The problem was keeping them focused and helping instead of just playing, since it was taking us far longer than an hour. It wasn’t till I sat down with them and asked them what was the best and worst things they liked about blessing the house. My oldest said he loved mopping but he got so hungry for lunch. Poor little guys were helping and playing so much they were working up an appetite. So now guess who gets to mop (we cut a real mop to the right size) and we take a 10 minute water & snack break after 30 minutes. My other son said he liked wiping down all the door handles with antibacterial, but didn’t like waiting for the blessing; some weeks we would forget or it would be delayed. Now he is the official door wiper and he knows exactly what the blessing is and when it will be.Thank you flylady and crew for teaching my boys and me that cleaning our house is no fun but that Blessing the House is a blast!

39. I have 2 toddlers (1 year and 2,5 year.) I just found out that I can do a lot in the bathroom while they are taking a bath. Then I still can watch them and talk to them, but I also get a clean bathroom. – from Norway

40. Preschoolers are the perfect age to learn to fly! My 3 1/2 year old DS absolutely loves to help me, but I have to be careful not to let my perfectionism damper his enthusiasm. Some of his favorite things are helping me doing a 15-minute room rescue with the timer set, using a spray cleaner and rag to dust furniture or clean the TV screen, folding towels and washcloths, sorting socks, vacuuming, and scrubbing the floor with plain water. He spent 10 minutes cleaning under the beds with a Swiffer and did a great job of getting rid of the dust bunnies. Many times I have to just walk away so I don’t hover and correct him, and I’m always careful not to redo his work, even if it means watching TV with a few streaks on the screen. I do swipe up the puddles after he scrubs the floor (but I wait until he’s in the other room). He also helps me cook most of the time. I measure and he pours and stirs. Then I compliment him on what a good cook he is. I’m hoping that by setting an example and helping my baby fly, he won’t have to retrain himself when he’s older like I do. And someday he’ll be a great husband to some lucky lady. – Flybaby from Wisconsin

41. Dear Flylady, I am a SAHM with kids 5, 3, and 1. Routines are such a help in our family. They have their own A.M. routines each day right after breakfast. I really don’t have to do anything for them except change the sheets on their beds because their routines have become habits. Even my 3 year old DS makes his own bed without being reminded. They do their own “room blessing” on Mondays while I bless the rest of the house. My goal is to finish my blessing before they finish theirs. Because a visual reminder can be helpful, I bought a wooden magnetic chore chart at Toys R Us. The kids mark off each item on their chart and Mommy doesn’t have to nag. They also have learned how to do 5 minute room rescues. My 5 year old DD sets and clears the table for each meal. We do a quick pick up before Daddy gets home. Their evening routines make getting ready for bed hassle-free. My children don’t complain about doing things and cleaning up because Mommy doesn’t complain either!! They want our house to be a peaceful, happy place as well. Attitudes are caught, not taught, right? Flying in Sunny FLA

42. Anything I can do to keep my dd/2 included helps tremendously…so what if she likes to take out clothes that were already folded…chances are I can refold more before she gets a chance to take them out again…when she feels that she is “helping mommy” she is a happy little angel. When its dishes time…she gets on a step stool and stands on her own side of the sink washing plastic things that can’t hurt her or break :o) We haven’t mastered the toy pickups yet…she still wants to bring everything back out after its been put away!!!

43. I have discovered that if they are big enough to get it out then they are big enough to put it away. So teaching the little ones to help out can start VERY early. Toddlers love to sing the “clean up clean up” song and, with your help all the way, can learn to put their toys away when they’re finished playing. My 4y.o.ds is now responsible for picking up his own room every night before bed so that the floor is clear. He has also learned to put his dirty clothes in the hamper and not on the floor, he can sort laundry and fold washcloths and other square shaped things. Give him a bottle of windex and a roll of paper towels and he can clean every window and mirror he can reach. My 2y.o.dd can also wipe with paper towels along side her brother. She can sort silverware into the right spaces in the drawer (using a stool sometimes). DS is also responsible for feeding the dog at suppertime and they are both learning to brush the dog. There’s a lot that can be done – anything they ask to help with you should let them. It’s the only way they learn (unless of course it’s dangerous). However there’s one catch. It always takes much longer this way and it’s not done the way you might do it. But then since we’re all FLYing that’s not really a problem is it?! :) Just think of it as practice time for adjusting your attitude about being a perfectionist! Florida Flybaby

44. My suggestion as my mother taught me & started with my son by teaching him to put the silverware away: take the time to teach them what they can do and teach them right so you won’t get frustrated with them! They can take their time doing whatever you have taught them right along with you while you are doing the rest. You will be amazed at how much help they really are! – FlyBaby in Texas

45. I have learned that if I want my preschooler to do something, instead of asking her (for example, to pick up her toys) I sing my request!!!! Let’s pick up the toys!!! Let’s pick up the toys!!!! Now it’s time to pick up the toys!!!! Sometimes my songs really don’t make any sense, but she loves it and usually she does what ever it is I sing. But be warned, sometimes she drags out all her toys just so we can sing the song!!!!!! – in PA

Surprise

We get many, many emails from members telling us how difficult it is to do a weekly home blessing with preschoolers underfoot. Let them help! Here is the Surprise. Before you read any further, grab your timer, a rag or a feather duster, and a couple small garbage bags. It is time for another “Let’s beat the timer” game. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Now head into the living room. Give your preschooler either the rag or the duster. Their job is to wipe and/or dust away (walls, windows, floors, tables, books, whatever their heart desires). Little kids are great at doing the baseboards because they are lower to the ground! Your job is to gather the trash, cull the magazines, gather the dirty laundry, and put the stray toys back into the toy basket (or whatever you use). When the timer goes off you are done! Time for a kid story! You will be amazed at how much both of you can do in 10 minutes! Let me know how it goes. Send an email to FlyCrew@flylady.net and put “I did it – blessing” in the subject line.

Note: do not let your little ones use the spray cleaner bottles, you never know what direction they may spray in (including their eyes). If they insist on “something” being on their rag, spray a little water on it.

Getting Dressed to Shoes

46. This is a great tip for letting your children get dressed by themselves (and they don’t come down the stairs dressed in checkered pants with a striped top!!). I went to the local Fred Meyer and bought two of the cheapest sweater organizers I could find (one for each child’s closet). They were plastic and only about $6.50 each, but they do the job. Hang the sweater organizer in each child’s closet. Each space (where each sweater would go) is perfect for a set of clothes for one day. I put a clean pair of pants, shirt, socks, and clean underwear in each space. You can either label each “shelf” with the day of the week–great way to teach your Pre-K or Kinder how to read the days of the week, or (like I do) I let my children pick out which set of clothes they are going to wear that day. It makes them feel good to have some choice in what they are going to wear–but you know everything is going to match and you don’t have to worry the night before “what is he going to wear tomorrow?”. Or worry whether the only clothes they have to wear are in a laundry pile. I don’t know about other moms–but it takes the stress out of getting ready for school the next day for my kindergartner or the stress out of searching for a “cute” outfit for my 4 yo dd. The only day I don’t have clothes prepared is of course Sunday, when their Sunday clothes are usually hanging up on hangers. I hope this helps someone–it sure helps our family! A FlyBaby in Oregon

47. I was having a hard time getting my preschool age DS dressed and ready for daycare/preschool in time for me to get to work on time. We typically would have a leisurely breakfast and family time prior to getting him dressed, with the aim of having him arrive at school with his clothes clean. He was notoriously uncooperative about getting dressed. (I was about to start bringing him to preschool in his underwear and dress him there) Instead I stopped worrying about the clothes and started insisting he get dressed (with my help) before breakfast. This has helped tremendously. After all, if I have to get dressed to my shoes, so should the rest of my family! A payroll flyinfant in NC

48. We have developed simple morning and evening rountines for my dd (3 1/2 yr. and 20 mo.) The last and most important addition has been picking out their clothes each evening. No longer do we have a hunger clouded crisis in the morning as the older one is trying to decide/convince us what she should wear. They easily make the decision in the evening and then each morning they go into their room, grab their dish pan where we store their selected clothes and take it to the bathroom to dress. The dish pan is then returned to their room with their pajamas ready for night. Selecting clothes in the evening is so important to the older dd that she reminds us if we forget to do it.

49. I use a cloth set of hanging shelves which velcroes to the closet rod– cost about 8 bucks at Target. They each have about 6 shelves, about a foot wide. I have one for each kid. Evening routines were taking sooo long, since we have four kids, oldest is 5. On Sunday, we pick out five ourtfits for the preschool week. Then we fill each slot or shelf with a stack of clothes: underpants, socks, shirt, pants, sweater, etc. The sixth slot is filled with an extra outfit– we use it if someone’s clothes get messed up before school, or on Saturday if it has not been used before that. My older two kids are 3 and 5 and like to help pick out their clothes– really cuts down on battles all week since they help do it on Sunday afternoon– and also means bedtime is so much easier since they used to loooove to stall getting ready for bed by taking forever to pick out their clothes for the next day! I fill slots for the younger two (2 yr old and 6 wk old) myself, whenever I finish a load of their laundry, etc. – This is our best flying with kids tip ever!!! – flybaby since 2000<

Declutter! Declutter! Declutter!

“When you get rid of the clutter in your child’s room, they have room to dance!” – FlyLady

50. I decluttered my kids’ closet, and reduced their amount of clothes dramatically. Then I matched up all of their clothes into outfits, and hung the pants and shirts together on hangers. I put them right back together after washing. This way, it’s easy to grab an outfit instead of searching for two matching pieces, and my son can even dress himself without any help and I don’t have to worry about everything matching!

51. Always always always give preschoolers a choice when possible! Man does this save some major battles! Also never toss their stuff in a see through bag! They will dig through the nastiest trash to get that paper towel tube they colored! Send some of their school projects to relatives and friends in the mail. Chances are they will reply with a note and make your preschooler feel wonderful. My 4 year old DD LOVES mailing things out! I let her check the mail everyday with a little basket so my mail doesn’t end up in the dirt. NC Flybaby

52. Preshoolers offer a whole new challege on “flying”. Go through their toys often, preschoolers often break and get way to many “junk” toys. This way you know if all their toys are safe and can keep clutter down. I use stackable baskets instead of bins or toy boxes to hold toys. This way the children can learn to put them away and help keep neat. The bins with lids were a bigger mess then help b/c the kids would spill everything when trying to get the lid off and then have a hard time trying to pick everything up, plus the lids became clutter when I couldn’t match them anymore.Use the timer and have your child race to pick up toys around one area. I think it is better to help them by saying “Let’s pick up all your blocks now” and “Now lets pick up your cars” instead of just saying “pick up all your toys.”With clothes “more is less”. Only keep a few outfits and try and make those mix and match, so they can pick out their own outfit and still look nice.Try and plan a “fun” activity each day. It can be painting or coloring or singing or making cookies… it doesn’t matter, as long as everyone has lots of fun. – a flybaby from austin texas

53. I used to care for as many as 15 preschoolers at a time including my own 4 in my home and I found that keeping things in order was simple. Children were allowed to get out only one thing (or two related items) at a time, off the shelves (everything was kept in dishpans or bins of appropriate sizes on shelving which I adjusted the shelves to fit the boxes and bins – large ones on the bottom) and must ask permission first – such as “Please may I play with the farm set?” or “Please may I use the pink (or blue) duster?” – I had 2, or “Please may I get out the baby doll and her clothes?” – which were all in the same bin – each doll had her own clothes in a bin with her, except for Barbies, Kens, etc. and their clothes were all together) and could also ask to play with an accessory such as the Barbie house or the doll bed and I would reply “Yes, you may.” This also taught manners. To get out something else, they would show me that they had everything put back in the box and put back on the shelf properly and then they would ask me if they could get out something else such as “May I get out my box of supplies (each child had a box of supplies with their name on it – scissors, glue, markers, paint, crayons, pencil, pen, colored pencils, eraser, etc. appropriate for their age) and may I get out a sheet of paper?” (kept in a drawer – only one sheet at a time was allowed until it was used and then could ask for another) This was done with outdoor toys, too. Only one at a time, and they were responsible for bringing it in, wiping it off if necessary, and putting it in its proper place when they came in to be able to take something out the next day, or to get something out inside. If a child did not put their bin away when done and were reminded, then they were not allowed to get out anything else for the rest of the day, they could only read the books kept in crates in the living room. This never happened more than once per child. Also each child was in charge of his or her things and if someone wanted to play with something belonging to someone else then they had to ask that child “Please may I play with your (example – doll and doll clothes or car collection, etc.) and the child was to either say “Yes, you may.” or “No, you may not.” Whatever the child said was the way it went. They couldn’t allow anyone else to play with their toys though if they turned someone down, until they let the one who asked first to use it. Children were nicer to each other since they did not have to share, but usually would share if the person was nice to them. The key was to have a place for everything and everything was in its place. Each child brought a totebag to put the things in that they brought (limited to 2 items usually) and this could be hung up with his or her coat. This still works in my home today for my youngest children and grandchildren. Flybaby in Indiana

54. Rotate those toys. I keep my daughters toys grouped together like all of her dolls are in one bin and her wooden train set is in another. She knows that all of the toys have to be put away before she can open another bin.Try as hard as you can to get together with other mommies(and daddies) with the same age kids as yours. It is vital to start socializing your children now. Unsocial zed children have a difficult time starting school.Try to let your preschooler do as many things for him/herself as much as possible. Granted it may take them an hour to get dressed but they will learn more and faster and eventually become self sufficient. And give lots of praise. Give so much praise till it makes you almost sick. It will come back to you tenfold with lots of love and a happy well adjusted kid.You don’t need lots of fancy toys. Just let them help you with whatever you are doing. They are developing their imaginations and will create new things to use everyday objects for. – Flying in Southern Maine

55. I have a small clear plastic tub for each of my sons’ “messy activities” (play dough, art supplies, coloring books and crayons, puzzles, etc.). These are stored on a shelf out of their reach so that they can only play with them when their other toys are picked up and I have the time to deal with their project. I also have an old vinyl tablecloth to place under their project to protect the table.One of their favorite boxes is the “Treasure Chest”. It has little toys like bouncy balls, kids’ meal toys, prizes from Sunday school, etc. I started it as a way to consolidate all my older sons’ “choking hazard” toys to keep them away from the baby. It is a good quiet time activity, and is a good way to keep that sort of clutter at bay, because when it starts to get too full, my son and I go de-clutter it. – FlyBaby in New Mexico

56. I have four little ones and one thing I can tell you is crucial: Get rid of the toys! Have a garage sale, take them to goodwill, a preschool anywhere just get rid of them. The ones you can’t bear to part with, put HIGH on closet shelves or store somewhere. Rotate toys occassionally but only have a very small amount accessible at any given time. It then becomes realistic to say to the children “Please pick up your toys.” Also, you realize that they play more with the ones they have instead of being chronically overwhelmed. The amount of toys children have these days is ridiculous and you will love the feeling your home has when it becomes a home again and is not overrun by the needless clutter. Watch your children’s creativity and imagination soar as they learn to become more resourceful with just a few things to play with! Electronic toys especially stifle creativity! Be choosy about the ones you hang onto-the lincoln logs, tinker toys, etc…that have multiple uses are best!

57. My 4 year old grandson hangs up his coats, sweaters on a wooden expando wall hanger that is just his reach. He also has a plastic step stool so he can wash his hands and brush his teeth in the bathroom sink. Most of the time he wipes out the sink with the towel that is for that purpose, so he is a flybaby. Make sure the step stool is safe–won’t tip over. He has a drawer in the dresser to put any clothes in so he can find them when he comes over to visit or spend the night. The dresser is plastic and each drawer is a different color and his is yellow. He has a plastic place mat ( different kinds of fish) to use when he wants a drink or snack while watching TV or just at the table. His toys are kept in a plastic (laundry) basket in the closet and when he is done playing I make a game of “playing pick-up” with him so all the toys are in the basket before going on to another activity. I rotate the toys in the basket when it is the extra room zone and throw out or give away things that are no longer used. This keeps the number of toys limited for “picking up” –the rest of the toys are out of sight in the closet.

58. We have a 3-year-old and a 4-year old. The toys were getting out of hand, so we now have all the toys in clear bins (cars in one, blocks in another, etc.). The children can have one bin out at a time, and must put away everything from that bin before getting out another. It has cut down on at least some of the clutter! Babysteppin’ in Nebraska

59. To help my three year old stick with his morning and evening routines (basic hygiene and toy pick up, keeping it very simple), we made a job chart. It’s his version of the control journal. We sat together and went through old magazines and clipped out pictures that represented his jobs (toothbrush for brushing his teeth, a closet with little clothes in it to remind him to get dressed, etc.). We pasted the morning jobs on one side of a posterboard and the night jobs on the other. I then made little check marks out of posterboard and put one side of the stick on velcro dots on the check marks and on side on each of his jobs to complete. The check marks are in a little ziploc bag that’s velcroed to the bottom of the chart. When he completes the job, he sticks on the check mark. I don’t even have to mention brushing his teeth or getting dressed anymore. He feels so empowered going to his job chart and checking off each job. Flybaby in Illinois

60. I discovered working outside the home and now being a SAHM that routine is a must with your children no matter the age. Every weekend we get our clothes out for the week, (Mon-Fri) shirt, pants, socks, etc. and hang them in a designated area of their closet. My oldest, age 11, does her own of course and I do the 4 year and 16 month old clothes but what a time saver in the morning not to have to make that decision. Also, a set bedtime for all ages and a bedtime routine that is age appropriate is also very important. There’s nothing like a grumpy child to start your day and they function much better in school, preschool, playgroup, etc if they are rested. If your toddlers or preschoolers don’t take naps, designate a “rest or quiet time”. This not only lets them wind down a little but Mom gets a break too and possibly do something nice for herself (gasp!) I have a chair by the garage door that holds, backpacks, the diaper bag and a jacket for everyone, truly a hotspot, but there’s no question as to where these things are in the morning. I can’t stress the importance of doing things the night before so your morning is smoother. Thanks to flylady and crew my evening routine allows me to start with a clean slate every day and I’ve only been flying for a month. It’s a great feeling! Thank you and best of luck to the rest of you, God Bless. Flying is oh so sweet in New Mexico

Surprise

This is a quick one. Head into your child’s closet or dresser and find 3 things that don’t fit them anymore. Find someplace else to store these clothes that don’t fit, either start a “blessing box” for donation, or a storage box for your younger children. Just get the clothes that don’t fit them out of their rooms. You will be amazed at how much easier it is for little ones to get dressed when they can find their clothes! Go Go Go! Let me know how fast you can do it. Send an email to FlyCrew@flylady.net and put “I did it – 3 things” in the subject line.

Kids and Laundry

61. Dear Flylady, I am a new flybaby. With two pre-schoolers, ages 33 months and 20 months, our house is awash in washing! I have always been good about staying on top of my laundry, and of course the volume has tripled with these little monsters who require more changing than a model during Fashion Week in NYC. Becoming a flybaby inspired me to create my own rouine to make one aspect of laundry simpler. I used to always have to search the house in pursuit of the forever-missing mate to a toddler sock. When I cleaned out my basement (yes, that’s right, I took a vacation day, rented a dumpster, and cleaned out my basement!) I found a mesh bag that I used to wash my pantyhose in. I now keep the mesh bag on a hook next to the dirty clothes hamper. Toddler socks go in… I zip the bag before laundering it… the and perfect pairs come out of the dryer! Our sons’ socks are now mated for life. Flying with floppy babywings in CT

62. There are several things that make my life easier with preschoolers. Both of my children (ages 4 and 2) have several “routines” of their own that they handle by themselves. They know that all dirty laundry goes in the laundry room not on the floor, their dishes get cleared from the table to the counter, their coats get hung up every time, all spills get wiped up immediately and trash (including the 2 year old’s diapers!) get thrown in the trash. It sounds small, but it is a huge help with all of the activity two preschoolers can generate!

Last Surprise

We are at the bottom, and I saved the best surprise for last. You have to do this one!  Here it is, enjoy!

“Get up from the computer right now and set your timer to take time out just for you!! If you have kiddies at home, get them situated to where you can take a 15 minute break. (A video, book or special toy that they love or better yet if they have a nap time try to coordinate your break and nap time!) Set your timer for 15 minutes and go get yourself your favorite cold drink, tea or coffee. Take the time to sit and enjoy your break. Look out the window, skim a magazine. If the weather is nice, sit on your front porch. Just take time to relax for 15 minutes! Enjoy!!”

Let me know how it goes. Send an email to FlyCrew@flylady.net and put “I did it – pamper” in the subject line.

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