Hi there!

Thank you so much for your awesome feedback and embrace of my last email and blog post about my bedtime struggles with Piper!

You know, before that post I really had felt like the lone mother who hadn’t nailed down bedtime and felt like a failure. I was so happy to learn that I am truly not alone!! Not that I want any of us to be struggling. But it was certainly comforting to know that I wasn’t totally “failing” and that bedtime is a bit of a thing, at some point, for mostly everyone!

We’ve continued to have success with our new routine which is 30 minutes from bath time to me leaving her room and saying goodnight. And it used to go on anywhere form 60 to 90 minutes with me falling asleep with her.  I FEEL LIKE A MILLION BUCKS!!!!! 

What’s funny is – I know from YEARS of teaching the power of having a routine. It made my classroom run smoothly. I even taught parents about the power of adding routine into their lives and how much it will help….

 And yet, I totally forgot about it in my own Life!

*By not getting clear and having a firm routine that I put in place, a routine developed nevertheless. It was just a super long and not helpful routine that Piper was more in control of than I was.*

I seem to be facing the  same lesson over and over again right now. (Isn’t that how it always is?) 

I’m learning it with Piper, with our dog, with my own morning and evening routines: If I don’t make clear choices and have clear goals and limits around  how I want things to go, than those choices get made by other people, animals or things who aren’t the best ones to be setting limits – LOL!

So I’m inspired! I’m inspired to do a Summer Series for you all on Routines!

Over the course of this summer, in my blog and emails to you, we’re going to focus on all kinds of routines.  I’ll tell you about my current personal experiences with them, and share about various classroom/home/early childhood routines – from morning routines to bedtime routines and everything in between!  And each week I’ll deliver a song or songs/video that you can use in your routines should you want to.

So let’s start today with one that everyone knows about: A Clean-Up Routine!

Yep – I know that it’s a struggle to get children to clean up.  It seems like it should be simple enough – but it can feel complicated for the little ones.

 They live SO in the moment, they don’t necessarily remember that they took out that toy over there, because they’re playing with the one in front of them. And if they even do recall playing with that last toy,  remembering where they got it from is a whole other thing!

To help with your toy clean up,  if you can label your boxes or drawers or shelves where toys go. Not with words – but with a photo or picture of the toy. (This is also develops pre-reading skills!) Show them that when they clean up to match the toy they have in their hands with the photo and put it in that place. (Matching is an early math skill!)

And then the routine! In my classroom I gave a two minute warning with a song. And then sang the same warning song when there were “no minutes” left. And then I sang the same clean up song/medly every day. It’s upbeat and fun, easy to sing along to and clean up to! And voila, you’ll have a routine you can use – from warning to end of clean up – as many times a day as you’d like. 

I’d made a video of this a few years back (2012? 2013?) so decided to add one additional song to the medley (at the end) and make a  more current video of it now. Here it is – The Clean Up Medley! 

Below I’ll paste the lyrics. You’ll notice the familiar tune of many of these songs (Happy and You Know It, Barney’s Clean up Song, etc.) so It’ll be easy for you to sing along to.  And let me know in the comments about what clean up routines, songs, tips or hacks you have!

Wishing you a wonderful week and lots of success with your own routines!

XOXO

Miss Nina

LYRICS:
I looked at my clock and what did it say?
No more minutes to work and play.
It’s time to put our toys away.
it’s clean up time:
It’s Clean up time everbody
It’s clean up time everyone
If I help you and you help me
We’ll get the whole job done.
It’s Clean up time everbody
It’s clean up time everyone
If I help you and you help me
We’ll get the whole job done.
Clean up, clean up
everybody everywhere
clean up clean up
everybody do your share
Toys Away, Toys Away
We had such fun with them today
Clean up, Clean up
here today.
Bye-bye Toys
Bye-bye Toys
Bye-bye Toys
We had such fun today.
Bye-bye Toys
Bye-bye Toys
Bye-bye Toys
We had such fun today.
Put the toys in the box, in the box.
Put the toys in the box, in the box.
Put the toys in the box, I thank you all a lot
for putting toys in the box, in the box.
And put the toys on the shelf, on the shelf.
Put the toys on the shelf, on the shelf.
Put the toys on the shelf, you can do it by yourself.
put the toys on the shelf, on the shelf.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Start
Time to clean up where you are.
But the toys back in the box. Pick up all the games and blocks.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Thanks for cleaning up where you are.

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