Does your child tidy away whatever they are playing with when you ask them too? First time? Every single time? Or do you sometimes feel as if you are talking to an empty vacuum whenever you utter the words ‘time to tidy up now’?
One of the most amazing parts of every single Family beans class is the speed at which over 200 instruments are quickly packed back into just 3 tubs – on average it takes just over 56 seconds – so why does it happen in class and not at home?
The answer is easy, the children quite simply learn that whenever they hear a certain piece of music that means tidy up. Cast your mind back to your Biology lessons at school and Pavlov’s Dogs. The dogs salivated whenever they heard a bell, remember? This is exactly the same thing, just children tidying up! New members automatically copy existing children thus perpetuating the cycle and by and large it is a stress free system that works and is satisfying. Sometimes new members do struggle with giving things back and I will step in at that point and if necessary uncurl fingers – never a nice moment but believe me, it is probably much better that I do it rather than a very overenthusiastic 4 year old who is helping! It usually takes a maximum of 3 classes before they are racing to tidy up needing very little prompting.
So how can this be adapted to your home? Choose a piece of music which you like, ideally about 3 minutes in length, and play it every single time you want your child to tidy up FOREVER. Explain to your child that whenever they hear the music it means it is time to tidy away their toys and tidy up with them and just keep repeating the music until it is done then don’t play it again until the next time.
And, and believe me this is a big one, join in. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you join in the tidying up, make it fun and don’t forget the high fives when it is done.
So are you ready? Chosen your music? Remember it can be whatever you like just stick to it for at least a week and I’d love to know how you get on