Okay. So let’s be real. My floor can get so gross. Six year olds are not the cleanest animals on the planet.
BUT! One thing about six year olds that IS awesome is the fact that you can get them to do anything if you call it a game.
So how to I use this to my advantage, you ask? We play the Magic Trash game.
When our floor is a mess, especially after we have art, I pull out this little game.
I walk all around the room and decide on one piece of trash in my mind. Any little piece will do – paper scraps, pencils, crayons, glue caps, etc. I then stand where I can see the piece out of my peripheral vision so it’s not quite so obvious which piece I chose. (I’ve heard of some teachers writing a description of the piece on a piece of paper, that way there can be no claims of cheating!)
When I say “GO!” my kids quickly go around the room and pick up pieces of trash. I watch everyone as they pick up the pieces and show it to me. I don’t tell who picked up the “magic piece” until after the floor is clean, though. Because we both know that if I said that the first kid who picked up the piece was the winner, the floor would still stay a mess.
Once the winner is announced (and most importantly the floor is clean!), I give away the prize. I’m all about those free rewards in my room. The prize could be a coveted high five or a ticket. We use our tickets for free classroom prizes that I will blog about later.
I’ve heard another variation of this game where each student has to pick up a certain number of pieces. My kiddos do better with a competition, though. Another friend shared that she puts a smiley sticker on a piece of paper on the floor at a random point of the day. The kids are constantly pickup up paper and checking it throughout the day!
How do you keep your floor clean?