Of all the things I am reviewing as part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew, the Clean n’ Flip Charts from Trigger Memory Systems are some of my favorites. I have four words for you:
Trigger Memory Systems publishes three Clean ‘n’ Flip Charts, and I am honored to have been able to review all three of them. Each one is set up as a spiral-bound booklet, with the spiral at the top. Each page shows a task that needs to be completed. When the child completes the task, he flips to the next page and does the task on it. Believe it or not, kids love the way this system works!
Having a task or two per page seems to remove the overwhelmed feeling that children often have when facing a clean up job. Instead of being told, “Go clean your room,” the chart tells them, “Find all the trash in your room and put in a basket. Find all items that don’t belong in your room and put them in another basket.” With each page completed, your child has a feeling of having accomplished something and is motivated to continue on.
I have been absolutely amazed at the willingness Nicholas and James have both had toward cleaning since we started using the Clean n’ Flip Charts. They almost view their chores as fun instead of drudgery.
Zone Cleaning for Kids
The Zone Cleaning chart is divided into three sections or zones: Living Room, Kitchen, and Bathroom. The chart includes suggestions for dividing up the zones depending on how many children are in a family. With two kids old enough to help clean (baby Robert absolutely refused to help!), I assigned the Living Room Zone to James and the Bathroom Zone to Nicholas the first week. The following week, they swap zones. They share the Kitchen Zone each week.
I mixed up a bottle of safe cleaner since I wasn’t comfortable letting four-year-old James use Formula 409. I put my homemade cleanser in an empty spray bottle (thoroughly rinsed with hot water). It’s a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil, so it’s perfectly safe for both boys to use. It just stinks to high heaven and we have to run the vents, but that’s a small price to pay to have someone else doing the cleaning!
Even at four years old, using the Zone Cleaning chart, James has been able to clean the entire bathroom and living room himself during his week in those zones. His responsibilities in the kitchen are cleaning and wiping the table along with some other things. He doesn’t do perfectly, but he does very well. Though he doesn’t read yet, he’s able to follow the steps in the Clean n’ Flip charts by the full-color pictures on each page.
The Zone Cleaning chart has a slick surface on which you can write with a dry erase marker (one is included). Parents can add extra tasks to be done each day or only on certain days each week. There are also check boxes where the children can mark off what they’ve completed if they’d like. Zone Cleaning is the largest of the three Clean n’ Flip Charts and sells for $17.95
The Bedroom Cleaning chart guides kids through simple steps that will leave their bedrooms clean…every parent’s dream! The bedroom is definitely the most difficult place for my boys to clean. They seem to be unable to even see the mess. This chart instructs them to take three empty baskets to their room and to fill those baskets with specific items.
Like the other charts, the system simplifies the cleaning chore and makes it less overwhelming and more enjoyable. It becomes almost like a game, and the kids like the full color drawings on each page. Unlike the Zone Cleaning chart, this one cannot be written on with a dry erase marker! It is available for $7.95
Laundry for Kids
At eight years old, Nicholas is old enough to help with the laundry. He’s been transferring things from the washer to the dryer for me ever since I got pregnant with Robert and could barely get out of bed. When we received the Laundry for Kids chart, he got very excited about the idea of actually starting the laundry in the washing machine. Who knew laundry could be so exciting?
Laundry for Kids breaks down clothes washing and drying into simple steps beginning with sorting and ending with putting away and hanging up. To me, laundry is pretty self explanatory…you wash, you dry, you put away. But the kids just love these flip charts. Nicholas has had a great time starting at page one and working his way through.
We ordinarily use liquid detergent, but I didn’t trust him not to spill it everywhere. I bought a box of powder detergent, marked a couple lines on the measuring cup with a black marker, and set him to work. He does a great job!
Unlike the other two charts, Laundry for Kids has black and white drawings. Still cute, but without the color. It can be bought for $7.95
Trigger Memory Systems’ Clean n’ Flip Charts have become indispensable in our home. When we stop using them, the kids stop cleaning. All three charts are made of heavy coated cardstock and spiral bound. They will last for years.
This is one purchase I’m certain you won’t regret. All three charts I mentioned can be bought together as a set for $29.95
© 2008 – 2009, Cindy. All rights reserved.