Mum's genius 'toy jail' hack teaches her children to tidy up

An Australian mum has come up with a way to win one of the toughest battles of parenting – getting your kids to tidy up.

Her clever ‘toy jail’ idea encourages her children to tidy up their things, and hundreds of parents are impressed after seeing her post on social media.

Sharing on a popular Facebook group, the woman showed how she made a ‘toy jail’ using a large plastic box and labelled it with rules on top.

The rules, written with black permanent marker, read: ‘You left it out and I picked it up. I’ve got your stuff, you’re out of luck. To get it back, please do a chore. Then it’s yours, just like before.’ 

She signs off the note ‘Mummy’, with a little heart and a kiss.

So, the premise is simple. If a kid leaves their toys lying around, the toy will end up in toy jail and they can’t play with them. To get the toy back, the kid would have to do a chore around the house.

Not only will you teach your kids discipline for not tidying up after themselves, you might also get some bonus chores done too. Genius.

The mum says the technique encourages her children to avoid leaving their toys lying around the house and also teaches them to take care of their belongings. 

Unsurprisingly, other parents loved this idea.

‘OMG this is brilliant, I am stealing this idea,’ one mum commented.

‘We do this, [but] have a jar that has job cards inside,’ another said.

But some mums said the trick hasn’t worked with their children who were far too distracted and entertained by the idea of the toy jail to actually learn any lessons.

‘Tried it, kids thought it was cool to have toys in jail so they thought to put more toys in there,’ one mum added.

But it might still be worth a try. if you’re sick of tripping over discarded Barbies and stepping on Lego, why not build yourself a toy jail and see if the message hits home.

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