mindful living, effortless style


Friday Share: Toydozer Giveaway

I’ve now been back for nearly a week from the mega-blogging conference, Alt, and guess what – I’m brimming with new ideas and goals for MPMK.  All of which I want to institute, like, yesterday!

This week I’ve been starting with goal #1: Increase the Conversation.

I know, I know – we all love our social media these days and we’re so busy chatting it up on Instagram and the like that no one has time to actually comment on a blog anymore.  Nevertheless – I’ve realized that compared to all of MPMK’s lovely social channels, the site itself is a little void of chit chat.

To get the conversation rolling, you’ll notice a few new features:

  • A “Question of the Day” at the end of each post – yes, like any icebreaker you’ve ever had to endure, this has the potential to be a little hokey.  But I really do think it’ll be a good way for us to get to know each other better.  And here’s the big upside – the better I know you the better I can tailor the site just for you.  So, please, come discuss with me! Also, keep your eye out for some quick visual surveys using a really fun new app I’ve just become privy to.
  • A new hashtag: #MPMK – you can use this on any social media channel you please but I’ll especially by looking out for it on Instagram and Twitter.  Doing something messy with the kids or got a tip us modern parents would love?  Post it, hash tag it, and spread the love.  You never know, I might just end up sharing it here to promote the conversation.
  • Friday Share – Think of this as a coffee date between us girls (and guys if you’re out there – although you may not be so into the occasional hair and makeup tips).  Every Friday I’ll be sharing something fun: a product I’m currently loving, a tip that’s working great for me, or a giveaway for you.  I’ll also be sharing my favorite comment on the blog from the week. (Nothing like seeing your name big and bold right?  I’m totally not above bribery if that’s what it takes to get you guys to open up to me.) Finally, because I just don’t have the time for the Weekend Look Book anymore, I’ll also include some quality stuff others have been sharing around the web (the rest of the good stuff will go into MPMK’s newsletter).

So here we go with our first Friday Share:


We’re running our first ever giveaway on Facebook (yipee).  

Head over to MPMK’s facebook page for the chance to win one of five Toydozers.  

What’s a Toydozer you ask?  It’s kind of like an oversized dust pan that’s made to look like the blade of a bulldozer.  

Toydozer was kind enough to send one to both S and C and thank goodness they sent two because my  “mighty machine” crazed kids love these things so much I’m sure only having one would actually cause a fight over who got to pick up!  If you have kiddos that like to leave LEGOS, toy cars, etc. strewn about the house, I would highly suggest entering the giveaway or using the code MPMK for 10% off.


I have been such a lifelong bibliophile that I could totally relate to Julia’s comment on our LOVE-ly Valentine Reads for Kids post.


‘Tis the season of the cold… I got sick pretty much immediately upon arriving home from Utah.  So I couldn’t help smiling when I came across Stephmodo’s Get Well Quick Kit.  Wouldn’t this just make your day to receive?

Ok, here come’s the question of the day – ready to jump in?

Question of the day: 

Since we’re talking about clean up time today – What are your best tricks for getting the littles to pick up?  A special song? Ransom box? Threats? Bribery? Given up all together and just pick it up yourself every night after they go to bed?  Let us know in the comments below.



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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay February 1, 2013 at 8:23 am

Bins, boxes, and bags. They love to put things *into* something. Also, my 3.5 yo loves if we set a timer to see how fast he can clean up.


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

Oh yes – how did I forget to mention the timer? That’s huge around our house – the kids love to have me set different sounds when it goes off and taking turns getting to be the one to turn it off.


Molly February 1, 2013 at 8:30 am

I have two tricks for my very energetic two year old. The first one involves getting out his “cleaning supplies” and making a game out of clean up time. If that fails we dance and make silly faces while we pick up toys; before he even realizes it we have everything put away and we are just being silly :)


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 11:11 am

Thanks for this reminder Molly – silly works great around here too. Honestly, a lot of the blame falls on me when clean up goes badly because I’m tired or in a hurry and don’t want to take the time to try to make it fun. Of course, kids eventually need to learn to have responsibilities without always having fun but for young toddlers it sure does help!


Gina February 1, 2013 at 8:47 am

My 2 yr old daughter LOVES to clean! So much so that her 4 yr old brother will say “Oh, Hannah will pick up my mess”! haha

When I do need my 4yr old to clean up we make it a race – he loves doing anything when there is a chance for him to beat his mom =)

Those toy dozers look awesome!


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 11:14 am

Ah, the race is one I haven’t tried in a while too – love that you guys are reminding me of all these tricks I’ve forgotten about.

I also have one kiddo that’s great at cleaning up (4) and one that’s not so great (2) it’s challenging because the 4 year old will often pick it all up while the 2 year old is lolly gagging around (as my grandma would say).


bea. February 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

Bribery AND threats! I put on a 5 minute Thomas “movie” for my toddler boys once they clean up their toys and they move fast. If anything is left on the floor it goes into a bucket out in the mudroom until saturday. It’s amazing how well little ones clean up on their own when they’re motivated.


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 11:16 am

We’ve tried the ransom box too with mixed results. Sometimes it works but, since my kids are still pretty little, I haven’t come up with good chores for them to do to get their toys out. Also, sometimes they just get tired and ask me to put their toys in the ransom box (sigh – clever little rascals).


Annie February 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

We use the “Clean Up” song from Barney when we clean up. Barney isn’t exactly my favorite but my 3 year old likes the song and she knows when it’s on we’re putting toys away. It’s kinda short so I have it on repeat until we’re done.

If the song doesn’t work I use a little “Love and Logic” on her and tell her if she chooses not to put away her toys and take care of them like she’s supposed to then I will find another little boy or girl who will take care of them and give the toy to them. I know, it sounds kinda harsh but we’ve also had an issue with treating our belongings with care (i.e. we don’t throw legos, or hit our brother with blocks).

I just discovered your blog and loving it– thanks so much for all the great ideas!


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

We definitely do logical consequences too. The challenge is usually thinking of one but it’s not too hard with picking up, “If you don’t pick up your toys, there won’t be space to play with other toys later, etc”. I think consequences like these work best with lots of consistency.

…So glad you found us and thanks for taking a minute to stop in and say “hi”!


Nina February 1, 2013 at 9:58 am

My toddler loves the Clean-Up Robot song and I love that it counts down at the end! He enjoys cleaning up and will do it on a especially hard day if one of us is there to join him in the fun. I also have designated cubbies/baskets for toys labeled with the name/picture of the toy that goes in that particular container.


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

oh, that one sounds perfect for my counting loving little ones – off to google it, thanks!


Jennifer February 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Yikes! I’m in the minority here. I tidy up when my 2 year old goes down for a nap and then again after she goes to bed at night. Honestly . . . not to sound too sappy but I don’t mind. As I clean up it’s cute to see what random places her toys can wind up — In my shoes, between pillows, etc. Makes me smile. I will even snap a picture on occasion if it’s cute enough. (I also include these pics into our yearly family albums.) But to make the cleaning up go faster I carry around a little bin and place all misplaced toys in the bin and then put them back where they go in her playroom. PS love how quickly you implement your goals! Great blog. I’m new here!


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I don’t think you’re totally alone – I’ll admit there are occasional days when I make deals with the kids “Since you had such nice table manners at dinner, I’ll pick up your blocks for you if you get your PJs on super quick!” …Sometimes I’d just rather do it myself – it’s so much faster!

Yay! for commenting as a newbie :). And when it comes to my to-do list, it’s either do it immediately or it often doesn’t get done – hence the immediate implementation of increasing the conversation here.


Maribel c February 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I ask if she’s done with something before asking if she needs help putting things away. Always hoping I don’t have a mound to pick up at the end of the day.


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Yes – we try to stick to the rule of no moving on to another toy until the last think you were playing with is picked up. (Side note: I’m loving this discussion because it’s reminding me of some of the tricks we’ve used in the past but I’ve semi-forgotten about.)


Heather February 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm

We have to pretend that be excavators while picking up everything right now. My 3 year old son is obsessed with construction equipment. We make a race out of it and see who can beat mommy.


mpmk February 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Heather – that is exactly my son. Don’t forget to enter the Toydozer giveaway, your little man will love it!


Alli February 1, 2013 at 6:28 pm

A timer does the trick over here. Also, I have a “One Big Mess” at a time rule, when he’s finished playing with one type of thing that has to get put away before the next type of play begins.


Suzanne February 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I tell my LO that if there’s something he wants to do/play with, he needs to put the toy/toys he was justplaying with away first. We just started this recently and it seems to be working *fingers crossed it continues!


Melanie February 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm

My son (only 2 1/2) never cleaned up until we started preschool and he had to clean up with his friends. It’s amazing what he’ll do when he sees other kids doing it too!


mpmk February 2, 2013 at 4:03 am

It often goes that way with potty training in preschool too (which is kind of awesome if you ask me).


Laura Hutchinson February 2, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I hope I’m not annoying anyone by disrupting the flow – I don’t have kids (yet – working on my first!) but I had a teeny tiny suggestion about the post. I think the hashtag is a great idea, but perhaps just #MPMK would be better? With Twitter being limited to 140 characters, a long hashtag can be very limiting in terms of what you can fit into the rest of the tweet.

Or people could use either the long or short version, depending on which social network they’re using and how much space they have.

Sorry again, just trying to be helpful. =)



mpmk February 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Hi Laura,

Thanks for chiming in! I struggled with this – I wanted the hashtag to be self-explanatory for those that stumble upon it outside of the blog but I was thinking more in terms of instagram. You’re right – it is pretty long for twitter. Hmmm… what about #modrentmessykid – still too long? You guys think anyone will get it?


Laura Hutchinson February 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I think a mix of #modernparentsmessykids and #MPMK is probably fine. People can use the long version where possible and, if needs be, revert to the short version for Twitter.

I know I don’t speak for everyone but, personally, I’d be much more likely to do some research if I saw the #MPMK hashtag if I was an outsider, because I’d want to know what it meant. With the long version, there’s a chance I’d just assume someone had made it up and that it didn’t actually refer to anything.

Hope that makes sense!


mpmk February 2, 2013 at 11:46 pm

I think I’m gonna go for the middle and change it to #modrentmessykid – shorter but still somewhat self-explanatory :)


mpmk February 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Ok, changed my mind again – I’m gonna try using #MPMK for the next week or so and see how it goes. I fully reserve the right to change my mind again ;).

Allison G February 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I use a scientifically validated combination of bribes, threats, cutesy songs, and when all else fails, the garbage bag. Only I’m too much of a wimp (and cheapskate) to actually throw things out. Then I forget where I put said “thrown out” toys and there is a mini-Christmas every once in a while. A win-win if you ask me…….


Hilary February 2, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I have a 14 month old so cleaning is a speed exercise at our house he loves putting stuff in (as well as taking stuff out). But we try to have regular cleanup time before bed and always sing the cleanup song.


mpmk February 3, 2013 at 1:11 am

I think starting those routines and habits at an early age goes a long way later on!


April February 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

We’re big about making sure that you’re cleaning up after yourself in our home. However, sometimes by 7:00p our home looks like a tornado went through it! Ahhh! Cleaning up to music and singing always makes it go quicker and with less whining from my 2-1/2 year old.


amy williams February 3, 2013 at 9:15 pm

my two boys compete to see you can get it done the fastest or I will tell them I will time them to see how quick they can do it.


mpmk February 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Oh I like that twist on the timer. We always play “get it done before the timer goes off” but I think my kids, especially the 4 year old, would love trying to beat their own time.


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