Carl’s Messy Room
Carl and his friend Spencer liked to play with toy race cars and soldiers. One day, Spencer had to go home before they were finished playing.
“What a mess you boys made!” Mommy said. “You’d better clean your room before dinner.”
Carl frowned. He didn’t think he could ever put away all the toys that he and Spencer had accidentally spilled. He started to pick them up one by one, but there were so many! He went to the kitchen, where Mommy was cooking. “It’s too hard to clean my room.”
His sister, Kimberly, was setting the table. “Cleaning is easy,” she said.
Mommy kept slicing vegetables. “Try a little harder,” she said.
Carl went back to his room and picked up a few race cars, but there were many more still on the floor. “I’ll be cleaning forever!” he thought. He went back to the kitchen and said, “It’s too hard to clean my room.”
“Cleaning is easy,” Kimberly said again. She finished setting the table and disappeared down the hall.
Daddy was stirring juice. “You can do it,” he said. “You made the mess, so cleaning it up is your special job.”
Carl went back to his room and picked up several soldiers. But there were still many more on the floor, and he was getting tired. “Spencer helped make this mess, and he went home and no one is helping me clean it up,” he thought. “It isn’t fair!”
He ran back to the kitchen. “The mess is too big to clean up by myself,” he wailed.
Mommy’s eyes twinkled. “Maybe you have too many toys,” she teased. “Would it be easier to clean your room if we gave some of them away?”
“No!” Carl stomped back to his room in tears.
When he opened the door, he could hardly believe his eyes! There were no more toys on the floor. He wiped away his tears and peeked into the toy box. Like magic, race cars and soldiers were stacked neatly inside. Then he saw Kimberly hiding in the corner.
“Surprise!” she yelled.
“How did you clean my room so fast?” He was so happy!
“Cleaning is easy,” Kimberly said. “I’m older than you are, so some chores are easier for me. Next time I’ll show you a game I learned that helps me to clean faster.”
“But why did you clean my room?” Carl asked. “Daddy said it was my special job.”
“Jesus helps us to do things that are hard. This time, I think He wanted me to help you with your special job.” She hugged Carl. “Jesus wants us to make other people happy.”
Carl was happy because Kimberly had helped him. He was so happy that he wanted to please Jesus by making others happy, too. He started by squeezing Kimberly tight and saying, “Thank you!”
Beat the Timer
It’s important to put your toys away. Toys left on the floor may cause someone to trip and fall. When you put your toys away, they won’t get broken and can be found the next time you want to play with them. But sometimes putting toys away isn’t nearly as much fun as playing with them. Why not make a game of cleaning your room?
Ask an older person to show you how to set a baking timer, and set it for one minute. In that one minute, put away toys that are red. Count how many you can put away before the buzzer rings.
If someone else is helping you, take turns giving orders: “Look for all the blue toys,” or “Put away all the dolls.” Work together to put as many toys away as you can before the buzzer rings.
Remember that the toys must be put where they belong. Shoving them under the bed or hiding them in the closet (if they don’t belong there) is cheating!
Before you know it, your room will be as neat as can be!
If you like to sponge-paint but don’t like the mess it makes, here’s a way to avoid the problem. Get some empty thread spools and ask a grown-up to hot-glue them to the backs of sponges. This will keep your fingers clean and make your art more fun.
And have you tried ice-cube painting? This, too, is lots of fun. First, cover your table with newspaper. Then lay down a piece of heavy manila paper of the size you want your painting to be. Put dry tempera paint into saltshakers and shake the paint onto your manila paper. Use the ice cube to spread the paint around.
Peanut Butter Dip
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 or 3 tablespoons honey
In a mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter and yogurt until they are well mixed. Add 2 tablespoons of the honey. Taste with a clean spoon. If you would like a sweeter dip, add the remaining tablespoon of honey.
Serve the dip with apple wedges, celery sticks, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, or crackers.