Our back yard is a vortex, some sort of black hole. Many things disappear. Sure there are bikes and a few toys on the back varandah and paving, but that is about it - actully most of the mess is the folding I leave out on the varandah.
BUT - The edges are full with plastic bottles, spoons, paintings, drawings, string, cardboard creations from school, MOST of my plastic containers to catch lizards, bugs etc( a drawer full of lids is all I have now), plastic, tiny toys, general junk basically.
Now every few weeks I go around and pick it all up, It is amazing how it all just hovers around the edges! Like our back yard isnt level and all the junk magically rolls to the garden beds, under the stairs etc. We try to get the kids to help us but they use these variety of excuses - Too dark under the house, Too difficult to get under the stairs (there are very low, only 3 pretty much be a contorionist to get under there) Too many spiders/wasps in the hedges, Too tired, etc etc etc
Well not anymore, today Daddy was home and aren't dads just the greatest at whipping kids into shape, if only mothers commanded as much power as Dad's! So this was his ingenious idea. He got two boxes. He told the girls they had to collect junk/rubbish from all around the yard/garage. For everything they got in the box they would get a point. He sat there with a pen and paper tallying. They so fell for it. They were running and collecting and trying to fill up their box quicker. They went under the house, the stairs, the hedges and the garage, it was sooo funny to watch.
A few times we said they could stop but if the other was ahead in points the other wanted to keep going, then if the other stopped, then they would get ahead so neither wanted to stop!! We got them to stop at the same points. Daddy then went around and if he found anything they would get some points deducted. Lucky he only found 3 things. He then said the points could equal cents and that they could use their "80" points to get a iceblock at the tuckshop during the week (Something we already give them - I have never allowed them to get their lunch at school - but they are allowed an iceblock once a week) So how sucked in are they.
Sometimes parents are so smart.
*note don't think my husband is lazy in the photo just sitting tallying points - He had just mowed, trimmed hedges, edged the paths etc.