Basically the only way that the girls will let me trim their nails is if I announce, apropos of nothing, "Hey, let's trim your nails really quick so that you can paint them!"I'm pretty sure this would work with boys, too, because the nail polish colors are AWESOME--purple basecoat with alternating green polka dots and orange stripes, or each fingernail half red and half pink and the thumb is blue, or, if you're a traditionalist, you could just go for the red and white "candy cane" paint job.
Of course, this is mainly the plan in the little girls' heads. No matter how carefully I talk them through proper manicure procedure, the paint job does always reveal itself to be child-engineered in a multitude of ways. But, eh--the kids love it anyway.
Best part, though?
The best part is however long I can convince them to sit quietly just like that so that their nails can dry. It's never long enough to actually allow their nails to dry fully, of course, but I will take any small amount of peace that I can get.