I don’t know about you but my kids seem to make a huge mess…daily. They take out virtually every toy we own, and then they keep moving onto the next thing. At first I tried the old “you can’t play with the next toy until you clean up what you are currently playing with” routine. HAHA…in theory that worked for about a week and then slowly that rule went out the door. That may work for some (so keep it up if it works for you!) but I needed to find some ideas that would work for my kids.
|My 18 month old|
Here are some suggestions:
· You can use some fun ideas below to make the process easier.
· Ask your child to only pick up one or two things so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Give specific instructions on what they need to clean up. Don’t just say, “OK, go clean up!” Tell them exactly what needs to be done, a little at a time.
· Have bins for toys to go in that are reachable for kids. Even better…organize them by items that are similar.
· However they clean up is fine. If it is just thrown in the bin or on the shelf just deal with it because you don’t want to start fixing it in front of them and discourage them from doing it again. (If there is a need to reorganize, don’t do in front of them. Find time to sneak away and fix it later.)
· Reward them for the effort. I use a marble system and they get rewards after five marbles earned. Whatever works for you and your child, but seriously…what kid doesn’t like a reward even if it is a hug and a big “thank you”!!
· Limit the amount of toys out at a time, not just one a few can be out. This will help with any cleanup time.
· Give yourself some time to clean up so that it is not a rushed experience to try to get out the door. For me that is where it can cause a problem or even a melt down.
· Give a warning time so they know playtime is ending and the cleanup begins!Say Thank You!! Make sure they know that you are proud of them for helping and cleaning up. For my daughter that really goes a long way.
Download the list:
Fun Clean Up Ideas.docx
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