Meaningful Mommy

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Parenting Tip: Toy clean-up

on July 10, 2014

Hmmm….toys, books, crayons, stuffed animals are everywhere…if your children are anything like mine they have an amazing ability to dump baskets of toys in the 5 minutes you leave to use the bathroom.

I know that I need to remind my children to put away what they have out before they get out new toys, because they never seem to remember for themselves… 😉

Well, I’d love to tell you that your preschooler should be able to clean up their mess all by themselves, but that’s not the case. If your child is between 2-5 years old, they actually do need your help cleaning up. But! do not clean it all up yourself, ask them what they would like to pick up and then leave that for them. Encourage them to do their part while you help with the rest.

Kids love a good clean up song and there are many to choose from. We do “Clean up, clean up everybody everywhere, clean up, clean up everybody do your share.” Timers also work well, my oldest loves to try to beat the clock. She is a very speedy picker upper when she thinks she can be the ‘winner’.

If your kids are between the age 6-12 they are able to pick up their toys themselves. You are welcome to work out a system that works for you both as to how this happens. One idea is they can pick it up or they can choose for you to do it, but…your way is what is on the floor goes into a bin and they get it back in an agreed upon amount of days.

The key is to have had a family discussion about the expectations of toy clean-up and what will happen if toys are not cleaned up. Then there are no surprises and fewer tears or power struggles.

Also take a quick look at the amount of toys available for your child to get out at one time. There might be too many available. A good idea is to keep some in a closet or shelving system and rotate them in and other toys out.

What are your best tips for getting kids to help clean up their toys?


9 responses to “Parenting Tip: Toy clean-up

  1. Robyn says:

    My big rule is that they are not allowed to enter another room (except the bathroom if they have to go) without cleaning the mess in the room they’re already in. I have seen them trash every room in this house. No, thanks.

    Also, I have been trying to get in touch with you! I need your email address so I can send you your treat for the line you came up with for the “You’re Not Alone” post. 🙂

  2. I am starting to take a picture of how their room should look and post it on their wall. Then when it is time for clean up they have to make their room look like the picture.

Thoughts?? :)

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