Toys. If you have little ones, you know how the toys can seem to take over. Blink, and Hot Wheels are parked all over the couch. Turn around and doll house furniture litters the floor.
Just how can you get preschoolers to help clean up?
- First, make sure to have kid-friendly storage. Clear plastic bins or storage drawers make it easy for kids to see what’s in them. Labeling them (use pictures for non-readers) allows children to know which toys go back in each container quickly and easily.
- DON’T tell them they need to pick up ALL the toys. (Even if they need to eventually) That can be overwhelming to a small child. Instead, start with one type of toy. “Put all the dinosaurs in the dinosaur drawer.” Once that set of toys is picked up, you can move on to the next set.
- Turn clean up time into a game! Grab the timer, set it for 5 minutes and race to see how many toys you can put away before it goes off. (You can sweeten the deal with a mini reward for successfully getting the toys put away before the timer goes off.)
- Have a princess of your own? Tell her you are going to play Cinderella! Jump into the role of “evil step-mother” and tell her what toys to pick up and where they need to go. As a reward for cleaning up, play the Fairy Godmother later on and let her go to the ball, where she can dance with you as the prince!
- Got a car-lover on your hands? Have him race the cars to their correct location. Ready, set, go!
- Have some music lovers? Turn on the music! See how many toys you can put away before the song is over. Or, find fun ways to dance the toys to their correct location.
- Ignore the desire to “fix it” if something isn’t put away just right. Think about how you would feel if you cleaned up and then someone came by and “fixed” it.
Have a tip that works for you when it comes to getting the toys cleaned up? Leave it in the comments!
Rabia @ TheLiebers says
I used to make games and do these things with my kids, but now they spend 10 minutes arguing about what “fun” way we will put away the toys and it never gets done!! They are great tips though. 🙂
LOL — yep, I don’t give them a choice. I just set the timer or suggest the race.
This Busy Life says
Such fun and creative tips. Makes me wish I had been more creative when my kids were little.
I’ve learned to be creative for my daughter… She HATES to clean up, but make it a game, and she is all for it!
Thanks for the comment! I love the idea of turning cleaning up into a game! I’ll have to try this as my little boy gets older.
Anytime you can make work fun for little ones (or big ones!) definitely makes it easier on everyone!
NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner says
We’ve mad it pretty simple on ourselves- we just don’t have a lot of toys (on purpose). And we’re really working on putting one thing away before getting the next thing out. Everything has a bin or shelf that it belongs on, which makes putting away easy. Before bed, we have a 30 min count down (usually while we are watching Jepopardy). We remind him several times that when the show is over, everything needs to be put back in their home. Anything that mom or dad have to pick up after that time belong to them. We only had one instance of that and it was enough to motivate him to pick up (the toy in question was a favorite, but kept in time out the next day which really bummed my preschooler out). If he is playing with something independantly, we expect him to pick it up. If we are playing together, we all pictch in and race.
Kristin @ OneOrganicMama says
We too do a cleanup before bedtime 🙂 ^^ and do it to music 🙂 Love your creative ideas! Thanks for linking up to THE Pin it Party! Hope to see you back next week!
Thank you for the tips! Such simple, but wonderful ideas that I find difficult to come up with in the throws of “CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM” with my five year old who is exercising defiance and my patience. 🙂
Oh, my own 5 year old tries my patience every day…. 🙂 Good luck!