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!