Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Teaching Your Child to Clean Up

Cleaning up can be a struggle for some families. I remember that a lot of parents have asked me how to deal with this issue: their children refuse to clean up just before bedtime, so they end up putting the toys away themselves, just to get the kids to sleep.

Depending on their age and their interests, some children might help a bit more than others. But these are a few steps and aspects to consider when trying to get children more and more involved in the cleanup:

It all starts with modelling. Even with a baby, form a habit of putting toys away as soon as she is done with them. That's how babies learn that everything has a place and needs to be out back. Also, having lots of toys around can overstimulate your baby.

A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place
Children thrive in an orderly environment and having a designated place for their toys and things can help contribute to their peace of mind AND get them more involved in cleaning.

Always think in advance and allocate enough time for cleanup. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, let your child know beforehand.

Invite your child to contribute in the cleanup process in a fun way:
If your child enjoys sorting by colour, sing a song about colours and pick up those colours
Make it into a guessing game: "I spy with my little eye something that is red and can hold water or sand" (a bucket). "Yes, you guessed. The bucket belongs here.".
Put music and clean up together

Have fewer toys and rotate, to avoid clutter
This is a really important thing that you can do - having fewer toys at a time makes cleaning much faster and easier. Read more about the benefits of toy rotation here: Why and How You Should Rotate Toys 

Avoid shaming your child for not cleaning up, because it won't help.

What works for you and your family?

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