Posted on by Anthill ShopnPlay

Letting your kids play independently with their toys is good for them, but they can't just leave them around afterwards. Here's how to teach them to tidy up.

Getting your kid to clean up their toys. Now we're talking a battle!

They get into it, have their fun, but it's on you to tidy up the mess. Not something you look forward to after a hard days' work. 

Who can blame them? Kids are kids.

They don't understand the time and effort it takes to keep the place tidy. They especially don't understand the troubles of stepping or slipping on a toy. Tears will come running if you so happen to break one of their favorites.

Want to know the secret to making the tidy up session possible? Make it fun!

Let's dive into five different ways to get your child(ren) to clean up after a hard days' play session.

Adding Some Fun to the Tidy Up

Would you want to clean up your mess after having fun especially knowing that someone else will do it for you? Of course not.

It doesn't have to stick this way.

Here are different ways to make the clean-up fun for your kid(s):

  • Work Together - Use this tidy up as a bonding experience. Turn it into a game by seeing who can clean up their section of the room the fastest. You can handle the big stuff and them the little. Toss on some music to add extra fun to the activity!
  • Routine (Mirroring) -  Try planting subtle clues to the kid(s) about how wonderful it is to have a clean household. Talk about how you're happy and so proud when the home is cleared. Kids are impressionable. They'll take it upon themselves to help mommy/daddy out when they can! How is it fun? Well, they get to feel like an adult and this could be rewarded with a small bump in their allowance.
  • Add Flair - Turn the storage and play areas into one which looks like part of the play experience. Paint and add decorations to the area and talk about how important it is for the toys to go back into their spots. It's like a dollhouse in some ways. They'll want to have everything back in place.
  • Talk about the "Icky's" - Kids are messy. You could try talking to them about hygiene. This could turn into a rewarding, fun experience by having them clean their toys and care for them. Their cleanliness could be a playtime activity with their dolls or action figures. 
  • Pass It Down - Try teaching the eldest the routine and having them talk to their siblings about the importance of cleaning up. Siblings are impressionable with their counterparts. They'll find imaginative ways to do this task without feeling the pressure from the parent(s).

Also...

This Helps in the Long-Run

Oh, those helicopter parents.

You know the ones: They'll go out of their way to make sure their little bundle of joy is comfortable. This happens all the way up to college!

Teaching them responsibilities through the act of doing a tidy up helps them create independence. It'll help in the long-run. It starts with toys then moves to other important areas such as dishes, vacuuming, and even managing finances!

Teach them early, make it fun, and they'll build routines that will help them throughout the rest of their lives -- without you needing to hover around.