Tips To Help Toddlers Learn To Clean Up

Estimated read time 3 min read

Want to get toddlers cleaning up after themselves? Start early. Toddlers are at a great age to start learning to put away their toys. Here are some ways to help them learn.

Tips For Teaching Toddlers To Clean

Tired of picking up toys scattered around the house by little ones? Toddlers can start learning about how to clean up after themselves, and they are even at an age where they can have fun with helping around the house. Read on to find out more.

Have an Organized Routine for Clean Up

When a play activity is ending, let kids know ahead of time that it will soon be time to put the toys away. Give them a five-minute warning and then two-minute notice. Then when it is time for clean up, let the kids know and help them with the process. Make clean up part of the routine when doing any play or art activity.

Use a Clean Up Song to Cue Kids to Start Cleaning

It’s also a good idea when it is time to clean up to have a clean-up rhyme or song. Toddlers learn with fun songs. A popular song to sing or rhyme is the following:

    Clean up

    Clean up

    Everybody everywhere

    Clean up

    Clean up

Time for us to do our share

Keep repeating the song until everything is all cleaned up. As toddlers become familiar with the song, they will hum or sing along. They will eventually associate with the song with cleaning up and will one day surprise a parent by cleaning on their own when the song starts.

Check out our Printable Chore Tracker!

Be Organized About Where Toys Go

An important part of teaching a child how to tidy up is to have a tidy set up in the first place. Have containers and bins that are designated for certain toys. For example, have a lego bin, a toy car bin, a box for stuffed toys, etc. Have a set place, like a closet or corner of the room where the toys go as well. This way, it is always the same bin and place for a toy to go and it will be easier for the child to learn and know what to do. It can even be made into a game for the child to decide which bin a toy should go in.

Give Positive Feedback as Toddlers Learn to Clean

It will naturally take some time before a toddler is able to get the hang of a new task. Assist and congratulate her for being able to complete a task like putting all the train tracks into the drawer. She might even proudly shout, “I did it!”

Check out our printable Visual Chore Charts.

Be patient as well. When a toddler is enlisted to help clean, remember it is the intent not the end product that should be looked at. The idea is to let kids see that picking up after themselves is a part of everyday living. Getting them used to the process is the goal, improving their tidying skills will happen with time and practice.

Toddlers are at a stage of development where they can start to learn how to pick up after themselves. Parents can help teach them to tidy their toys by setting a routine for clean up after an activity, using a clean-up song, being organized about where toys go and acknowledging kids for working hard to clean up.

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