Kids make messes. But it’s never too early to start teaching youngsters the fine art of cleaning up. Doing so doesn’t have to be a battle royal, either.
Take some tips from the experts, and you’ll have your little ones cleaning up, and helping out, in no time. Even toddlers can pick up toys, and they’re proud of their accomplishments, says Parents magazine. So, make it fun and make them feel important at the same time.
Just make sure the tasks you give your youngsters are age appropriate, and even a 2- or 3-year-old can put toys back in a bin. Assign one simple job at a time, says Parents. Don’t tell a 5-year-old to clean his room. That’s overwhelming to someone that age, who won’t even know where to begin. Start by assigning putting all cars or blocks away in their box. For the very young, attach a picture of what goes inside each bin.
Make cleaning up doable. Too many toys are just confusing, so keep only what will fit in a toy box or bin, advises Parents. If you have an overabundance, weeding out the less used or unused ones not only makes cleanup easier. They can choose which ones they’d like to give to charity.
Making a game of it for kindergarten-age children can make the job go quickly. Let them use their imaginations or assign them to pick up certain color toys first, then another color. Make a contest out of it to see who can pick up the most toys or who can accomplish the job the quickest.
Important: Not expecting your own version of perfection is key. Praise your kids for their efforts, and, no matter how tempting, don’t re-do the task yourself afterward. That’s an ego deflator and you’ll have undone all the positive reinforcement you just instilled.
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