Getting kids to clean up their toys is one of those never-ending battles all parents have to deal with. Toys end up in the most random places, too: cabinets, closets, under the couch, refrigerators…the toilet (I know, gross, but true. I’ve even found crayons there!). Well, I’m here to tell you something very important: if you don’t teach your children how to clean up their toys, they will never learn.
Let’s be honest, how many of us cleaned up our toys as kids? As an adult, I’m obsessive about cleaning, but growing up I remember many times where I was in trouble for not cleaning my room, the bathroom, doing my own laundry, etc; but, no one really ever made me clean up my stuff. I knew my grandmother would clean whatever she was complaining about eventually.
The common excuse I hear from parents is: “Oh, Susie is still too little to clean up by herself. She’s only 3.” Wait, what? Right there that parent has already started creating a world for their child where it is perfectly acceptable to have mommy, daddy, grandma, the nanny, etc., clean up their toys for them.
What age is appropriate for a child to clean up their toys? Children over a year old are old enough to learn about picking up their toys.
Here are some guidelines in making clean-up time successful:
One more word of advice: Children easily get over whelmed. Try giving them one little task at a time rather than asking them to go clean the whole room. Happy Cleaning!