Cleaning up after a day of fun is definitely at the top of your kid’s list of “Things I Don’t Like to Do.” Your kid has to learn how to tidy up toys if you don’t want to spend your day tripping over the Little People and their school bus (and their farm, zoo, and Ferris wheel). Being a parent it is your responsibility to teach your child to clean up.
Cleaning up a mess that a young kid has created is a crucial element of their growth. It aids in the development of a sense of responsibility in preschoolers. While it may be more convenient for you to clean up on your own, this is only a temporary solution.
How a child learns to clean up now sets the tone for how they will carry out the task as they grow older. If you pick up after your child all the time at this age, they will learn to expect it. Then, as they grow older, they will either not know how or will not believe it is something they should be concerned about because mom and dad always do it. Cleaning up isn’t always fun, but it doesn’t have to be a chore.
Here’s the Tips to Teach Your Child to Clean Up:
Check out the tips to teach your child to clean up in the below-mentioned points:
#1 Choose your words with care.
“Clean up” isn’t enough. A preschooler can easily become overwhelmed by a large mess, especially if they don’t know where to begin. “Put your cars away first, then move on to the books,” instead. A seemingly interminable process can be made bearable by breaking it down into smaller jobs. Keep in mind that your child is new to the cleaning game. Cleaning up toys isn’t something they’re naturally good at. You’ll have to teach them.
#2 Explain why it is necessary to clean up.
Cleaning up may seem apparent to you, but to your kid, it’s just putting away the toys. (And who wants to do something like that?) Explain that if toys aren’t put away properly, someone could trip and hurt themselves, or components could be misplaced, making the next time you play with this particular toy less enjoyable. It’s crucial to establish a relationship with young children that they can understand.
#3 Make toy Storage that is kid-friendly.
Removable picture labels should be placed on drawers and bins to assist children in learning where everything belongs. Draw or cut out images of specific items (blocks, puzzles, games) that go into each one for your kid to draw or cut out of magazines. Write the item’s name neatly beneath the image (great word recognition for pre-readers). It’s a lot easier to put things away when everything has its proper place. Natural-material shelves are used in Montessori schools and are an excellent method to organize a playroom.
#4 Boost the Music Volume.
While you’re cleaning up, blast Dan Zanes or The Wiggles. It speeds up the process, and the upbeat music will keep your toddler happy. Alternatively, you can sing your tunes. “Picking up blocks, picking up blocks, picking up blocks is how we do it. As we clean up your room, this is how we pick up blocks!”
#5 Make it a game.
Set a timer for 10 minutes in the kitchen and challenge your child to “Beat the Clock.” “Can you finish putting these puzzle pieces away before I put away the doll clothes?” or “Can you finish putting these puzzle pieces away before I put away the doll clothes?”
#6 Don’t try to “fix” it.
Don’t redo what isn’t perfect when your child’s room or playroom is finally clean. Do you have lumpy bed sheets? There’s no need to smooth them out. Do you have a collection of mismatched dollhouse furniture? Do not pay attention to it. Leave it alone as long as the task was done correctly. A four-year-old will never be able to clean as thoroughly as an adult.
If you redo something they’ve already worked so hard on, your child may be less willing to do the job the next time because you’ve already fixed it. In this scenario, the effort is more essential than the outcome.
#7 Reward for a job well done.
Keep a chart in the kitchen or another visible location throughout the house. Give your kid a sticker to put on the chart as soon as they finish their activity. Usually, that’s enough, but if your child has trouble cleaning up, consider allowing them to earn something more after a particular amount of stickers. The best option is buying ice cream. Kids love it!
Also, be sure to express your gratitude to your child for their efforts. Always encourage them to be proud of what they’ve accomplished by pointing out how lovely the room now looks.
#8 Make sure that everything has a place.
Make sure there’s a distinct play area and storage area, with bins, baskets, and deep shelves where toys may be stored, to help your child keep the chaos under control. Toy chests can be harmful (and won’t help you organize your toys), but if you must have one, make sure it has air holes, rounded or padded corners, and, if necessary, a lightweight or hinged cover.
In a Nutshell:
Finally, don’t expect perfection and heap praise on your kid for his accomplishments. Appreciate his efforts and tell him what a fantastic job he’s doing, and he’ll be inspired to keep going. Praising your kid for his efforts is one of the Montessori methods followed in a Montessori school. Teaching kids how to clean up is one of the important things. Hope you find this article helpful.