Few children like and want to clean up after themselves. Kids like to mess up, but arranging toys is not so attractive for them anymore. So how to encourage them to clean up?
Children have this in common that they love to make messes. Scattered toys, blocks, books – it’s a norm in every home where they live. Unfortunately, despite parents’ requests, many children are not eager to clean up. However, there are ways to change that
None of us, including adults, likes to be forced to do anything. This is normal, then there is a defensive reaction in the form of resentment. That’s why it’s a mistake to use a commanding tone with a child. It is worth creating a semblance of fun, so that our child is not bored while cleaning, and on the contrary – he had a lot of fun while doing it
But how to have fun while cleaning? You can, for example, make races – who will put blocks, dolls or cars in order first, or who will clean their part of the room faster. Another idea is to play e.g. with a garbage truck, bulldozer or digger – as it turns out, this works not only with boys. Toys are garbage, debris, earth, etc. and we have to take them to the right place on the shelf. The child’s hands are in this case, for example, a big spoon, which must scoop the load. Of course, during this play, there is no lack of various sounds that we can hear on construction sites
Some moms or dads joke that those who invented colored toy boxes should get a Nobel Prize. And there is something in it, because thanks to them it’s much easier to keep order in a child’s room. And placed boxes look aesthetically and can decorate the interior. It’s worth establishing with your child that the boxes are houses of toys and you can choose together in which cars, blocks, puzzles etc will live. In addition, thanks to the boxes, cleaning goes much faster, so the child is not so bored.
If we leave the child alone in a room with scattered toys and tell him to clean up, then we can be almost certain that after a few minutes we will find the room in the same condition as we left it. And there is no need to get angry. Our child, even if he is going to clean, will certainly find a toy during this activity, which he will want to play with for a while, which will make him forget about cleaning. What is more, cleaning alone is boring. Therefore, it is worth helping the child and making cleaning together more pleasant, e.g. with songs or rhymes
Small children watch their parents and imitate them in everything. Therefore, if we require tidiness from them, we have to clean up after ourselves. A toddler, seeing that we put away an object after using it, will surely do the same. It’s also worth explaining to your kids that you only take the blocks when you put the previous toy back in its place. Of course, you have to keep reminding your child of this habit, but this patience will certainly pay off in the future
A good idea is to organize a cleaning day. Then we do a general cleanup, check whether all toys are intact, or some are so damaged that they need to be thrown away (of course, only with the consent of the child). Our child can not only arrange the toys, but also wipe the dust or vacuum on his own, just like an adult. Of course, during all the activities, we show our admiration for the child’s work and encourage him or her to continue cleaning. A child, especially an older one, when he or she notices how much effort was put into tidying up the room, may not clutter it up so quickly. At the end of such a cleaning day, let yourself be rewarded for the hard work by eating a cake or ice cream.