Getting Kids to Clean Up: And not just because you said so!
It’s time for a good Spring cleaning, for kids! While getting littles to clean their play spaces can be a challenge, their efforts are rewarded by taking pride in a job well done, not to mention be able to find toys and special items easily. Cleaning up isn’t a punishment. It’s an opportunity to learn responsibility and to contribute to the household or classroom. A tidy space is more fun to enjoy and share with others. Encourage positive cleaning habits with these ideas!
Whistle while you work!
Add a clean-up song to the daily schedule or as part of a chore chart so that it becomes routine. Make cleaning a little more fun with an upbeat song blaring!
Easy as 1-2-3!
Define the steps so that little ones know where to start. Instead of just saying, “Clean Up!” break tasks into a few age-appropriate chunks.
1. Pick up dirty clothing
2. Put away toys
3. Make the bed
Labels, labels everywhere!
A labeled space is so much easier to keep tidy. Create sticky tags to place on bins, storage tubs, cubbies, baskets, and book shelves. This helps kids remember where things go, with while crafting a print rich environment that reinforces literacy skills.
Hanging hooks and reading nooks!
If space is an issue, get creative! Utilize under the bed storage and back and of the door organizers. Hooks can help store high use items like backpacks and jackets. Kid size shelving organizes books and toys in a cozy reading nook.
It’s more fun together!
In the beginning, clean up side by side so that you can model how to sort and store belongings. Frequent use items should be easily accessible. Try not to “fix” or redo kids work. Oversee and support if needed, until kids have it down.
Eliminate the clutter!
Toy rotations and donations help keep things ship shape. Try to declutter once every 3 months. Set a reminder in your calendar at the start of each new season. It’s a great time store away seasonal clothing and items!
Using these ideas can help lay the groundwork for self-reliance and help create good cleaning habits for life!
Stephanie Standley M. Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology as well as a Master of Education-Literacy from the University of San Diego. Stephanie has 12+ years of classroom experience as a teacher and currently supports students in Special Education. She is inspired to use evidence-based practices to educate children in creative and engaging ways.