Teaching your children to clean up after themselves gives them pride, lifelong skills, and keeps you sane! Here are some tips for busy moms and dads on how to get your kids to keep their clothes and toys neat and tidy!
Tips For the Younger Crowd:
• Look for kid-friendly organizers (hampers with animals on them, coat racks with ABCs, etc.) A great example is the Kids Clothes Sorting Hamper – it has two sections and a corresponding picture for sorting light and dark clothes for non-readers.
• Let them pick one type of toy to put away (Legos, play kitchen, trains).
• Then, make it a game. This sounds exhausting but it really works and pretty soon they know the game by heart and can “play cleanup” on their own.
• Cleanup Game Ideas taken from my home:
~ Throw the trains (or blocks, legos) in the basket. More effective if you make up a song: “Throw Thomas in the Basket, Throw Percy in the basket”…you get the idea.
~ Doggie puts the toys away – they crawl around and put all the toys away using their mouth. Note: this one requires extra time and patience.
Tips For Big Kids:
• Big Kids can take care of their clothes and toys, and they may be ready to handle an additional chore as well, like sweeping, vacuuming, or even laundry.
• To streamline the morning routine, have school age kids pick out tomorrow’s outfit the night before – shoes, jacket and all. A special bin or shelf in their closet is all they need to have everything ready to go for the next morning!
• Reward charts or allowances usually work well for this crowd, and, at the same time, you can start to point out the lifelong benefits of being an organized person.
• Explain to them that the cleaning you have to do, the more time you can spend playing with them. (And then follow through by spending some special time with them).