How to Teach Toddler to Clean Up Toys

How to Teach Toddler to Clean Up Toys
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If you can learn the answer to how to teach toddler to clean up toys, it will become a lot easier for you to deal with the kid’s toys. Tired of seeing your toddler’s toys scattered all over the place no matter how many times you clean them up? We know what you must be going through.

Children have an incredible propensity to create a huge mess in just a matter of minutes. What’s even more annoying is that they enjoy doing so.

It probably gives them a sense of relief to scatter all of their belongings around so that they can easily reach them during their playtime.

But, having all of these toys cluttered everywhere on the floor can be quite risky and painful in case someone steps on them accidentally. Yet, ironically, these accidents are more likely to happen to the very children who are the reason behind all this mess.

Fortunately, you can pretty much prevent this situation from happening over and again by learning how to teach toddler to clean up toys.

Yes, this may sound impossible considering the nature and habits of your child, but believe us that every child behaves the same way. What’s best about bringing up children is that you can mold their personalities and habits in any way that you like.

All you need is to be determined and patient. If you follow the right approach, your children will start cleaning up their own clutter in no time and would also love doing so.

How to Teach Toddler to Clean Up Toys

Try the below mentioned tried and tested tips to help make the cleanup job easy, fun, and desirable for your children.

Start Young

If you want to learn the most efficient way of how to teach toddler to clean up toys, the first rule you need to follow is to start early, when the child is young and naive. Younger children have the capability to adopt a new habit faster than the bigger children.

So, don’t worry, that won’t be child labor. This is necessary for shaping up your children into better and responsible beings.

You don’t necessarily have to start with the toys. You can ask them to assist you while you are cleaning up the house by giving them a dusting cloth or dustpan. Then gradually move onto the toys.

Lead by Example

Children always try to imitate their parents. They do what they see their parents are doing. If you keep on asking your children to clean up their stuff once they are done with playing, but you do not bother to tidy up your own room, they will take it for granted. So, in short, set a good example for your children by being an ideal role model.

Keep it Fun

Do not order around your children to pick up their stuff. Also, do not develop unrealistic expectations from your young ones that they will clean up everything like how an adult does.

The best way is to share the job with them by taking over all the tougher tasks like arranging the books and picking up heavier items, while they can pick up trash and toss it in the bin or do something similar.

Make the whole job a fun-filled activity for your children turning it into a game. Set a timer and compete with your child to see who wins and who loses.

If you have more than one child, then you can distribute the work between them and let them compete, while you can be the judge. You can also involve singing or dancing while cleaning up to double all the fun.

Reward Your Toddler

Appreciate and reward the hard work and efforts that your little one puts into cleaning up, no matter how insignificant that help is. By reward, we do not mean in monetary or physical terms.

A reward can simply be a hug, applause, encouraging words, and boasting in front of others how helpful your child is.

If your child doesn’t have much motivation for this whole cleaning up thing, then you can drive them to do so by offering their preferred activity once they are done with the job, for example, cycling or a visit to the park.

Limit the Cleanings

No matter how hard you try, you cannot keep everything in place all the time. Doing so will only make yours, and your children’s heads hurt. There is also a possibility that they will begin hating this very activity because you keep asking them to do so all day long.

The best way is to do so when the day is over, and you know that your children are not going to play with their toys anymore for the day. This will also set up a routine for them as they’ll know that they can’t go to bed unless they have cleaned up.

Another thing you can do is to limit your children to start a new activity only when they are done with the first one. For example, if they are playing a board game, do not allow them to switch to some other toy or game unless they pick up the board game first.

Be Lenient

Do not be too hard to your children and understand that they have the capability to help up to a certain limit. Also, if your children are in the middle of something that requires days to finish such as building a castle using blocks or completing a challenging puzzle, allow them to keep it as it is until they finish what they started. Best is to specify a certain area in the room for such ongoing projects.

Less is More

Whether you buy your children’s toys physically or from some online source, do not go overboard and try to limit the number of toys your children own. The fewer the toys, the easier and faster the cleanup.


Finally, it all boils down to the approach you opt to follow. Nobody can understand your children better than you do as only you know what kind of appreciation they like, how can you get them to do stuff, and how can you keep them motivated. But mind you, all of this requires patience and a really positive attitude.

Moreover, do not expect to see precision because that’s impractical, and do not forget to shower your children with tons of praise to keep them driven. Own up to their work and tell them that they have done a great job.

It’s not as challenging as you might be thinking. If you follow all the guidelines properly, you’ll have an efficient little helper in your home in no time.

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