Toddlers are people with a mind of their own. They are at a stage in life when they want to explore, touch, and feel things around the house. It often happens that these things do not go back to their right places after all, creating a mess!Â It is important to impart the idea of cleaning up when they are as young as this. This helps them grow into organized adults.
The best way to help avoid messes is to designate a place for everything. By providing appropriate receptacles like baskets and toy bins and showing the children where to store each of the toys, they learn to organize their things. Teach the children to put away the toys after they have played with them. Create a fun song to sing during the clean up process.
Be sure to appreciate the cleanup effort with a hug or a high five. That way the children feel appreciated and know they have contributed to the clean up process.
Give precise instructions to help clean up. For example, instead of simple saying “clean up”, say “put your books away into the basket”. This way the child is not overwhelmed but can attack each area and attempt to clean up. Provide supplies to clean up such as a cloth to wipe and dust or a tissue to wipe away a mess.
If the children refuse to clean up, there are several tactics that can be employed to get them started. For starters, seeing the parents cleaning up along with them is sure to make them join in. Switch on some music and clean up to it.
Make activities dependent on cleaning up after oneself. Allowing the children to access the toys the following day, only if they clean up now, is sure to get them involved.
Once the child has helped with the cleaning, make sure to motivate him/her by offering praise. Knowing that you are proud of them will make the child want to clean up and make his/her parents happy?
Lastly, children do make messes; do not be harsh with them. Gently but firmly teaching children to clean up and allowing them to explore around is the best way to encourage their minds.