How can I make cleaning fun?

Cleaning up can be fun when it’s a shared experience, when it’s accompanied by a song (“Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere…”), and when there’s a goal in mind. Make the clean-up process a fun activity by incorporating a challenge, such as trying to fit all the toys into a specific basket, or attempting to clean up all the blocks before a song ends. Ensure that the task is not overwhelming, and that your toddler knows exactly what you expect of him or her. Establish a routine of cleaning up between activities rather than at the end of the day, so that there are not too many items to clean at a time when you and your child might be tired. Finally, seize opportunities while you’re cleaning up toys to discuss how much fun you had with the toys, what you might play with next, and what you learned together through play.

Jody Sherman LeVos, Ph.D.

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