Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Toddler Time - Clean-up Time

 Yippee!  Little Man is learning how to clean up after himself! 

We accidentally started working with him to pick up his toys one night before The Hubs came home.  I wanted to straighten up the living room really quick and Little Man was getting a little whiny.  He was ready for his dinner and then wanted to go to bed.  To distract him, I handed him a toy to put into his basket (we keep the toys in his living room stored in a laundry basket).  He put the toy in the basket and I cheered and clapped for him.  He ended up helping me pick up all the toys in the living room!

We started working on this about every other day for a week.  I'd hand him a toy, he'd put it into the basket, and I would cheer for him.

This weekend we took our cleaning to the next level:  I gave him a pile of his dirty laundry to put in the dirty clothes hamper.  I demonstrated how I wanted him to put the clothes into the basket a few times.  He caught on really quickly and I once again went into hyper cheerleader mode where I clapped and hollered for him.  He ended up putting all his clothes in the basket!  Of course, he got a little off task every once in a while.  I just repeated to him "put the clothes in the basket" and he usually got back on task pretty easily.  While he put his clothes away, I was able to dust and straighten up the rest of his room.  Talk about awesome!

Our plan is to work on little tasks throughout the week so he learns how to clean up a little more on his own.  Our main goal is just just keep it light and fun.  We know all too soon we'll be having battles and waging war for him to clean his room, clean up the dog's mess, and unload the dishwasher.  For now,  we'll have fun learning.  Little Man can be mommy's big helper, and mommy will be Little Man's cheerleader.  

Do you have any fun ways to teach your little one how to clean up?


  1. Our youngest son definitely learns by example. If he sees my husband or his older siblings cleaning something, he's more likely to do it on his own without any problems.

    For our older kids, we had FINALLY come up with a chore/allowance plan that has been working very well for a long time now. :) Because you are right, without a plan in place, it is harder to get the older kids to pitch in as they need to - with a smile on their face and their heart in it.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I'm sure I'll eventually come up with a chore chart, too. I think Moneysavingmom.com came up with an idea that some of her kid's cores they don't get paid for because they are a member of the house and that's doing "their share". If they want to go above and beyond and do extra chores to get paid for it they can. I thought that was pretty cool.