How To Teach Kids To Clean up Their Toys

How To Get Kids To Clean Up Their Own Toys

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So many parents struggle with this… Especially during times of transition in their child’s life. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why your children may be “leaving a mess everywhere they go” and how to teach them to pick up their toys.

Kids are like sponges. They soak up everything around them, including their parents’ stress about cleaning up after them. I spent years trying to get my son to put his toys away without much success.

My husband and I were constantly frustrated at how messy our house was, as well as our inability to stop it from happening in the first place.

Toys can be a huge source of stress for many mothers.

It’s as though they proliferate like rabbits as we sleep, and suddenly there are more. Everywhere.

Not with their other friends, nor in the identical crates they arrived in. They’re all over the place. This leads mums to several options for reducing toy clutter:

  • purchasing less toys
  • Rotating the toys you already have
  • cleaning up after the kids every day
  • devising tidying routines to keep the mess down
  • putting all the toys in a playroom where you can close the door
  • putting baskets strategically around the house

How To Teach Kids To Pick Up Toys

The first step is to create storage bins

The first step is to create storage bins. These can be anything from drawers, baskets or plastic tubs. You’re going to want one bin for all toys, one for books and another for art supplies such as crayons and markers. If your kids have a lot of dolls or stuffed animals (like mine do), then you might want to get one more bin for those items specifically so that they have their own space with which to play.

Create a tidying routine

To help your kids develop the habit of tidying up after themselves, you’ll want to create a routine. Here are some examples:

  • Set aside time for cleaning up after meals. This way, everyone knows when it’s time to do the dishes or clear away their cups and plates.
  • Make sure that there’s always a place for toys in your home—whether it’s a toy box or a corner of their bedroom. Then, when you see that things have gotten out of hand, tell them that they need to go put their toys back where they belong before they can play with something else (or if they’re really old enough, ask them if they mind helping clean up). If your child doesn’t know how to organize their own stuff, show them!

Create a daily clean-up song

  • Make it fun. Don’t make your kids clean up their toys every time they play with them, but do set aside a few minutes each day for this activity. Ask if they want to be in charge of choosing the song or creating their own lyrics (this is especially helpful for older children).
  • Create a game out of it. Maybe there’s a point system where they earn points by picking up toys and putting them away and lose points if they don’t put the toy away quickly enough on the first try (or at all!). They could also have an incentive that involves playing with whatever toy was left out on purpose until time is up—that way you get double duty as far as motivating your kids goes!
  • Make it a family activity. If possible, involve other members of your family in this process so everyone can participate equally when it comes time for cleanup time later that evening/after school/on Saturday morning etcetera etcetera…

Put your toys away as a family

A chore chart can help you get your kids on board with cleaning up after themselves. Create one for each family member and make sure everyone is contributing to the household. This way, if your child doesn’t do their share of chores, they’ll be aware of it.

It’s important that you step in here and teach them how to put their toys away as well — especially if they’re younger and haven’t learned this skill yet.

Don’t get emotional about it

It’s important to stay calm when your kids don’t clean up. If you start yelling or getting frustrated, they won’t learn how to do it and will just stop trying. Instead, try speaking calmly, even if you’re feeling frustrated inside. Tell them what a good job they’re doing and praise them for cleaning up one toy or area of the room at a time! Be sure not to get upset if they don’t clean up everything right away either—that’s normal! Just keep encouraging them until all the toys are put away again!

Declutter toys

The first step to getting kids to clean up their own toys is to get rid of the ones they don’t need anymore. Don’t just put them in a box and throw them away, though! This will only make your child think that it’s okay to hoard toys forever. Instead, hold each toy in your hand and ask yourself:

  • Is this toy broken or missing pieces? If so, throw it out right away. You don’t want little fingers getting hurt by sharp edges or broken parts that could come off unexpectedly!
  • Is this toy too big for my kid? We may have loved collecting Beanie Babies as adults but if our toddler won’t sit still for more than two minutes at a time then we wouldn’t want her playing with an enormous stuffed animal either! If you don’t think she’ll play with something larger than her forearm anytime soon then give it back to someone else who will—or donate it somewhere where someone else can use it better than you would ever dream of doing yourself.* Shouldn’t I keep everything just in case someday my kid wants them again? Nope! Trust me when I say that getting rid of things now won’t mean never having access later on; if anything happens (such as moving across country), simply contact us via emailing us at [email protected]

Make storage containers fun and easy to use

  • Make storage containers fun and easy to use.
  • Use baskets, crates and boxes to store toys.
  • Use clear plastic containers so kids can see what’s inside them at a glance.

Teach kids that everyone pitches in

Teach kids that everyone pitches in. It’s a fact of life that cleaning up after yourself is part of the deal when you live in a household with other people. It’s also important for children to understand that they are part of the family, not in charge—they are not entitled to having everything done for them, and they have no right to be lazy or ungrateful if their parents ask them to help out around the house.

You may find it helpful to use positive language when discussing chores with your child: Instead of saying “I have to do this,” say “this is something I want us both (and our family) to do.” This way, you’re reminding your child that doing chores isn’t just about helping take care of yourself—it’s also about showing respect for others by pitching in!

Rotate toys monthly

One of the easiest ways to get a child interested in cleaning up their toys is to have them help you. If you’re rotating toys, then this will already be happening. But if you don’t rotate them, then it may be worth your time and effort to do so.

You can find many good resources online about how to do this with different types of toys. All that matters is that when he or she gets bored with one toy, there are plenty more available for them!

With some small changes, you can teach kids to clean up after themselves, and create a neat, comfortable home for all of you

In a world where kids are constantly bombarded with information, it can be hard to teach them new skills and behaviors. But if you want your child to clean up after themselves, getting them started on the right path is key. With some small changes in how you do things around the house and a little patience, you can teach kids to clean up their own toys without breaking a sweat or raising your voice. Here’s how:

  • First off, make sure that there are plenty of bins available for storing toys—and that each bin has its own designated spot where it needs to go when not in use. The more space that children have for putting away their things (and keeping them easily accessible), the more likely they’ll be able to pick up after themselves without being reminded every five minutes by Mom or Dad!
  • Create a daily routine wherein everyone takes five minutes at night after dinner before bedtime to put away any items they might have left out during the day, starting with anyone who lives at home but is old enough not yet ready for school yet (usually around age seven).
  • Make cleanup fun! Play music while doing so; this will help keep everyone engaged in order-restoring activities instead of zoning out while listening passively as someone else does all work related tasks like folding clothes or scrubbing dishes together peacefully because we all know how boring those things can get sometimes…


Hopefully, these tips will help you get your kids to clean up after themselves. It’s not easy, but it is doable! Remember that no one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. You don’t have to be hard on yourself if things don’t go exactly as planned at first; just keep trying new methods until you find something that works for everyone in your family.

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