You know the toys have taken over your home when you wake up and put your first foot forward only to step onto a spikey ball, trip over a couple barbies and nearly slip on a crayon. Oh and let’s not forget the creepy plastic toy frogs and the Minnie Mouse basket full of teacups and plates that greet you in the sink while your brushing your teeth. When you’ve reached this point, and it’s just 5 minutes into your day, it’s safe to say it’s time for all these toys to be put away. But who am I kidding, right? The minute I put them away, our little one decides she wants to continue playing so out they go again. It’s a repetitive process that quite frankly seems like such a waste of time.
So, how did I finally get my two-year-old to start cleaning up? I had her watch the Clean Up Song video by Super Simple Songs see video here. It seems that watching other kids put away their own toys made Mia want to do it as well.
We also ended up turning the Clean Up Song into a game. Whoever puts away the most toys wins. Clearly we let Mia win all. the. time. I know what you’re thinking. It’s not ok to make her think she always wins but a) she’s 2! and b) It’s a cleaning game for kids. Hence, a win-win situation.
The Super Simple Songs site has a few song activity ideas including:
- The easiest way to introduce the song is simply to start playing it each time you clean up after an activity. Children will very quickly associate this song with clean up time.
- When using the song for the first time, use a puppet to demonstrate cleaning up some blocks or other small items.2
- Challenge the children to have everything cleaned up and put away before the song is finished. It’s incredible how quickly they start moving towards the end of the song.
- At home, use “Clean Up!” to encourage children to pick up their things after they are finished playing. Or try singing it together (with or without the CD,) when doing chores together around the house.
Cheers to hearing toddlers sing the Clean Up Song! Simply adorable!