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Go ahead and ask any Mom who has to clean up after their kids how the project starts off. Typically we put away everything that has a place, trash broken things, and when we are sick of things, donate them or pray they disappear. Getting toddlers to clean can be as hard as getting them to try new foods at times.
As my son is about to turn four we have implemented some new rules as far as buying things for him outside of experiences. Most toys should be self contained, meaning they come with a case that holds them so they can easily be put away. This rings true for his Army Men, Building bricks, and it even rings true for his Lego mini figs as I created a case specifically for them.
Then you have to figure out the rest….the loose cars, the dolls, the random action figures that the kid has only collected 1-2 characters from each show he watches. It feels like a never ending battle. Then along came Play & Go Storage Bags!
I found there are three super easy ways to get toddlers to clean up their toys without too much hassle.
First, Make life easy on them! Life is rough, those toys just take on a life of their own and take over the room. Then zap all the energy from your kid, leaving them unable to clean without whimpering and whining. You know those toys? The regular size Play & Go Storage Bags when fully open the measures an impressive 55” in diameter! This means it is a full play mat and clean up container in one. So easy to do, that yes, a toddler can do it themselves!
Crafted from durable poly cotton canvas, these pleasing prints can hang from a coat hook or doorknob when not in play. They are machine washable, sturdy, and beautiful as well!
Second, you need to make your toddler aware of where their dirty laundry goes. No, they can not go putting all their clean clothes away but they can surely and easily help keep a room clean by putting all their dirty clothes on one location. Provide a cute hamper or even hang a Play & Go Storage Bag on the closet or door handle that they can use for their laundry.
If you can get them to clean their laundry up, implementing that same skill will help in understanding why toys go away. If laundry is not put in the hamper, it does not get washed. If toys are not picked up, the dog eats them. (Or they get broken, or the night goblins steal them…whichever method works for your household)
Third, Keep communication open when cleaning. Explain where certain things go when you are helping clean up and make a game of cleaning up. Keep a schedule on how things work. If you do nap time than have your toddler help clean up twenty minutes before then and if there is time left reward them with a story before they get some shut eye. If any tantrums ensue, any toys left out go straight to a bag out of site. At that time it is up to you to decide if you want to give it back for good behavior or donate it out.
Kids and resilient, toddlers are dictators. If you want to get toddlers to clean up their toys you need to make sure they know how and where things go. Remember, they still are so accustomed to the parent cleaning up after every single mess.
The age of two is normally the perfect time to start providing structure to get toddlers to clean up by giving visuals and guiding them every step of the way. By the time they are four, they truly do understand the concept.
Trust me, my boy is all about making sure he does not lose any of his toys and that in a time of need, he can toss a bunch of random things in his Play & Go Storage Bags to hide…we may need to work on that.
Play & Go Storage Bags also come in a great 16″ mini version. This is perfect for packing swim clothes and towel, lunch, blocks to travel with, cosmetics, or beach gear. Not just for kids, adults are loving them just as much!
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Author: Nichole Arnold
I’m the owner of Mommy Needs a Bottle . I’m a 30- something wine enthusiast that resides in Tampa, FL. I love family traditions, traveling, cooking, baking, reading, fashion, tattoos, beauty products, and being a Mommy! I have a background in marketing, public relations, copywriting, and sales.