5 Tricks to Get Your Kids to Clean Up

tricks kids clean up tricks kids clean up

If your kids are reluctant to clean up after play you’re not alone. Here are 5 tricks to get them going and actually have some fun cleaning up.

Turn Cleanup Into A Game
We love those sand timers, it’s hilarious to see the kids hustle and I think it adds a little something to give a play-by-play.  Ford especially likes the suspense aspect of it.

Provide Special Tools
I got my kids’ little dustpans/scoopers. I know this is really simple, but they just like having their own things. You can use cleanup tools for things like sand, legos, or blocks. We even decorated them with the kids’ names.

Make It Easy/Accessible
This can be as simple as buying a step stool so they can actually reach to hang back up the play clothes that they can only rip down or as in-depth as reorganizing their toys.  I think kids find it much easier to clean up when things are in clearly labeled individual bins rather than overstuffed containers. We’re still working on that part of the house. I truly love all of the mom hacks we used in our toy organization episode. It just makes it so easy and fun for the kids.

Find Their Motivation
I just realized for Presley this is playdates. Whether it’s that day or the next week if I ask Presley if she wants her friends to see her messy room the answer must be no because it really motivates her to clean. The kids are also motivated by positive feedback.

Explain The (Much Less Attractive) Alternative
If your convos end in your kid refusing to clean up, even if you beg, it’s time to bring out the bin! Tell your kids that if you’re gonna clean anything that goes in the bin they have to earn back.  This has had a really high success rate so far!

Hope you find these useful! It’s never too young to start…or at least attempt to help clean up!

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Elle Walker is a co-founder at What's Up Moms and the mom to three kids (10, 7, 5). In her spare time, she loves testing out kids activities (often muttering, "Pinterest, you lie"), to find the best activities that minimize set-up, reduce costs, and uses stuff up around the house. Follow her behind the scenes at Instagram @whatsupelle. {{Privy:Embed campaign=591322}}