All Teaching Tots Things activities require adult supervision 

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Get rid of clutter

Do you get overwhelmed with clutter? Most likely you do or you have just accepted it because you don't know how to get rid of it but if it's bothering you it is most likely doing the same thing to your child. Consider getting rid of toys that aren't used, broken, or you have double of and having a place for each toy item. Cubicles and baskets are my favorite things to use when it comes to organizing the kids toys. Each shelf is dedicated to one toy item and each basket is for one toy item as well. Our baskets have legos, cars, magnetic tiles, train/town set, animals, etc. I'm them. I do a toy rotation with the toys. This keeps them "new" and helps them have to get creative when it comes to play. If you want to learn about benefits and how to do a toy rotation check it out here.


Mini Clean ups

Through out the day trying doing mini clean ups. This has been something we have been doing and it has been so helpful! "Before we paint the paw patrol toys have to be cleaned up." Sometimes it gets picked up right away (Owen 2yr does this himself) or sometimes they just start playing with the toy right again instead. Either one works for me because a mess gets cleaned up or they play independently, so it's still a win win. I always intentionally choose a toy for them to pick up that has multiple parts to it not just one exact items. Examples-legos, paw patrol, magnetic tiles, books, doctor stuff, etc.


Play music

Sometimes we just make it fun! Dancing and singing always makes cleaning better. Yes, it might take longer but it will be more enjoyable for everyone. We have played the clean up song or I will play a favorite song of theirs. Let them choose if they are old enough choices make them feel more in control.


Number pick up game

This works best for children who are able to understand that a number represents a quantity. For this game choose a number of toys that they have to pick up. Once they have picked up that amount they are done.


Find the special item

For this game tell your kids you have one toy on the ground that needs to be picked up and whoever picks it up will get a prize. This prize doesn't need to be big it can be stickers, temporary tattoos, or an extra book to read for bedtime.The trick to this game is they don't know what that special toy in your mind is until it has been picked up.


Break it down

Telling your child to go pick up their room can be very overwhelming. Heck I get overwhelmed with my own house by the end of the day so imagine how a little kid feels. Start with saying we will do it as a team. I like to always remind the kids "in this house we are helpers and we help each other" or "in this house we are a team and we work together." Start by having them only focus on one toy at a time. Maybe it's pick up all the stuffed animals or books. Breaking it down makes it seem less intemidating.


Give praise

When you see your child pick up something without being asked praise them! Make them feel on top of the world because they are going to want to keep doing that knowing that they did something so good. Even if it is the smallest thing like putting the marker back in the bucket after it's been used. Every step is one step closer to the big picture.


Use a timer

I love love love these sand timers. They just sit on top of our stove and when ever I need one I just grab it. It is perfect for littles who have no sense of time yet but do understand that time doesn't last forever. I will use these for when it is time to stop playing and leave or put on the 10 minute timer and we pick up as much as we can in the 10 minutes.



Give them the why

When we know the why behind something we are more likely to do it. Kids are constantly being told what to do all day long. Sometimes when we take a little extra time to get down to their level and explain the why in a sincere manner they are more likely to understand where you are coming from and do it without arguing.


Be the example

Finally, our kids see us more than we think. They are constantly learning from what we do. If we can model how to clean up things when we are done that is how they will learn too. For example, if you are playing legos with your child and she decides that she wants to read books instead. A simple-"Yes, I would love to read books with you, but first I want to pick up the legos we were playing with now that we are all done with them."


I hope you found some of these helpful!