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Ways to Motivate Kids to Clean up Mess after Playtime!

Kids are the purest form of expression that nature has blessed mankind with. They are fresh, radiant, bustling with ideas, super energetic and always up to creating something.

They are wise but sometimes it’s important to channelise their energies towards something constructive. A lot of the time they already know what they want and what they don’t. Like adults they don’t like to be told all the time. But as a parent it’s crucial to put some method in the madness.

Things such as arranging their toys after play, cleaning up their mess if inculcated from the beginning can serve better as they grow old. 

Kids are energetic but their attention span is not long. If they are playing with a certain set of toys, within a span of a few minutes they would move to another set of things. It can range from solving puzzles, playing with blocks, doing some colouring, pretend playing, so on and so forth.

A lot of play hopping happens especially when it is indoor playtime and it adds to a whole lot of mess. By the end of all the play they are either extremely hungry, exhausted or just not willing to clean up. Even otherwise spreading things across is always easier than putting them together. It’s important that they are made to realise gently and in early years, that cleaning up is a part of playing. This way, it wouldn’t create hassle for them.

Following tips can help you to follow a clean up regime with your kids:

1. Extend help to your child. Be around or get them started with picking up toys when they are cleaning up. Teamwork boosts confidence. Moreover, it’s fun to do chores together.

2. Hold the toy basket for them. This will keep them motivated to get the toys to you.

3. Even if there’s enough help at home in the form of domestic help or elderly parents ask them to encourage children to clean up themselves.

4. For inculcating the habit of cleaning up, incentive your child. For instance, tell her that we will visit the park for outdoor play if you tidy up your room. Alternatively, if a child likes story time then promise one extra story to her when she cleans up. They can be given some incentive initially. Here, I don’t encourage bribing in the form of eatables (chocolates, chips, biscuits etc). Keep your incentives simple yet lucrative.

5. Parents don’t grunt by seeing the mess. I used to get very irritable by all the mess. It took me a long time to realise that it’s a part of their growing up. It’s important that we remain calm in front of kids as what they observe is what they inculcate. It is a tough task to remain calm always but can definitely be given a shot.

7. Don’t forget to say a few words of appreciation. Always praise them after they finish cleaning up till it becomes part of the process. It boosts self confidence and they would want to do it willingly next time.

8. Segregate toys. For example,  keep a separate area for board games, colouring sheets and colours, pretend play toys, battery operated toys. This way children can keep things in their respective areas. It will also help your child to become more organised.

These little things if kept in mind can go a long way in making them become more organised as they grow up.

Please let us know if these tips were of help. Do share if you have some other unique ideas. 

Happy Parenting!

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