How to Teach Toddlers to Clean Up

How to Teach Toddlers to Clean Up?

Cleaning up is one of the most dreaded tasks among parents and caregivers alike. From toddlers to preschoolers to school-aged children, everyone dreads the act of picking up toys left on the floor. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! With some motivational techniques and positive reinforcement, you can teach your kids how to clean up without any fuss. Here are some of my favourite tips for getting your kids to clean up.

How to teach toddlers to clean up

One way to teach toddlers to clean up is to give them only one toy at a time. That way, they can’t just play with all the toys and not put them away when they’re done. 

Another good idea is to introduce cleanup time before bedtime or some other routine time of day and set a timer. Toddlers may also be more willing to clean up if you make it into something fun like turning their playroom into a kitchen and pretending like everything is dirty and needs to be washed.

Toddler rules for cleaning

First, you should set up a set of rules for your toddler. You should tell them exactly what they can throw away and what they need to leave on the floor. Teaching them “no food on the floor” is also helpful. 

Next, have your toddler clean up on their own. Let them know you will be in their room while they clean so they don’t feel alone but let them do the work without any outside help. 

Finally, reward them afterward with stickers or another small token of appreciation. Reward your toddler for cleaning. Rewards are a great way to get your toddler to clean. Whether you offer them small rewards or just a “congratulations” when they finish, toddlers like being acknowledged and praised so they will be more likely to do something again if they know it will help them get a reward. 

Depending on the size of your child and the chore they are doing, rewards may come in many forms. Often, a simple “great job” or sticker is all it takes to get your preschooler motivated. Have a reward system in place. 

Rewards can be as simple as a sticker for doing chores and bigger rewards for more difficult chores like emptying their own trash cans or cleaning their rooms. 

You can also have a reward system where you give them points for each time they do something good and then when they have enough points, you can bring them to the store and let them get a special toy or treat. 

Rewards are great for motivating children because it is often more about what they will get at the end than about actually doing the chore. Ask your child how they think you should reward them. This is one of my favourite tips because you can find out what your child enjoys and learns best from this way. If they like stickers, then use stickers! If they like to read, then have them read a book. 

Maybe they like to draw or work with playdough. Whatever it is, make sure you are working with your child and that the reward is something they want to do.

Have Fun! Chores can be fun and that is another way to motivate your child. If you are having fun together, then your child will want to be a part of it.

How can we encourage good behaviour?

One way to encourage good behaviour is to make it fun. For instance, once a day give your child the responsibility of picking up their toys. Then, reward them with a sticker or star for their chart. Eventually, they will learn how rewarding it is to pick up their toys. This teaches them how to be responsible.

How much praise should we give our children? Parents always want to tell their children how great they are, especially when they behave well. While it is very important to make your child feel good about themselves, this needs to be done in moderation. 

If you overdo it, the praise will not mean anything anymore and your child will lose interest in it.

What helps kids to pick up toys?

Kids will often get bored and find a new activity to play if they are ever given the chance. To avoid this, it is important to keep toys picked up at all times. This can be achieved by using bins like toy boxes or even using low shelves that are within kids’ reach. 

Another thing that you can do is to make sure that they understand the importance of picking up their toys. Take your child into their room and tell them to pick up all of the mess on the floor. 

When they have completed their task, congratulate them for completing their job well and offer them a reward for doing so (such as TV time). Action Step #6: Teach Them How to Clean Up on Their Own

When it comes to cleaning up, kids can always use some help from their parents. However, it is important that they learn how to clean up as well. To teach them this skill, you may want to assign a room for your kid. If you have multiple children, consider assigning one child per room and keep all of the toys of that child in that room only. 

This will make it easier for the child to clean up and will help to keep the room a little more organised as well. By teaching your kids how to clean up themselves, they will soon be able to do so without any assistance at all. Encourage them by giving them positive reinforcement and providing positive feedback when they’ve done a good job.

Tips on how to keep a toddler’s room tidy

One way to teach toddlers to clean up their room is to create a system. 

Establish a place for everything, and teach them how to put belongings back in their proper spots. 

Another tip is to praise the toddler when they do something right. This will show them that cleaning up can be fun, and they will also feel supported by you. 

Try to keep up on regular cleaning. This will make cleaning sessions easier because you won’t have to do as much at once. 

You can also get your toddler involved when it comes to daily household chores; this will help teach them how to clean, and help them feel a part of the process.

Do not punish children!

When it comes to teaching toddlers to clean up, it is crucial not to punish them. 

Children of this age do not have the cognitive ability to understand why they are being punished and will come to associate the punishment with the act that you’re punishing them for. 

Instead, try to focus on reinforcing positive behaviours by praising your child and giving them extra time or special treats when they cooperate with what you ask of them.


The best way to teach toddlers to clean up is by modelling good behaviour. If you have an area of the house that needs cleaned, do it yourself and let your toddler watch. If they want to help, give them something simple to do like picking up lint or sweeping the floor.

We suggest that the best way to teach toddlers to clean up is by saying “Yes, go put it in the trash” instead of directing them to a specific spot. This lets them feel like they’re in charge and take responsibility for their actions. 

If you have a toddler, it is definitely not too early to start cleaning up after them. You can get them used to the routine and with time they will be able to do most of the chores on their own!

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