Creative Ways To Get Your Kids To Clean Up

As a parent raising a toddler, my fondest memory is of when my son first heard the “Clean Up” song (you know the one by Barney that goes “clean up clean up everybody everywhere, clean up clean up everybody do your share”) it was like he was brainwashed the moment he heard it.  Once I started singing this very simple song to him, he would immediately start putting his toys away…with no fuss.  Geez, perhaps they have a song like that for adults.  As I need motivation to do laundry, cooking, you name it…ok,ok I digress.

But now that my son is getting older and perhaps wiser to my parental trickery, the song is getting played out and I’ve noticed that my little boy is no longer immune to the songs of Barney and Friends.

So, I’ve asked my seasoned parent friends, what has worked for them when asking their kids to help out around the house and here’s what they have to say:

    • Pump Up The Volume: Blasting fun music to get everyone revved up is key. Some favorites: “The Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “You’re The Best Around” by Joe Esposito (Karate Kid theme).  If you have a good time, packing away toys and folding laundry can seem fun.
    • Sock Matching Match. Put all the family’s clean socks that came from the laundry and let your kids race to see who can match them up the fastest. Afterwards they can be folded together as they match and any ones that have no match can be given away. They can use the unmatched socks as dusting mitts.
    • Create Kid Friendly Storage: Place removable picture labels on drawers and bins to help kids learn where everything goes. Have your child either draw or cut out of magazines pictures of specific items (blocks, puzzles, games) that go into each one. Under the picture, write the name of the item (great word recognition for pre-readers).
    • Make It A Game: Set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and challenge your preschooler to “Beat the Clock.”
    • Reward: Keep a chart in the kitchen or other prominent place in the house. As soon as your preschooler finishes his task, give him a sticker to put on the chart. And don’t forget hugs and kisses, that always work!

Do you struggle with getting your kids to help out around the house? Or do you have some great tips to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

If you are a new parent or a parent who needs reminding on how the infamous “Clean Up” song goes, then check out the video after the jump…

Listen to the the “Clean Up” song here:

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