10 tips to get junior to clean up after themselves

Follow these handy hints to teach your kiddo to take responsibility for the messes that they make.


The words “kids” and “mess” often go together because “you can’t have one without the other”, as the song goes.

Messes are inevitable if you have children in the house. Nothing brightens up a parent’s day more than hearing your child’s sweet laughter and seeing them play happily with their toys or siblings.

While you get a kick from watching their kids having fun, it isn’t as appealing when you have to clean up after them! Children have the habit of playing with many toys at the same time, which results in a huge mess all over your floor. And you’re usually the one who is tasked with clean-up duty later as it’s faster and more practical.

To ensure that junior learns to be responsible for himself and feel a sense of ownership in the household, here are tips on getting your child to tidy up after themselves:

1.      Start young
Children start to understand simple instructions at the age of 1. They will also observe and mimic your actions, so this is the perfect time to start cultivating good habits like getting them to pack up after playing.

Every kid is different, so find a method that will motivate your kid to clean up willingly!

2.      Set rules
Explain your expectations and rules clearly to your children and make sure they understands them. If your kids have not been cleaning up after themselves, you can’t expect them to change overnight. They need time to grasp the new concept of having to clean up after playtime.

3.      Be consistent
Make tidying up part of their play routine, so that it becomes a habit for them to pack up after playing. The older your kids get, the harder it is for them to establish the habit of cleaning up after themselves, especially if they have not been doing so from the start. 

4.      Set an example
Model a good example for your child to follow. Do your household chores in a cheerful manner instead of complaining and grumbling about all the work you have to do. If your kids hear you grumbling and see that you’re unwilling to clean up, they will start to think that cleaning up is a burden and steer clear of it. 

5.      Offer incentives
Rewards are always an effective way to motivate your kids. It could be snacks, extra playtime, outings or simply praising them. Every child is different, so find a method that will motivate him to clean up willingly!

 Click through for five more tips on how to get your little one to clean up after themselves…