As much as your toddler loves making messes, cleaning them up should also be enjoyable.

Learn how to teach your toddler to clean up after themselves with these practical tips and strategies.

How to Teach Your Toddler to Clean Up

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Toddlers are known for being cute, fun and quite messy.

A house full of toys and clutter may be a dream for some parents but a nightmare for others.

If you want your toddler to learn how to clean up after themselves, making life a little bit less stressful for you, then try out the some of the techniques listed below.


How to Get Your Toddler To Clean Up After Themselves


1. Lead by example

If you want your toddler to clean up, then you have to show them how to do it.

Start by picking up their toys and politely asking them for help or you can try turning the chore of tidying into a game in which your toddler “copies” what you’re doing.

You can even go as far as to purchase a toddler cleaning set such as this one so that they may “assist” you in daily chores.

Either way, cleaning up is a task that is taught rather than inherited so showing your toddler the right way to pick up toys or clean messes is a great foundation for building good cleaning habits.


2. Create a daily routine

Cleaning routines can be very useful in teaching your toddler how to clean up after themselves.

Plus, cleaning routines can help set expectations before or after certain activities.

For example, you can make it a routine to clean up after dinner or before going outside to play.

Doing this consistently can reinforce cleaning habits that your toddler will do without even thinking about or objecting to.


3. Keep it simple

Toddlers have infamously short attention spans.

Therefore, cleaning tasks should be kept as simple and short as possible.

When cleaning up messes, try not to expect your toddler to clean entirely to your standards.

Instead, allow them to tidy their own way and praise them for what they do.


4. Rotate toys during the week

Toddlers can lose interest in toys pretty quickly.

Try to rotate toys throughout the week so that there is less clutter to worry about.

Rotating toys is also an easy way to keep your toddler interested in the things that they already have, thus saving you money in the long run.

Related: The 10 Best Educational Toys for Toddlers to Help Them Learn the Most


5. Use the right tools and reward accordingly

We don’t know what it is about stickers, but toddlers love them.

Combine this with a chore chart and you have a recipe for a toddler who’d be happy to clean.

Chore charts such as this are very useful tools that can help your toddler understand the importance of household responsibilities.

Upon completing tasks, it also helps to reinforce good behavior by offering treats and other rewards.


Books can be awesome learning devices that can help your toddler understand responsibility and other important life skills in a colorful, funny and easy to understand format. The book, I’ve Only Got Three Hands is a bedtime story your toddler will practically beg you to read. Check it out to learn how one little monster learns to deal with his messy bedroom with the help of his mother.




Following and implementing the above methods can help to teach your toddler that cleaning can be fun and if done with a great attitude, also very rewarding.

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