Nov 202013
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Thank you to Delta Furniture for sending us something to help with getting toddlers to pick up!  All words and opinions are my own.

Bubbles is usually pretty good about picking up her toys.  She might not get to them right away, and there may have been a whirlwind of blocks, trucks, dolls, and more around the living room and her bedroom before it’s completed, but it does get done.  Occasionally, though, it does take a little prompting.

Rather than turning those rare “I don’t wanna” toy clean up times into a flow of tears, Bubbles and I came up together with a game.  It’s such a fun game for her that she has been known to strew crayons and Lincoln Logs across the floor just so we can play.  No method is perfect, right?

One of Our Clean Up Games: "Find it Flashlight"

We call our cleanup game the “Find It Flashlight Game”.  And it’s very easy to play.  Bubbles brings me her little flashlight and I swirl the light beam around the room, saying “Hmm, what do I see… what do I see?”  Then the beam of light lands on a toy, and I call “I found something!” prompting Bubbles to run over to the toy, pick it up, and store it away.

Really simple, as I said, but very effective.  She will happily chase down every single item no matter how long it takes.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you have cute, fun storage to corral all the toys.  Which is why we’re loving the Minnie Mouse Multi-Bin Toy Organizer by Delta.  It’s bright and fun, and very roomy.

Store Toys from Toddler Clean Up Games in a Minnie Mouse Toy Bin

There’s one large bin on the bottom, and we generally find ourselves using that for plush buddies and dolls.  It actually rests on the ground which means you can fill it as full as you’d like without worrying about it being too heavy.  You just have to be able to get it to slide in under the bottom shelf.

Store Toys from Toddler Clean Up Games in a Minnie Mouse Toy Bin

The middle shelf is made up of two fabric bins and three smaller fabric bins rest on the top shelf.  I was a little worried about how the bins would hold up to the not-always-so-gentle use of a toddler but we haven’t had any problems with them at all.  The two middle ones are large and strong enough to hold a large stack of wooden puzzles or a bunch of canisters of Play-Doh and roughly a half-million Little People figurines.  The top bins will each hold a few toy cars and trucks, small puzzles, or other random items.

What are your favorite toy clean up games for toddlers?

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About Liza

Liza is a mom (5-year-old daughter, 20-year-old stepson, and 24-year-old stepdaughter) and wife living in Louisville. She loves spending time with her family, visiting the local zoo and parks, as well as planning travel adventures. Cooking and baking, DIY projects and crafts, and coffee - lots and lots of coffee - round out some of her other hobbies.

  12 Responses to “Clean Up Games Make Picking Up Toddler Toys Easy”

  1. That’s so smart! cleaning and having fun.

  2. I started doing the clean up game when I was a baby sitter many moons ago. I carried it on to my kids when they were little too. Most of the time we sang the Barney song “Clean Up.” lol

    • I’ve heard a lot of things about that Barney song! It must be one of those things that stick with you, because both Austin and Ashley remember it from when they were little. Maybe we’ll have to teach it to Bubbles, too!

  3. Great ideas, of course, I could use ANY help getting my little guy to tidy-up!

  4. This is a great idea! My little guy is pretty good at cleaning up but I think this would make it even more fun for him!

  5. My son has been picking up and putting away his own toys since he learned to walk. I’m so thankful that cleaning up comes naturally to him now.

  6. We just sing clean up song A LOT and as loud as we can – LOL

  7. Oh what a great organizer! I need one of those so badly!

  8. this is a great idea, making cleaning fun can help things get done faster, I am sure.

  9. With my younger kids, singing the Clean Up song usually works. Kids definitely need toy boxes and storage bins so they have somewhere to put all the toys when they are finished.

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