View Full Version : Tidy up

06-02-2014, 10:31 AM
How do you handle clean up time when you have a really young group? Right now my crew is all 13-18months old (5 kids). I clean up a few times a day (at natural time points like right before nap or a meal etc). I don't expect them to put a toy away as they finish with it...as I just prefer a few big clean ups throughout the day.

Right now I do the tidying up and some of the kids 'help' put a toy or two away but then pull more out and run off. One on one I can get them to tidy up a good number of toys but lets face it...I can't do one-on-one tidy up with all five kids and when I do it with one the other 4 are off playing and making a mess so it really doesn't set me ahead :-)

With a very young group what age should I expect more help? I am fine with how things are now but realize that at some point in the near future I need to make them help or they will all be 3yrs old and I'll still be doing all the clean up! I just don't know when the prime point to reasonably expect them to tidy up is when they don't have older children to help out.

06-02-2014, 10:50 AM
I think that what you are doing is fine and it's what I've done with a young group as well. Basically for the little ones I have to be specific and say "go get that doll and put it away" or " get that car and put it away please". If I just ask them to clean up they give me a blank stare :D I tend to expect them to help out a lot more when they are 2-2 1/2.

06-02-2014, 12:31 PM
I get them to put a few specific things away, then I clean up the rest. Now that my youngest are around 2 years old they are getting to understand cleaning up and putting things away in the proper bins.

5 Little Monkeys
06-02-2014, 08:20 PM
I agree with both posters. I give specific directions for the under two's and the older two's I just say "time to clean up" and they know what to do.

I start them from a very early age to help with cleaning up. By the time they are 18 months I expect them to be able to put the toys away when it's clean up time. I can't think of any that have been that age and didn't at least put 2 or 3 toys away. They of course are a bit slower at it but they still do it!

I have a lot of parents comment that they can't believe how much their child does here. I think it's because the parents don't give them the opportunity to do so lol. I had a mom come pick her daughter up early at lunch one day. Her daughter was between 16 and 18 months at the time and when she finished eating she got up from the table and brought me her sippy cup and empty plate to put in the sink. Her mom was in disbelief LOL. This is one of the children that I lost to a daycare centre and the centre told mom that wherever she had come from had done a great job at teaching her how to transition. It was a nice pat on the back moment when mom called to let me know :)

Now of course, some of this works better with some kids and not so great with others!! Right now I have a 16 month old boy who REFUSES to clean up!! I have to physically take his hand, pick up the toy in his and my hand and put it in the bucket it goes. He also just stares at me blankly when I ask for his empty plate. I don't think it's because he's too young or doesn't understand what I'm saying, I think he is just that stubborn!! Dad says at home he doesn't listen very well either. He pretty much does what he wants when he wants. It can be frustrating lol. He also will never come to me when I call him for diaper change, getting dressed to go outside etc. I always have to go get him and bring him to where he needs to be. Good thing he's cute!!! lol :p

06-02-2014, 11:07 PM
My only little one , 15 months " helps " clean up too , we sing the clean up song which in itself teaches them it's time to clean up and what to do :). Dcg will pick up a toy , then I verbally instruct her too!
I think repetition and having clean up practises , by the time they are around 2 they will have it down !!

Busy ECE mommy
06-03-2014, 07:01 AM
Yes, I get them all to help cleaning up around 15-16months, and sing the "tidy up" song and use PECS symbols with pictures to show it's tidy up time. No, they're not very efficient at that age, but they get the concept. By 18 months my group is usually great at it. I also do picture labels on all toy bins, so I give a verbal direction for a specific toy and point to the bin label as well.