Any busy home will be messy at times – but tidying away toys doesn’t have to be a chore if you make a game of it.
Things to try
- Rather than having one big box for all their toys, try having several smaller boxes for different things, all labelled, so that tidying becomes a matching game. For example, they could have one box for toy cars, one for pencils and crayons, one for books, and one for soft toys.
- Turn tidying up into a competition! See who can put the most cars in the box first, or if they can collect all of the cars before you collect all of the soft toys.
- Set a time target: can they tidy up before a certain song finishes, or before a buzzer goes off?
- Let them help tidy up other things around the house: challenge them to sort a pile of shoes into matching pairs, then order them from biggest to smallest.
What they’ll learn:
- When you talk to your child about matching things, pairs, and using timers, you’re helping to develop their maths skills.
- When you talk to them about what belongs where, and you tidy up together, they’re developing thinking, communication and language skills.
- When you focus on naming words (nouns) like ‘car’, ‘pencil’, ‘book’, ‘teddy’, ‘shoe’, you’re supporting their literacy skills.