JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020
Five Ways to Get Children to Help Pick Up
What can you do when there's a room full of playthings and a child who is not interested in picking any of it up?
Keep in mind that a child's main job from birth is to learn as much as they can and -coincidentally- children learn best through play. So, when a child is told to stop playing and clean up, it goes against their basic motivations as children.
Don't despair. Here are five tips from early childhood educator and mom, Angela Esaw, that may help smooth the way.

Take Five_1
Less is More   
Children don't need a lot of toys if you set them up with play items that encourage open, imaginative play. For example, a set of blocks can become a farm or a city tower. Dolls and other play figures, not tied to a TV series, encourage children to make up their own
   stories. Not to mention, clean up will naturally be quicker when there's less to begin with.
Take Five_2
Create Decision-Making Moments 
Put the decision-making power in your child's hands by saying, "After you pick up your teddy bear, we can read a book together" . Statements like this give children the opportunity to manage their own behaviors and teach them that consequences are a natural part of life.
Take Five_3
Keep It Organized 
Work to set up a system that creates a designated storage spot for play items. Try using visuals to remind and guide young children to those designated spots where stuffed animals, books, and board games belong. These strategies will help set your child up for success.
Take Five_4
Make it Manageable 
Cleaning up a room full of toys can be overwhelming for children. Give them a hand by breaking up the large job into smaller tasks. Start by giving your child a toy in each hand to put away. These small steps give instant results and eventually a clean play space. 
Take Five_5
Avoid Comparison
When you are asking your child to clean or tidy the room, focus on their strengths rather than on weaknesses. Avoid comparing their abilities to siblings, cousins, and friends. Keep in mind that each child has their own individual strengths and areas where they are growing.
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