Clean up time can be a drag if you’re a preschooler who doesn’t want to stop playing. So what if clean up were just an extension of play time? Keep the fun going with these easy little games that make clean up a blast!
1. Clean against the clock
Anything becomes more fun if it’s a race! Set a timer and see how far they get in 2 minutes, 5 minutes, etc. - whatever time seems appropriate for the amount of mess you have. Or set a stop watch and see how fast the kids can get everything picked up. Then next time, see if they can beat their time!
2. Clean by color
Have the kids start cleaning just one color of toys - “Clean up everything you can find that’s red!” Once you see they’ve completed that, shout out another color. Keep going until everything is put away. You could also make it a little more difficult for older ones by asking them to clean up a color blend - “Clean up all the toys that are the color blue and red make mixed together!”
3. Clean by number
This game can be done a myriad of ways. You could approach it the same as the color game by shouting out a number of toys for the kids to gather up and put away, then moving on to another number. Or you could give each child a different number, depending on how many children you have. This is a great way to reinforce or integrate a number you’ve been working on that week!
4. Clean by letter
This is a great game to play with kiddos who are working on learning their letter sounds. Give them a letter and have them try to find as many toys as they can that start with that letter. Once all of those are cleaned up, move on to another letter.
5. Clean like an animal
Who doesn’t love to play pretend? Let the kids loose on a messy room with the instruction that they are to act (walk like, make sounds like, etc.) a certain animal. After a minute or two, switch it up and pick a new animal. What a great way to get a mess cleaned up and practice good listening skills at the same time!
Use these suggestions as a launch pad and get creative with clean up time!