I get asked often at speaking engagements about how to help children learn to clean up better after themselves. I have learned with my own children, one of the best ways to motivate them to clean up was to play a simple game I call, "beat the music". I would simply choose a few upbeat songs to play and I tell them to see if they can get their things picked up before the end of the last song.
I was able to do this easy activity with my children as young as two and truth be told, my eight year old still loves it and often asks to play it when I announce it is clean up time. Why does this simple act of adding music to your clean up time make such a difference? I have come up with my own three reasons that I believe it is effective:
It is upbeat and keeps the kid's moving fast to pick up items.
There is a time limit being set by the length of the songs and it will help kids learn to meet small goals.
As the parent you are relieved of the duty of repeating over and over... "Clean up your toys." Instead you are able to act as an encourager and cheerleader saying, "You are doing great! You are going to beat the music for sure!"
You can choose random songs if you want or you can try to make your own unique blend of clean up songs that you play ONLY at clean up time. It will get to the point where you won't even have to announce it is time to pick up... only start the CD and they will automatically know what to do.
This is why for today's Friday Five I want to share with you this list of clean up songs. After many years of searching I am proud to announce my top Five songs for The Best Clean up Songs for kids!
#5: The Clean up Crew by Don't Blink (2005 Trio Lane Records)
#4: Clean Up by Children's Groove (2006 Children's Groove)
#3: The Clean up Robot By Mark D. Pencil and Friends (2006 Mark D. Pencil)
#2: Clean my Room by The Imagination Movers (Calling All Movers, Disney)
#1 AND... the #1 song... that I love to use to help kids learn to clean their toys is.... In the Box by Eric Herman!!! I have not worked with a kid yet that did not love this song!
I hope that these five songs will help motivate the kids in your life to pick up their toys... and hopefully make pick up time a little more fun and enjoyable for kids and parents.