Social & Emotional Development

3 Games to Speed Up a Clean Up

By: Highlights Editorial
Funny happy toddler girl standing in the kitchen, holding dishes and putting a bowl on head.
2 minutes to read
Ages 3+
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor Skills
Social Emotional

Sure, kids make messes and need help from adults — but children as young as 18 months old can learn how to do simple chores like folding clothes and contribute to the household.

Encouraging children to pitch in at home can free parents up to tackle the kinds of household chores children can’t do, such as creating a budget or helping a child navigate difficult emotions or challenging homework assignments.

After an afternoon of play and fun, clean up is a breeze with these three games!

Beat the Timer

What you’ll need: A timer and some fast feet. 

How long do you think it will take to clean your room? Five minutes? Ten minutes? Take a guess! Set your timer for whatever time you guessed. Start the timer, and go! See if you can finish before the timer beeps. It may take more than one try. Keep guessing until you do beat the timer!

Song Stop

What you’ll need: Catchy tunes and people to help you clean. 

One person (the DJ) starts the first song. As the music plays, the others clean as fast and carefully as they can. When the DJ pauses the music, freeze! When the DJ starts the music again, start cleaning again! At the end of the song, someone else takes a turn as the DJ. Keep playing until the room is clean.

Pick Up Sticks 

What you’ll need: Craft sticks (or slips of paper), a pen and a cup

Look around your room. What needs to be spruced up? Books? Toys? Maybe your bed? Write each thing on its own craft stick. Put all the sticks in a cup. Then pick a stick to see what you’ll clean first. When you’re done with that stick, grab another! When all the sticks are gone, your mess should be gone, too! 

Extend the fun:

Encourage your kids to reach for the stars and achieve their goals with this fun and interactive reward chart printable. 

Whether your child is working on potty training, completing homework assignments daily or making the bed every day for a week, this self-directed goals list will help your child feel accomplished.

Are you looking for ways to incorporate your child into your household chores? Check out our age-appropriate chore chart. 

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial