Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

3 Bumps

How can I get my 3 year old to pick up his toys? Seriously he throws them everywhere and they are all over the house.

toddler, toys, pick up

Answer Question

Asked by mommyofone740 at 9:03 PM on Jun. 24, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 9 (321 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Tell him that any toys not where they are supposed to be will be collected and put in a bag that will be stored for say a week or a month. And enforce it.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:06 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • Hi there, I have a great suggestion!! It's the only thing that works, with my 2 year old. It's the "hands on approach" You literally take their hands, and place them gently on the toy's and put them into the basket, box, etc. My son LOVES it, and It teaches him to pick up..and he has fun with me doing it. If I stop he wants me to take his hands again, he laughs about it. But it's been helping me..I'll tell him " ok mama needs you to help" and I tell him it make me SO happy to have his help. If he doesn't I just take his hands and show him. Eventually he's gonna get it, the importance of helping you! I read this in Today's Parent Magazine...It's a Canadian Mag I receive. Good Luck to ya, take care!

    Answer by aidansmyheart at 9:06 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • I kept a bucket or basket in our family room and made a game out of it. Sometimes I would set a timer and we would try to pick up as fast as we could to beat the timer, other times the kids would race against me or I would tell them I was going to load the dishwasher or fold a basket of clothes and they would pick up toys and lest see who could do it faster.

    I tried to make sure we picked up at the same time everyday so that they became used to it and eventually it became habit and I didnt have to say anything at all.

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 9:08 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • You'll need to do it a bit at a time. Make sure your requests to him are very specific. For example, pick up all your trains and put them into the blue bin. I also limit how many "messy" (i.e. toys with many parts) he can have at any one time. I put them up on a shelf. He has to pick up one toy before he can start with the next. Other toys are in bins he can readily access. You can also make a game out of it. Have him pick up only blue toys, or count how many cars he's picked up or see how fast he can put all his blocks away. We often do it together. You can also limit where toys can go. In our house, toys go in the family room and kitchen. He has a few in his room (which typically stay there) and there's some in the playroom downstairs. Other rooms in the house are off limits for toys. As he gets use to the rules, it will get easier.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 9:12 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • I agree with the PP's, but also, having a 3 y/o boy myself....what works best for me is to STAY AHEAD of him. On the days that I have him put up the puzzzles before getting out blocks, putting up blocks before getting out the animals, putting up animals before playing with the's a LOT better at the end of the day. My son will do this own when I am playing with him, but less when he has friends over. IF it's one of those days where most of the tubs are dumped, then put the tubs in the middle of the room & let him "impress" you with his sorting, LOL! (If they are all over, get a laundry hamper to gather them in.)

    It would be great if he'd just do it without being told, right? But it usually gets most out of hand when I'm not spending enough time WITH him, but "taking advantage" of his playing alone by himself to get ONE MORE chore done, LOL! So, I'm my own worst enemy sometimes. At least you know you aren't alone! :

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 9:20 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • You could make it into a many blue toys can he pick up in 5 minutes (or whatever amount of time he can stay focused)? How many round toys/square toys/cars, etc. Set a timer and teach him to go as fast as he can to beat the clock.

    Answer by bluejupalex at 9:21 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • so you get a trash can from the dollar store, right, and you teach him to put the toys away. You say, okay honey it's time to clean up. Clean with him at first and let him continue. If he doesn't you say, i'll throw away any toys you don't clean up. and, duh, if he doesn't clean them up you put it in the trash can and take it away. if he cleans it up right than at the end of the week you can give them back to him. heehee

    Answer by khmymommi at 9:21 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • We make a huge game of it, we sing the clean up song and clean up the toys. At night we make a race of it. I put the timer on for 10 minutes and we do a ten minute tidy of the living room and his bedroom and he loves doing that as well.

    Answer by swimmachic23 at 10:08 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • I "help" my kids pick up there toys. We see who can put the most toys away the fastest.

    Answer by Decker at 10:26 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

  • My DD and I make a game. I pick up half and she pickes up half but we have fun doing it. I say oh I'll take the baby and you take the horse. And we take then she says you take so and so and I'll take such and such. She's 2 1/2.

    Answer by delilahsmom1177 at 10:31 PM on Jun. 24, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.