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How do i get my three year old son to pick up his toys when hes done playing with them?

my little boyleaves all his toys all over the place hwen hes done playing with them he refuses to pick them up and has a tantrum when i start to pick them up.


Asked by melianne at 9:51 PM on May. 13, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • We had this issue too, with our dd. I finally got to the point that I threatened her every time she did not pick her toys up that I would throw them away. Of course I didn't throw them away, but they got bagged up (what was pulled out and not put back up) and put where she couldn't find them. It's gotten a lot better, and her "cubby hole" (a little closet downstairs we keep some of her toys in) and her bedroom are actually staying picked long as I'm in there telling her what goes in her toy box she'll pick them up voluntarily. We tried the game thing and it didn't got so bad that I refused to clean her room but every two weeks or so. She turns 3 in June, and she's all about pick ing her toys up and helpin me clean and making us proud of positive reinforcement on top of that after shes done has helped a ton too. I'd try to make it a game fist. Good luck!

    Answer by mom_to_kenzie at 10:37 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • make a game out of it. Who can put the most toys away, you or him? then he will help;)

    Answer by Mel_in_PHX at 9:52 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • I like the idea of making a game out of it. ALso you can say something like " I bet you can't pick up these toys all by yourself!" kids love a challenge. Also, make it a choice, as in "Would you like to pick up the trucks or the blocks first?". It will take some time, and alot of effort from you... but he will get it. If he continues to refuse and throw tantrums, start taking toys away. Tell him that if he is not going to be responsible for cleaning up his messes, then he doesnt get to have the toys. That'll also work quick, but should be a LAST option. GL!~!

    Answer by Tarrar at 9:58 PM on May. 13, 2011

  • The game and songs are great ideas if you have that kind of time. For me... I have been making it a habit that before dinner you play with your toys. But you must clean them all up and take your bath before dinner. Once she has on her pajamas we do a room chk before dinner. I make it a point to praise her for a job well done. I have made this a routine on my part and although we have our those days where she needs a little more incentive overall she is taking it and running with it.

    Answer by FairahsMommy at 2:27 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • If it comes down to it and he can understand the concept. You can try telling him that we all have to pick up our things. If he doesnt pick up his toys and Mama has to then the toys will belong to Mama. Pick up your stuff Or I keep it. This has always worked for my son, of course now that he is 5 i tell him that he either picks up his mess or I pick it up, put it in a plastic bag and into the trash it goes.
    I have thrown a few things out...

    Try the song first though lol

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 2:11 AM on May. 14, 2011

  • Hello
    Making a game out of it sounds good.
    Ive been in pre-school for a while and work with children daily. I would purchase those clear toy tubs and lable them
    put all cars, blocks and what ever he has. I would put 2 or 3 tubs in his reach to choose as he likes and the others put up. That way
    he makes a choice and must clean up for ex the cars before he gains another tub. This will give him choices and responsibility and will
    teach him to organize and be ready for the next play time
    Good luck

    Answer by Esam at 9:31 AM on May. 14, 2011

  • Make a game of it, sing a clean up song, and as he is picking up praise him and tell him what a good helper he is. If he still refuses, then you may have to pull our the tough guns. If my kids refuse to clean up, they have to put their nose to the wall till the do. I give them the choice.. ."you can either pick up your toys, or you can go stand with your nose to the wall".... after a few min at the wall they are really good about getting things picked up. (and when I put them to the wall, they do know that they are not getting out till they clean the floor... so I will never understand why sometimes they choose the wall.)

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 12:20 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • thank you all :) the advice you gave was very helpful.

    Comment by melianne (original poster) at 8:33 PM on May. 15, 2011