7 Steps to Teaching a Child to Clean Their Own Bedroom

7 Steps to Teaching a Child to Clean Their Own Bedroom

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

7 Steps to Actually Teaching Kids to Clean Their Own Bedrooms

Let’s face it: sometimes you feel more like “the maid” than “the mom”. And while you want your kids to pick up after themselves, it feels pretty dang overwhelming most days when you are just trying to keep everyone alive. You’re tired and pressed for time so it’s faster to do it all yourself. 

But seriously, teaching a child to clean up doesn’t have to be complicated and time consuming. By taking some simple steps now to teach your children to clean their own room, you can teach responsibility and save yourself loads of time and energy.

Teaching a Child to Clean: Start young

If a child can play with toys and make a mess, a child is capable of learning to clean up.

Children truly are amazing little sponges. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly my 4 kids pick stuff up. Their little brains are incredible at picking up patterns and following them. If you teach them that you will always clean up their messes, they’ll learn that quickly. But if you teach them that they need to clean up after themselves, they’ll do it.

7 Steps Teaching Kids to Clean Their Bedrooms

Steps to Teach a Child to Clean Their Bedroom

1) Organize child’s room so that it’s easy for your child to clean up.

Before you really dig into teaching your child to clean their room, you want to make sure it’s organized properly. Take a good long look at your child’s bedroom and ask yourself:

  • Does everything have a clear place?
  • Is it easily accessible?
  • Is the organization uncomplicated?
  • How can I change the room to make it easier for my child to clean?

Organize your room so that it’s easy for your child to know where everything goes and it’s easy to put everything away.

Taping images on boxes, bins, and drawers can be very helpful in teaching kids where everything goes. I do this with my kid’s drawers and it has been a  game-changer.

To say my girls love clothes is a major understatement. Without exageration, it’s perfidy normal for any one of my 3 kids who dress themselves to change their clothes anywhere from 5-10 times a day on any given day. So clothing mess has been a formidable issue for us from the moment these girls started dressing themselves.

One day a few years ago, completely frustrated by the daily deluge of clothes on the bedroom floor, I snapped. I got some 3 x 5 notecards and drew pictures of the clothing items that go in each drawer and taped them on each of my children’s drawers.

It was nothing short of miraculous what happened. With a bit of direction, my clothes-loving girls actually started to put everything away in the correct place. If you don’t feel like drawing, I created a free printable of both boy and girl clothes drawer labels (you can download the labels by scrolling to the bottom of this post).Teaching a child to clean their bedroom

2) Clean along side your child, giving very specific instructions with lots of encouragement and praise.

Children are very visual and physical learners. Not only do we need to tell them what to do, we need to show them and lovingly guide them. While you model the correct behavior, explain to your child what you are doing and invite them to help giving very specific instructions.

EXAMPLES:

  • “Can you put the OBJECT in this PLACE? You did it! That was so helpful!”
  • “This is where we put the OBJECTS. Can you put that right in here? You are such a great helper. I love it!”

As you child learns, you can move away from the very specific directions to “Can you put all the dirty clothes in this basket?” as opposed to “can you put that shirt in the dirty clothes basket?”

Teaching a child to clean their bedroom

3) Set a routine for when you clean

Children crave routines that they can expect and predict. This is certainly true when teaching a child to clean. If you are consistent in your cleaning routine, not only will your children respond better, but–knowing that clean up is imminent–they will begin to clean before you ask them. Making it a routine they can expect will reduce the battles.

Since every home runs differently, this may look different to everyone. For some, it may be that you clean a room up completely before you leave it. That hasn’t worked well for us.

For us, the evenings seem to be the most effective time to clean. As part of their bedtime wind-down routine, the girls know that they are expected to have their room clean in order to get a story and a song every night (and they’d sooner cut off their own toe than miss the story and song). As it’s become more routine for them, they have become quick and efficient little cleaners!

4) Keep it positive and encouraging

The quickest way to sabotage a child’s attitude and the mood in your home is to be moody and negative. Be it potty training, school work, or what have you, when we start to get irritated and snarky with our kids, they will respond the same way or with tears.

Always give encouragement and praise for their efforts when teaching a child to clean. Praise and positivity go a really long way in helping to motivate a child. Helping them see how helpful they are and that what they do makes a difference will completely change their behavior.

A phrase we use (from parenting expert Dr. Becky Bailey) that has brought about miraculous attitude and behavior changes is:

“You (what your child did), so (the results). That was so helpful!”

EXAMPLES:

  • “You cleaned up all your clothes so you can find them. That was so helpful!”
  • “You put all your toys away so we won’t trip on them and your room can look nice. That was so helpful!”

I know it’s not always easy to stay positive when you are tired and overworked and the house is messy. But staying positive with kids yields magical results. When I am super positive and complimentary, my 4 and 5 year old can seriously make their room

5) Have consequences for failure to clean up

Natural consequences are best. Other than losing their story and a song at night, another strategy has also been very effective.  We put toys that have not been picked up when they were supposed to be picked up in “toy jail”. These items go in a big clear plastic container that lives in a high shelf in my closet and my kids have to do various chores to earn their toys back.

teaching a child to clean their bedroom

6) Have your child clean up gradually on their own, as you give instructions

As your child becomes more and more capable, give them more responsibility.

7) Be consistent, Be consistent, Be consistent

I know it’s not easy. Mom life is super hard. We have moments where we can’t care about much more than keeping our kids alive, let alone having children who clean up after themselves. I’ve been there. 

But if we are not consistent in our efforts and expectations, children will pick up that this is not important and not something they need to learn.

On the other hand, being consistent teaches our children that these expectations and responsibilities are here to stay and will be enforced.

Children’s brains are amazing at picking up patterns. If the pattern is that you won’t stay consistent, they will not comply. If the pattern is that they need to keep their room clean, they will! Stay strong, mama!

The struggle is worth it

I’m not going to lie, teaching my kids to clean up after themselves has been a struggle at times. Sometimes they have fought me vigorously and tested whether I will be consistent. But the struggle to teach a child to clean is worth it.  

These days, my kids are now amazing at cleaning up their rooms. And the excitement and sense of pride they have when they show me their immaculate room absolutely makes my heart sing.

You’ve got this. Good luck, mamas!

7 Steps Teaching Kids to Clean Their Bedrooms
7 Steps Teaching Kids to Clean Their Bedrooms

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

7 Quick & Healthy Dinner Recipes (in under 30 minutes)

7 Quick & Healthy Dinner Recipes (in under 30 minutes)

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

7 Quick & Healthy Dinner Recipes Under 30 Minutes

Quick & Heathy Dinner Recipes Under 30 Minutes

Just an average mom day is insanely busy. So when 5:00 o’clock hits, your kids are hungry and there’s no dinner made, what usually happens?

Do you heat up some heavily-processed foods you’ve got lying around or end up in a drive-thru?

Skip the processed, unhealthy junk with these 7 awesome quick and healthy dinner recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. These recipes will save you money and time while providing your family with a healthy and delicious meal.

Quick & Heathy Dinner Recipes Under 30 Minutes

1) 20 Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp (from Sally’s Baking Addiction) 

(image from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

 

Shrimp is healthy, delicious, and cooks up in minutes. I absolutely LOVE shrimp and so does my family. So I buy it in bulk at Costco. This quick Honey Garlic Shrimp is divine and so incredibly easy. Pair with steamed veggies and some rice.

2) Crispy Parmesan Chicken w/ Zucchini (from the Recipe Critic)

(image from The Recipe Critic)

 

Have you got picky little eaters in your family? Not a problem here. This crispy chicken will not last long, even among the pickest eaters.

And while I am a huge fan of zucchini, you can pair the chicken with any veggie you like.

3) Paleo Skillet Beef Fajitas (from A Healthy Life For Me)

(image from A Healthy Life For Me)

 

These quick and easy fajitas fit the bill for a lot of healthy eating (paleo, gluten-free, whole30). While this one involves more chopping and ingredients than the other recipes, it’s loaded with vitamins, fiber, and nutrients.

Note: if you use jalapenos, be careful. I recently handled jalapenos without gloves, rubbed my nose and eyes without thinking and ended up with a face and fingers on fire. It was not pleasant.

4) Sheet Pan Ginger Soy Glazed Salmon (from Eat Yourself Skinny)

(image from Eat Yourself Skinny)

 

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s all cooked on one pan. One cooking dish for an entire healthy meal.

5) 30 Minute Roasted Cauliflower Chowder (from Simply Quinoa)

(image from Simply Quinoa)

 

Oh man, this soup is so good–and it’s got protein! While I love cauliflower on it’s own, this chowder adds some really delicious ingredients like humus and the results are fantastic.

Also, I find that pureed soups are a great way to give kids vegetables since they can’t actually see any vegetables.

If they see it, it’s game over in my house. But I can stick all manner of goodness in blended soups! I use this awesome immersion blender to quickly and easily puree my soups.

6) Sheet Pan Lemon Rosemary Chicken (from Eat Yourself Skinny)

(image from Eat Yourself Skinny)

 

Yet another sheet pan wonder from Eat Yourself Skinny. Quick, delicious, and easy clean up. 

7) Grilled Chicken Fajita Kebabs (from Fit Foodie Finds)

(image from Fit Foodie Finds)

 

These flavor packed kebabs can be made on the grill or in the oven. Kebabs cook up SUPER fast!

Follow Me on Pinterest

If this was helpful, follow my Dinner Under 30 Minutes board on Pinterest! I’m adding to it ALL the time.

With these quick and healthy dinner recipes, you can easily prepare meals that you can feel good about serving your family.

Good luck, mama!

Quick & Heathy Dinner Recipes Under 30 Minutes

Nature Scavenger Hunt: A Simple and Fun Preschool Math Activity

Nature Scavenger Hunt: A Simple and Fun Preschool Math Activity

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Nature Scavenger Hunt: A Simple & Fun Preschool Math Activity

On the lookout for easy, fun, and educational activities that I can do with your little ones? This nature scavenger hunt is a super fun way to explore the outdoors and practice counting.

With just a few household items and just a couple minutes prep time, you are ready to go! You can have a fun little learning adventure with your kids where they will be encouraged to think out of the box and use their math skills to add up what they find.

There are so many variations of how you can do this activity! If you want, after your hunt your kids can make a nature collage with what they found during the scavenger hunt. Get creative!

Fun & Easy Nature Scavenger Hunt Preschool Math Activity

Fun & Easy Nature Scavenger Hunt Preschool Math Activity

WHAT YOU NEED

For Scavenger Hunt

  • List of items to look for on the scavenger hunt
  • Pencil/crayon
  • Basket/bag to collect items

For Nature Collage

  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Option-tray

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) First, write a list of objects to look for on the scavenger hunt.

Your list will depend on the area you live in and the season.  For example, you can write a list as follows: Five rocks of any color, 5 flowers of any color, 10 leaves, 8 small sticks.

Create your list with your child in mind. Since we had a variety of ages on our hunt–6, 4, 2–I was flexible in my expectations for each child.

The 4 and 6 year old could easily count to 20 (and well beyond), while my 2 year old can count to about 5 right now. My goal was to just get each child to practice at their level.

For most kids, you’ll definitely want to keep the quantity of objects higher than three, that way there will be more items for your child to count and add.  

2) It’s Adventure Time!

Go for a walk and have your child use the list as the guide of what he needs to find.

You can walk around your backyard or neighborhood. We chose to go to a local reserve because there was simply more nature to explore. Plus, there were fun things like ducks and bunnies to count!

3) Use Your List

As your child finds the items on the list, have him write down what he has found and the amount. If you think it might be helpful, you can have him tally as he finds the objects on the list.

Or you can collect them in your basket/bag and count afterwards. It’s versatile!

By the way, the baskets we used (pictured) are part of some play food sets we have. They just happened to be perfect for this activity. 

Every time your child finds an item from the list, have him add the amount of items he has.  This will give him lots of opportunities to practice adding, but will also help him to keep track of the amount he has.  

4) Add the total.

At the end of the walk, have your little one add the totals from all that he found. So many opportunities for counting!

5) Make a collage

Now for the really fun part! After finding everything on the list and adding it up, your child can make a collage of the items by gluing the items on cardboard or making a display tray. By placing the items on a tray, he can have many opportunities to rearrange his collage in different ways.

Nature + Counting = Simple & Easy Educational Fun!

Educational activities don’t have to take a lot of time or effort. You don’t have to plan some complicated activity that involves a lot of prep time and organization. This scavenger hunt is super easy and super fun for kids. And you can modify it however you need to meet your needs. Really, you’re just out exploring in nature and counting! Plus, you can add a collage project at the end.  

Try this one and let me know how it goes.

Have fun, mama!

Fun & Easy Nature Scavenger Hunt Preschool Math Activity

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide

*This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means that, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission)  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide

Breastfeeding is tough. Which is part why 60% of mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they want to. While there are many reasons for this, one reason is that breastfeeding becomes too inconvenient and too difficult when life gets busy.

If you want to be successful and nurse long term, creating a breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe is essential. Cute and versatile breastfeeding clothes will make nursing discreetly quick and easy regardless of where you are.

And the good news is that there are sooooo many amazingly cute breastfeeding clothes out there right now (see below for a comprehensive list). We’re basically in a renaissance for breastfeeding clothes. It’s an exciting time to be alive, ladies!

It’s worth the investment

Let’s just be honest for a sec–popping the ladies out isn’t exactly convenient in most clothes. You may be able to get away with what you have for the first month or two when you hardly ever leave the house.

It makes nursing easy and convenient

But once you are back into the normal routine, nursing quickly becomes incredibly inconvenient in most normal clothes. I have seen my fair share of moms who’ve had to pull their entire dress up to nurse their baby. And–let’s face it–I’ve been there too. It’s not pretty. 

But you can completely avoid that hassle. Breastfeeding clothes (and nursing-friendly clothes) make discrete nursing easy and convenient. They also increase your chances of successfully breastfeeding for as long as you choose.  

It can SAVE you money

And that means saving literally thousands of dollars on formula. Formula costs on average $1800 for a year’s worth. Yikes! In the end, investing in your breastfeeding success will save you money. For other breastfeeding tips, check out my post 6 Essential Tips for Breastfeeding Success.

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide #breastfeeding #nursingclothes

Been there and done that

But alas, I can be a very slow learner at times.

While I am a major breastfeeding clothes advocate now, it took breastfeeding 3 kids to figure out how much easier life is with them. With my first three kids, I looked at nursing clothes online, and while they were cute, I felt like they were a little expensive.

I’ll get by on what I have, I thought.

But “getting by” meant many uncomfortable and awkward situations as I strained to get the milk bags out of uncompromising clothes. I’d be sitting in my car nursing a child with a dress or blouse pulled all the way up exposing my tummy.

Or awkwardly trying to nurse with a cover while trying to navigate through about 5 articles of clothing, pushing this one that way and that one this way just trying to feed my child.

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fun.

So once I was pregnant with my 4th, I finally decided to splurge and buy actual straight up, honest-to-goodness breastfeeding clothes. And I’ve never looked back.

Welcome to Shang-ri-la, ladies!

It completely changed my breastfeeding experience. It was a whole new and wonderful world. It was awesome. And I pretty much told anyone who would listen that breastfeeding clothes are amazing. 

No more awkwardness and stress while trying to nurse in public. No more fumbling with 6 articles of clothing and intense discomfort as I try to feed my child.

Not only was nursing very convenient, but nursing clothes are designed to make it discrete. Most are designed so that very little of your breast is exposed while you are nursing–and what is exposed is covered by your baby. I found that while in public, I could quickly, easily, and very discreetly nurse my little one (with no cover) without getting any looks whatsoever. Not only was it soooo much easy for me, but it’s like people didn’t even notice.

I’m still nursing my 14 month old and wearing nursing clothes every single day.

So, now that you know you need some breastfeeding clothes, let’s dive right in!

Breastfeeding Clothes: The Basics

Nursing clothes are made to make nursing convenient and discreet. Clothes in your closet may already fit the bill (hello, deep-v’s!), but investing in some great nursing pieces are totally worth it. 

Assuming that you do laundry about once a week (if you do it more, then hats off to you, milady), here’s a basic guideline for what you will need.

  • 5 + Nursing Bras (regular & sport)
  • 5-7 Casual tops
  • 1-2 Dressy Tops
  • At least 1 dress
  • Optional: nursing pajamas 

While you don’t need to go out and buy a completely new wardrobe, you do want to make sure you have enough clothes to make breastfeeding convenient.

If it’s not convenient, you’re probably going to stop nursing before you really want to.

Also note that, if you are like most women, the first several months after giving birth you might want some more forgiving clothes as you work back to your pre-pregnancy size/shape.

Breast-feeding Clothes You Need:

5 or more nursing bras

These are absolutely essential. If you can’t whip your tatas out of your bra easily, it won’t matter what you are wearing. Breastfeeding is just going to be awkward. So first things first, get some nursing bras! For more guidance on selecting nursing bras, check out the article from The Bump.

5-7 casual nursing-friendly tops

  • Nursing Tops: I recommend getting at least one honest-to-goodness nursing top. This top from Undercover Mama is my favorite. It’s long, comfortable, and it actually clips right onto your nursing bra so it is INSANELY easy and convenient to nurse. It’s long and flattering and makes nursing and running around after kids easy. Undercover Mama is a fantastic and reasonably priced brand to get cute and comfortable nursing clothes.
  • The Deep V: These are perfect casual wear and are not nursing specific, so you may already have them around. I’ve really like these ones (note: you will want to order a size up). Pair with jeans, leggings or a cute skirt and you are golden. Personally, I love this skirt–like LuLaRoe but way cheaper and it comes in a zillion patterns/colors. Downside of the deep-v is that the top of the breast is exposed if you are concerned about being super discreet and like to nurse without a cover.
  • The Button up Top: Not nursing specific, but still super convenient for nursing. 
  • Nursing Tank Tops: Wearing these handy tank tops under your clothes make most tops nursing-friendly. Downside is that you have to lift your top up  and fumble with more articles of clothing. But if you are on a tight budget, these are the way to go.

2 “dressy” nursing-friendly tops

At some point, you are actually going to need to dress up somewhat and get out of the house. If you work, I’d get several tops.

Even if baby is not coming with you, chances are you will need to breastfeed at sometime while wearing whatever outfit you are wearing. Even though my baby never joins me while I teach evening classes (obviously), I nurse her right before I leave and right when I come back. 

A nursing dress

You may not wear dresses all that much, but when you need to wear one, chances are it’s going to be hard to nurse unless it’s an actual, honest-to-goodness nursing dress.

Personally, I love to wear dresses. Plus many styles of dresses are quite forgiving and comfortable to frumpy postpartum bodies.

This is probably my very favorite dress and it comes in 4 colors! It’s also Undercover Mama so it clips right into your bra for super convenient and discreet nursing. 

I also REALLY love the dresses at Milk and Baby. I have bought several and while some were kinda pricey IMO, the convenience of nursing clothes seriously makes it worth the price. I’ve sqeezed every penny from those dresses!

Optional: Nursing Pajamas

Nursing pajamas are nice for hanging around the house during the postpartum healing period. During that time I don’t really  “get dressed” yet, but it’s nice to have something comfortable to wear when answering the door and for when people stop by to see the new bundle of joy. 

Recap: My Favorite Items

 

BREASTFEEDING CLOTHES RESOURCES

List of Great Breastfeeding Clothes Websites

  • Milk & Baby: Great selection and super cute clothes. I have a few dresses from here and I always get compliments when I wear them. People are so shocked when I tell them they are nursing dresses! 
  • Milk Nursingwear: This retailer also has a massive selection of great clothes.
  • Latched Mama: While the clothes are pretty simple, they are affordable and well made. My 3/4 sleeve dress has held up really well.
  • Amazon: Amazon has an impressive array of breastfeeding clothes available including many of the above brands plus some very inexpensive options (just be aware of quality and fit issues with cheaper selections).

Clothing Retailers with Nursing Clothes Selection

These are all retailers whose nursing clothes I love.

  • Born to Surf: Tons of cute modern clothes. You’d never guess they were nursing clothes!
  • Roolee: Super cute, hip, and affordable nursing clothes. Favorite part: almost all the nurisng dresses have pockets. 
  • H&M: From bras, pjs, to tops and dresses, H&M has it all. Generally simple, but solid finds.
  • Target Clothes: Not only does Target have a decent collection of nursing clothes, but they ALWAYS have loads of cute button-up blouses that work perfectly (I own several that I use for nursing).
  • Old Navy: A very affordable selection of nursing clothes.

Welcome to the world of convenient & discrete nursing!

My friend, learn from my errors and make sure that you have a breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe to set you up for breastfeeding success. Clothes make all the difference in making nursing both convenient, easy, and discrete.

Nursing is hard enough without clothing choices making it inconvenient. By investing a a few items, you can change your whole experience.

Good luck, mama!

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Clothes Resource Guide #breastfeeding #nursingclothes