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A young mother and her several-month-old baby are in the home laundry. The parent sits on the floor next to the sitting infant and the standing washing machine.

You would like your child to be independent and help you at home in the future. Are you wondering when you can start teaching him discipline and taking care of the order, e.g. in his room? You watch the baby and think: "But he is too young to clean up, I will pick up his blocks in no time. After cleaning the whole house this is really nothing". Mind you, you can start the cleaning up games really early! You can do the spring cleaning together!

Adjust first tasks to the baby's age

How old is your child? Adjust the first tasks to his age and turn them into fun. When she was one year old my daughter loved playing with blocks. After playing we put them into box together and then she was doing it alone. During cleaning I kept repeating: "Put the block inside the box. Now we put a green block into the box. Here is another one, put it, darling, into the box...".

When during vacuuming she was getting under my feet trying to help I thought I could use her energy. I bought a special small and safe toy vacuum cleaner. Now we clean together, each with her own vacuum cleaner. It was the same with a dustpan and a brush. She tried to take the cleaning devices from me but they were too big and heavy for her. I found light plastic cleaning accessories for children in a toy shop. If you do not want to buy new toys you can just give your little one a wet cloth and he can imitate dusting furniture.

In fact, these are only a few examples of following the child's needs. Try to meet them and think how you can spend time together having fun and learning as well.

When your baby is already 3, try to clean his wardrobe together. Show him where to put socks, shirts, shorts, etc. In the evening, a child can put the dirty clothes you have chosen into a laundry basket. Give him more and more challenging tasks and take his mistakes and imperfections with a pinch of salt.

The older the child the more effective the cleaning is. Remind your child to clean up after finished playing, to make it his habit, a natural activity. Do not correct things which your child cleaned not very skillfully. Praise his efforts and play with him. Such actions will make the child willingly take part in the cleaning and will improve his performance.

Changing cleaning into fun

Remember! Playing is very important for the child's development. Use it to motivate your little one to cleaning:

1. "First wins" - race one another, see who will first fill the box with blocks.

2. "Check me" - place a toy in a different place than usual and ask the child: "Should the car be here? Show me where your cars are." The little one will be very happy to be able to help you.

3. "Do as I do" - i.e. imitation game. Show a child an activity and ask him to do the same. Children love imitating adults.

4. Your child may have a favourite game. Use it and adapt it for teaching him the cleaning skills.

Remember the rules, and teaching of cleaning will be a pleasure:

1. Change learning cleaning into fun.

2. Suggest varied, interesting ways to play.

3. Follow the child's needs and interests.

4. Adapt the task to the child's age. Your child may perform only those activities during which he certainly can not harm himself.

5. Help your child in the beginning, but later on let him clean his things, e.g. toys, on his own.

6. Do not correct each work you child performs inaccurately.

7. Be tolerant of his imperfect and first steps in this field.

8. Praise and highlight everything he does well.

9. Be patient, as cleaning may take the little one a lot of time.

10. Give specific and precise orders. Adjust the order complexity to the age of your child.

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