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October 18, 2018

A Toddler Friendly Cleaning Area

Toddlers are just the greatest little people! But, with a toddler comes a certain amount of mess. They are learning, growing, and exploring all the things around them. And as they do that, things get bumped over, water gets dumped, and if you're toilet learning things can get messy. This doesn't mean that you have to be the only one responsible for cleaning up the messes, a toddler friendly cleaning area can make a big difference. 

A look at a toddler friendly cleaning area in our Montessori home. Plus some ideas on what to include and how your toddler can clean

Gus has turned a corner in his potty learning journey. He is in underwear all of the time at home (outside of sleeping) and staying dry a lot of the time. But, just a couple weeks ago, accidents we're pretty common. Having an area where he could go to help clean up that accident has been really helpful. But, beyond that Gus has taken an interest in cleaning throughout our home. He has had access to these tools since he was walking and gets better and better at using them. 

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So, what does a cleaning area include? For us, it's everything that Gus needs to clean up basic messes. 

A look at a toddler friendly cleaning area in our Montessori home. Plus some ideas on what to include and how your toddler can clean

Caddy - for hauling around the supplies (if necessary), this one is just an example. Ours came from the dollar store. 

Spray Bottle - this one is perfect for little hands! We fill it with a combination of 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water which is perfect for all sorts of messes - including urine. 

Scrub Brush - For bigger messes, I like that this one doesn't have a handle, but again, ours just came from the dollar store. 

Hand Broom and Dust Pan - we actually have this one and its the perfect size for toddlers 

Drying Cloths - we use these cloth diapers and have for YEARS. They are so absorbent, and fold so easily. If you cloth diaper using these, you may want to consider another drying material

Laundry Bucket - ours isn't pictured here because we actually keep it in a different part of our kitchen, it's in everyone's routine to bring dirty rags there, but make sure you have a place to put laundry when your child is done. This is just an example, ours is from IKEA 

We throw it all on to the lower shelf of our water basin (next to flower arranging vases). But, it really  could go anywhere in your home that is centrally located, and low enough for your child to reach. The central location helps to make it so your child doesn't have to go searching for tools when a pottying accident, or other spill occurs. 

A couple cleaning activities that you could consider for a young toddler include: 
  • wiping walls or baseboards 
  • cleaning up spilled water - especially water they have spilled
  • sweeping an entry way 
  • sweeping around their weaning table/eating area 
  • cleaning windows 
  • scrubbing a table 
  • scrubbing a chair 
  • dusting 
  • cleaning up a potty accident 
  • wiping down counter tops or cooking area 

This list, I'm sure, is not extensive. But, bottom line is make sure you are preparing somewhere in your home for your toddler to participate in these activities! They love it, and you'll love the help (eventually!)

A look at a toddler friendly cleaning area in our Montessori home. Plus some ideas on what to include and how your toddler can clean

Does your toddler enjoy cleaning? 

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Unknown said…
My daughter (1 year) loves to clean also. She has a swiffer, rags, small broom and dust pan, full size broom, and outside push broom (seriously cleaning is her jam). But we had to take away the squirt bottle shortly after we presented it months ago. 1) She sprays constantly. We gave it awhile for the novelty to wear off, but no dice. It's always fun to spray! 2) She wants to spray it directly in her mouth and drink it, despite having a water bottle constantly available. (it was plain water)

Any ideas for reintroducing the spray bottle so she uses it more appropriately. She really loves to clean, so I would love to provide this to her.