It is funny how cleaning can be associated with songs. But, one thing that helps our clean up time is putting on some music. Songs are a great way to switch from one activity to the next. Generally, children love music and are most likely to respond to a song than spoken words. This is because songs will immediately get their attention and transition them into the next activity. As soon as they hear the “clean up” song, they will know it’s time to finish what they are doing and start to tidy up.

Clean Up!” is the perfect simple song to signal cleanup time at home or in the classroom. The clean up song was sung by Barney the Dinosaur and you can sing it to your children easily. This song can be used to transition from one activity to another by having your children help with cleaning and organizing stuff. Teach your kids the words to a traditional tune like London Bridge is Falling Down. This example uses the tune of ‘Row, row, row your boat’:

Clean, clean, clean up time

Put your toys away

Everyone, let’s get it done

It’s clean up time today

All you have to do is start playing or singing the song each time you need to clean up your room. You also have to be specific at the time assigned for your cleaning. Children will quickly get used to the song and engage in it when it is clean up time. The easiest way to teach young children skills is through routines and repetition. So, constantly repeating this song will make your kids get used to the song each time you clean.

NOTE: Each time you attempt to teach your children any cleaning song, try not to expect perfection. Your child might not get it at the first stance but with time and so long as he/she tries, they will surely get it someday.

Also, make sure you clean up always so that your kids will have the song laid in their heart. While playing the song, challenge the children to have everything cleaned up and turn off the song when they are done.

At home, use the “clean up” song to encourage children to pick up their belongings after they are finished playing. Or try singing it together (with or without the CD,) when doing chores around the house. Mind you, giving children too much cleaning responsibility is very bad. Do not make them clean the living room or handle any other hard chores. Offer them something more appropriate like to help with the dishes and take care of their rooms.

A final note: when composing clean up song, carefully remove negative lyrics so it does not impact the song, melody, rhythm or quality of a song. While playing the music, get the children to act out their roles as vacuum cleaners, busy bees or pickup trucks. If you are playing “clean up freeze”, get your kids to freeze. At the end of the day, you will have nothing but fun with your kids.