8 Effective ‘Tidy Up’ Techniques within the EYFS

8 Effective ‘Tidy Up’ Techniques within the EYFS

Children need to learn how to clean up after themselves in order to develop a sense of personal responsibility. This is why the notion of “tidy up time” is important within the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). Let’s take a look at eight techniques which can be used by parents and teachers to put a bit of fun into the routine.

Provide Oversight

Children who are new to tidying up may not understand the basic concept or why they are forced to clean. Not only should you explain the notion of tidying up in detail, but helping them clean is a great way to illustrate that adults also need to tidy up.

Offer Only a Few Resources

An overabundance of resources can actually cause a child to place less value upon them. So, provide children with only a handful of tools and materials that are necessary. This also helps to avoid any confusion that might otherwise be caused by clutter.

Stay Organised

Place cleaning resources in specific areas so that children can learn where they are located. It is also wise to label items (such as sponges, spray bottles and paper towels) to reinforce their associative vocabulary.

Track the Tidying Up Progress

Real-time monitoring is important if you hope to gauge the progress of a child; particularly if you are dealing with a larger group. One of the best ways to stay on top of things and to record how different individuals are performing is to employ user-friendly Educater EYFS tracking software.


Another powerful technique involves remaining consistent when tidying up. For instance, this activity should take place at the same time each day. Consistency also involves calling the resources by their correct names and using the proper grammar. This enables participants to learn their roles in less time.

Use Visual Timetables

The presence of a visual timetable can work wonders when tidying up. Place a specific resource upon a certain square that corresponds with the day in question. Children will quickly learn that this object is part of the routine and should be used accordingly.

Create Fun Challenges

Children love working towards a goal. So, it could be useful to employ an audible timer or buzzer. The participants will then become motivated to finish their tasks. You could also set a competition with the intention of beating previous tidying up times. You can always use a fun song to keep your little ones motivated along the way.

Display Items that Children are Proud Of

In the event that a child has spent all day building an object such as a LEGO castle or a matchstick house, be sure to reserve a space where these items can be proudly displayed. After all, it makes little sense to ask a child to destroy his or her own creation. The object can be disassembled after the session is over.

Feel free to implement these eight tidying up suggestions into your current EYFS routine. You will be surprised to see how much they can have a positive impact upon the overall experience.