How To Make Cleaning A Playroom Feel More Like A Game For Your Kids

I don’t know about you… but I don’t like to clean. And apparently that dislike can be inherited cause my kids got the entire gene ten fold. But what they do like to do is play. And what I like to do is encourage play + learning + how to pick up after your dang self cause mamas tired of doing it.

It’s all fun and games until it’s clean up time! 

So I came up with a plan to do all of that. Yes all 3 things and my kids love it. They actually race to do it faster than thier brothers. Hashtag momwin! (Yeah I know I’m corny… but back in my day corny was cool.) 

So what’s this magic wand I’m waving around? Well if you must know, it’s a pick up stick. Not the kind you played with your friends back in the day. This is more of a full body involvement and not just a sly hand move with a cool flick. One way more mom approved! Or at least to me it’s right up my alley of striving to raise clean and independent children. 

When the clean up song no longer works it’s time to pull out the pick up sticks.

What exactly is a pick up stick?

It’s just your regular olé popsicle stick from the craft section at the store. Except I turned them into a game. On each stick I wrote out a different task of what to pick up. Now I geared ours towards what they have in their playroom and in a “learning” manner. 

So for example one might say “pick up all the blue toys” with the word blue written in blue so my younger kids have a visual of what they are looking for. You know since sometimes I’m in the middle of nursing a new baby… I don’t have to disrupt that to show them what blue looks like. Another one might say “all toys with wheels”. We have lots of those! And so on.

Now I just used a fine point marker to write mine but get as fancy as you want. Or not so fancy. You can even print out a list or hand write one. Cut the strips up and fold them. Now which ever route you go just make sure you got something to put them in. I personally use an old coffee creamer container so we can just shake them out the top.

They go through the entire container and stack the ones they did to the side until it’s empty and we put them back in. 

To help you make yours I’ve created an entire list of ideas you can use. But feel free to make some up of your own.

Materials Needed:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Pen
  • Container to store them in


  1. Write out all the ones that fit your playroom toys onto the popsicle sticks. Only do one per stick
  2. Put into a container. 
  3. When it’s time to clean up have your kids take turns pulling out a stick and doing what it says. 
  4. Sit back and enjoy them having fun cleaning up. 

List of topics:


“Pick up all the (color) toys”

  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Yellow
  • Pink
  • White
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Tan
  • Rainbow


“Pick up all the (shape) toys”

  • Circles/round
  • Squares
  • Triangles
  • Rectangles
  • Stars
  • Hearts
  • Diamonds
  • Hexagons 
  • Octagons
  • Pentagons


“Pick up all the toys with (similar item)”

  • Eyes
  • Hair
  • Wheels
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Tails
  • Magnets
  • Clothes


“Pick up all the (theme) toys

  • Superheroes 
  • Dolls
  • Costumes
  • Blocks
  • Legos
  • Cars
  • Books 
  • Hats
  • Trains
  • Nerf guns
  • Kitchen toys

If you use them share with me. I’d love to see your take on them. And let me know if yours kids love them as much as mine do. 

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If you want to check out my other DIYs I’ve done and shared then…


Thank you for stopping by and checking out my truck to having your kids want to clean up their playroom.

Xo Jessica!

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