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Tidy-up Teddy: A nature-based story for preschoolers that encourages children to tidy up
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Tidy-up Teddy: A nature-based story for preschoolers that encourages children to tidy up

stories & storytelling

Storytelling is a fantastic way to talk to young children about things like upcoming transitions, behavioral challenges, or household expectations. I love using a story's creativity and imaginative qualities to teach preschool and kindergarten-aged children about the importance of keeping their rooms clean and tidying up. 

The children in my Children’s Garden program often heard the story in this audio episode about a young child who dislikes keeping her room clean and what happens as a result.

In the audio episode above, you’ll enjoy a Waldorf-inspired early childhood circle time with seasonal songs and poems and a pedagogical story about the importance of tidying up. This audio episode and the included story, Tidy-up Teddy, are perfect for children in preschool and kindergarten.

Using Stories to Teach Young Children the Importance of Cleaning Up

Pedagogical Stories, or teaching tales, are stories that impart a lesson of some kind. Within my Waldorf-inspired early childhood classroom, I used pedagogical tales to talk about upcoming transitions, expected changes, or challenging behaviors. You don’t have to be a teacher to use stories to support your children! 

The imaginative qualities of a story make it easier for children to approach challenging topics like changes, transitions, or challenging behavior.

Pedagogical Tale for Preschool & Kindergarten: Tidy-up Teddy

During the second half of the audio episode above, you will hear the story of Tidy-up Teddy, by Becca Lane. In this story, we will meet a child who dislikes tidying her room. As her room becomes messier, she becomes more unhappy and overwhelmed. Her parents gave her a new lamp with a special glow, and, unfortunately, it soon stopped working. The little girl’s Teddy Bear has been in the corner in a pile this whole time, feeling more and more fed up with the untidy room, believing it to be the cause of the discord in the home (and maybe the broken lamp?). Teddy Bear cleans and works one day to create a tidy room for the little girl. When he cleans the room, peace returns to the home, the little girl’s room is calm...and the lamp once again begins to glow.

This magical story reminds children of the importance of tidying their room and helps support the development of good habits at home. 

You may enjoy the audio episode of Storytime above, and you can save the Purple Day RSS feed here

Other Resources for Tidying-Up, Chores, and Young Children

You may also find the following resources helpful:

Five Ingredients to Get Kids to Help Tidy-Up

Developmentally Appropriate Chores for Children

The Tale of Ms. Tiggly-Wiggly: a puppet show about chores


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