My 2 year old son does not pick up his toys. Should we discipline him by taking away the toys?
I’d like to step back and find out more about these toys. Why are they there? Often we find that children are burdened with too many toys. They might take them out more to see them arrayed on the floor than to play with each one – in fact, for them, that is the play.
While it is fine to limit the toys that are available, I would not communicate to the child that this is a consequence of leaving them on the floor. When there are only a few toys, it matters less who picks them up. And when there is no stress associated with putting toys away, it is easier for children to pick up that practice.
Secondly, at that age, many children hunger for wide open spaces to run, climb trees / jungle gyms, chase frogs, play ball, dig in the sand, stomp in puddles or watch the cars go by. When they can run and climb and throw and use their outside voice to their hearts content, being inside is less frustrating. Toys are often used to “entertain” kids inside because there is no one to accompany them outside – but not all kids will accept this substitute for long.