1. Make it Easy
- Use open storage containers when possible. The easier it is to get items in and out, the more likely children will use them. Consider canvas bins, baskets, and plastic containers that are easily stored away in shelf units or cubes.
- Again, the easier it is to get the storage container in and out of the storage area; shelf unit or cubes, etc. the more likely the storage container will get put away.
- Understand that if you need to stack or secure the containers with lids that you may need to help until the children can handle the lids and stacking on their own. The more steps the harder the task.
2. Make it Fun
- Label the containers. Very young children are not able to read yet but are eager to learn. Teach and repeat to them what the label says and what goes in the container.
- Be creative with your labeling.
- Use the first letter of the word “B”, along with the word “Blocks”.
- Or use pictures to help show what goes in the container.
- Make learning the letter or words on the containers a game. Use the pictures to help.
- Make it a game to pick up and put away toys. Reward children with a sincere “thank you” or “good job”. Your appreciation shows your approval to a child which in turn is a great reward.
3. Make it Colorful
- Children love color. Use color when organizing.
- Consider colored canvas bins or plastic containers.
- Use color with the labels. Hand-made labels with colored paper or apply printed labels to colored paper for a more colorful effect.
- Pictures, either cut from magazines, or drawn by the children are also colorful ways to identify the contents in the container.
- The colors of the containers or bins can also complement the room or space for a more decorative look for the entire room.
- Involve the children when selecting the colors to go with the labeling when possible. Use a blue square of construction paper taped to the container to go with the “B” and Blocks label for the blocks.
Organizing habits learned early on and made part of a child’s lifestyle routine are skills that they can keep with them through adulthood. Whether it’s the alphabet, math or organizing, whether in school or in the home, what our children are taught gives them the knowledge and wisdom to excel!
Make organizing easy, fun and colorful for your children and you’ll teach them early organizing skills for a lifetime.