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Friday, October 14, 2016

Organize The Toy Room by Trisha Roberts

Organization is an important skill to learn.  By the time children reach middle school they need to be able to organize their school materials, schedule study time, organize their locker to store and find items, organize their clothing, order their room, etc.  By the time children are in high school, they should be preparing for life on their own, whether at university studies or out in the working world.

School Locker Mess
Organization of School LockerNo one waves a magic wand to make this happen!  It is taught and caught! We should be teaching our children as well as modeling for our children how to live an organized life.  The earlier you start, the easier it will be!

From the time my children could walk we would pick up toys together before lunch, before nap time, and before bedtime and put them away.  Even if I had to have my hand over their hand while walking to the bookshelf together, they learned that they were responsible for picking up their things. We often sang a clean up song, "Clean up, clean up, put our toys away.  Clean up, clean up, play another day."

We also had a rule in our home:  “When you are finished with something, you put it away.”  This taught individual responsibility and kept our home from getting cluttered.   It is not possible to play with twenty different toys all at once--my children were not allowed to get out a new toy for play until their other toy was put away! This held true for their parents as well—projects were completed or stored before starting other tasks.

Only one toy out at a time
You can Only play with One Toy at a Time!

Everything has a place and if everything is in its place, you know where to find it!  For example, if you make a habit of putting your keys on a hook by the door (or wherever you decide), then when you need your keys, you know where they are.  No more endless searching for cell phones, coats, keys, shoes, etc.  No more frustration, wasted time, and stress. It is also far easier to clean a house (vacuum, dust, etc.) if things are put away.  When things are scattered everywhere, one can spend tons of time picking up and very little time actually getting rid of dirt!

Toy Box Jungle Party
Jungle Party Toy Chest
Princess Theme Toy Box
Princess Toy Box

There are wonderful, colorful and engaging 
  shelves and organizers  for children's rooms. 

One trick I learned for teaching very young children organization was to place toys and books on wide, low shelves within easy reach of little bodies and then to tape a picture of the items on the shelves indicating what type of toy was to be stored in that spot.

Toy Tub Labels
The Organized Toy Room

Toy Shelf Labels

 If you don’t have shelves, using tubs or baskets can work.  Tape a laminated picture of the contents on the tub or punch 2 holes in the laminated picture and use tie wraps to attach them to the basket. This is actually a great way to practice matching and memory!

Putting toys on a shelf improves eye-hand coordinationSquat to pick up and put away toys
As an added benefit, when children squat to pick up toys and return them to their storage space, they are getting exercise!  Placing a book or other toy in a precise place helps build the fine motor skills of eye-hand coordination, perceptual motor skills, and hand dexterity.

It may seem like a lot of work to start, but teaching children organization will actually make your life much easier while developing important skills that can reap a lifetime of benefit for your children!

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

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