The Christmas Holiday is almost here and we really need to make room for more toys! In my opinion, we must remain very flexible when introducing an organizing system to young children. I would suggest that we keep it simple! Many times, the organizing system looks really “neat & organized”, but it may not be very practical and difficult to maintain.
With any new organizing system that we introduce, we must take the time to explain the system, how it is to be used and the benefits to the child as well as the parent. Organizing is a learned behavior — repetition, repetition, repetition and reward, reward, reward!
We have three (3) main objectives:
- We really want them to put their toys (and maybe clothes too?) away.
- We want them to be able to find the toy(s) that they play with most, without emptying the entire toy box every time.
- Periodically, we want to purge their toys, with their help, to make room for new toys. I’d suggest that you start a trade-off system, for each toy you give your child, they should also give up/donate a toy that they no longer play with.
We also need to make clean-up time fun!
- Music always seems to make clean-up time go a little faster (that goes for adults too.)
- Try to make clean-up time a game…. Toss the Toy, Hot Potato…. I don’t know I am trying to be creative.
- Maybe we could try not to play with all the toys, all the time. Of course, we have to remain flexible, but if we divided playtime up into smaller segments, we could clean-up as we go.
- Doll time, Dress-up time, Lego time, Race car time, etc. etc. Again, I am trying to be creative. 🙂
Remember, if the play/clean-up time becomes a routine (repetition, repetition, repetition), it will not appear as restrictive…. and the reward, reward, reward would be less clean-up time!