Do you have a free-spirited kid, or one in need of order?
Do you notice when your house is in chaos, you and your family are also in chaos: running late, can’t find things, forgetting things, tempers are more irritable and stress levels are high?
Teaching kids organizing skills can help your family’s day to day routine run smoothly and be less stressful. Kids will know where their belongings are. Knowing the plan for the day ahead of time will keep kids aware of upcoming activities and how to prepare for them.
1. Assign chores that involve sorting: socks, laundry, mail or emptying the dishwasher.
2. Create storage systems for toys, clothes, closets and books, showing and teaching kids there is a home for everything.
3. Help kids prepare for the next day by picking clothes out the night before, as well as packing school/sports bags, lunch and snack ahead of time.
4. Keep a family calendar in a central location. Track each family member’s activities on the calendar, and go over it every day with the kids.
5. Use chore charts to show what chores need to be done. Implement a Daily Check List of what is expected to remind kids to brush teeth, make bed, read 20 min, etc. Use daily lists to keep track of homework too. This will help kids learn to prioritize. Develop a reward system like extra time reading a book or use of electronics to help your child develop a routine. Overall, be consistent; it takes 21 days to get into a routine.
6. Establish a homework routine. Set a timer and create a homework area that works for the child.
7. Teach kids to use a binder for each subject and homework.
8. Kids love to help. Let them help when cooking or baking.
When you’re at a restaurant, in the car, or headed to the beach, do your kids drive you crazy by fighting or by saying that they are bored? I have found several variations of a busy bag/box on Pinterest, and created my own. My bags have changed over the years accommodating items that will satiate my 4 year old and my 7 year old!
My Restaurant Bag contains:
When my kids were toddlers, I used to pack lots of board books, large Duplo blocks, finger puppets, Crayola dough, laminated play dough mats, stacking cups and Fisher Price plastic animals. For older kids, add Legos, playing cards, trivia questions, the Uno game, books, Mad libs, and maze books.
My Car Bag contains everything from my restaurant bag, plus the following:
A fun idea that I started on a 10 hour trip to Myrtle Beach, was to get baby links from the dollar store and connect them from one car hook to the one across from it in the backseat, and a super hero traveled link to link every hour that passed. Also, since each of my kids had a small version of the car bag next to them, with each activity organized inside a smaller container, there were no melt downs!
Taking a family of four to the beach is like a jigsaw puzzle! Everything needs to be organized and in a certain area or else it will be covered in sand or forgotten. Thanks to many invites to Thirty One parties I am well prepared for the beach with bags!
My Beach Bag is a system of smaller bags:
Staying organized, even on vacation helps me keep my sanity, and my husband prepared. When the ice cream man rings his bell and the kids go running, all he has to do is reach in the tote and grab the cash, not waste time looking for it.
I hope I have inspired you to create your own “Busy Bags” for whatever situation calls for it. Have fun and safe travels this summer!
Annie Kilbride is the CEO of Life Simplified, LLC a professional organizing business. Visit www.lifesimplifiedpo.com for more information.