It is important to teach our children organization from the time they are very young because if we don’t teach them who will? From the time Malea leaned to walk (10 1/2 months) we started doing clean up time with her. I looked up a cute little clean up song on youtube.com and tried to make it fun for her. Now that she’s 2, sometimes I will hear her singing the song to herself, in the other room, while she’s picking up her toys. Kids need order, they thrive on it, and if their toys are organized and easily accessible then they will get played with more. When every toy is thrown on the ground it’s hard to find toys and know what is available to be played with. Today I’m sharing a few tips for getting your toys organized.
1. Organization bins
It’s important to have a specific place for toys to go because otherwise clean up time is confusing for kids. My mom taught me that “everything has its place” and that has always stuck with me. Where do the blocks go? Where do the books go? And so on and so forth. I purchased a toy organizer for my daughter’s room and it has been awesome. I labeled each bin so she knows where all of the toys go. She can’t read yet but she will learn to associate they toys with the words on each bin.
They toys don’t always look perfect but we do have an order to playtime. Another thing my mom taught me was “when you are done playing with something you put it back before getting out another toy”. I have taught Malea the same thing, so when we are done playing with the block we put them away and get out the puzzles. When we are done with the puzzles we put them away before getting out the animals, etc.
Baskets are another great way to organize toys. They hold lots of toys and they are fun to play with! My daughter loves to do chugga-chugga around the house with me pulling her in this big basket.
3. Set an example
Set a good example and teach your kids how grown ups organize too. Malea got a play kitchen for Christmas this year. She loves it and plays with it all the time and usually by the end of the day it’s a huge disaster! I’m teaching her that just like mommy cleans up her kitchen, it’s important for her to clean up hers. Each night we put the pots and pans away, the cups back up on the shelf and hang the cooking utensils back on the rack. It’s a fun way for her to play but she’s also learning an important life lesson. I’m sure someday her husband will thank me!
4. Organize to fit your style
Right before Malea was born my husband and I bought an ottoman that served as our “coffee table” and when you lift up the lid there is hidden storage. Walking into our living room you would never know that we have a ton of toys sitting right in the middle of it because they are all hidden! Every night we clean up Malea’s toys and books and then close the lid and VOILA our living room looks “grown up” again. I was recently told that my home looked like a “model home” and that you’d never guess we have a ton of toys for our daughter. That was the best compliment someone like me could receive!
We have SO many books, it seems like they are everywhere in our house. This January I got tired of having them in every room so I set up a bookshelf for Malea in her room. The bottom two shelves are for her to read as she pleases and the top two shelves are “special books” that she can only read with mommy or daddy. I have loved having all of the books put in one place because it’s fun when she takes me back to her room and we sit down and read through 10 books at a time. I think she feels like big girl now that she has so many of the books she loves right in her room.