On the Melissa & Doug blog, we love to share creative activities, plus engaging ways to teach kids useful skills. Here are 3 easy ways to help your kids get organized — and get them excited about it!
1) Create a Calendar to Organize Time
Using our Magnetic Calendar, or any monthly calendar (purchased or home-made), take your child’s current list of activities and start to plan for when certain goals could be accomplished. For example, if your child has a goal to spend more time playing outside, choose one day every week and mark that as “outside play day”. This is also a wonderful time to practice a few “calendar” basics, such as:
- Learning to spell the days of the week and months
- Understanding the order of days in a week, and months in a year
- Grasping the concept of a day, week, month, and year as a whole (i.e. “how many ‘play days’ do we have in a month?” or “what play activities are great for the month of August versus January?”)
- Teaching early time-management skills: How many days do you have to reach your library book, before we go back to the library?”
2) Use a Chore Chart to Help Kids Get Organized
A responsibility chart can be a wonderful way to encourage and recognize positive behavior. By creating a chore chart that’s directly tied to a child’s goals, you will have a weekly reminder of what you and your child have chosen to focus on each week. A generic “help keep the house tidy” goal can easily translate into actionable tasks throughout the week, such as helping with dishes, or cleaning up toys. At the end of the week, or month, you can sit down and have a friendly chat together, about how the goals are being achieved, and if any updates to the way your chore chart is organized.
3) Switch Things Up!
A great way to achieve goals is to keep things interesting! Doing the “same old” week after week may become boring, so here are some suggestions on helping kids stay focused and organized, year-round:
- Identify dates with your child to discuss positive progress – choose the middle of a week, month, or even year and ask the child how well he or she is performing against their goals, and what might need to improved on going forward. Gently offer suggestions, if this is a challenging question for your child.
- Choose some progress “milestones” and offer a reward or favorite activity to recognize the child’s success
- Be flexible! If a child is doing well achieving their goals, or if a little extra time is needed, discuss potential changes that may need to be made, and why. Share these plans in friendly, helpful ways to continue building the child’s confidence. Always end the conversation on a positive note to encourage your child: “You’ve done really great putting your puzzles away this week. I knew you could do it!”
- Remember to smile. 🙂
Share your suggestions for helping kids get organized in the comments below. Remember to on us on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page!
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