If your child started preschool or kindergarten, he or she won’t have heavy homework loads, but it’s never too early to start helping your child to become more organized. That way, when responsibilities do begin to increase, your child will feel more confident and prepared.
Organization: as simple as 1-2-3
Kids Health offers a 1-2-3 strategy that breaks down tasks into simple chunks:
- Get organized by going where you need to go and gathering supplies you’ll need.
- Stay focused by sticking to the task and avoiding distractions.
- Get it done by making sure all is finished.
For a young child, you can teach this method during tooth brushing time:
- Step 1: Go to the bathroom, get your toothbrush and paste, and turn on the water.
- Step 2: Keep brushing for three minutes, even if you’d rather go call a friend.
- Step 3: Turn off the water, put away your brush and paste, and make sure your face is clean.
Good Housekeeping suggests that you verbalize the steps of morning and evening routines to reinforce them. You can also put a checklist in an obvious place, like a bathroom or bedroom mirror. If your child can’t read yet, use pictures or stickers as guidance. Bedtime habits are especially important as they are the precursor to a good night’s sleep.
There’s also the A-B-C-D method!
Good Housekeeping also shares a great way to help your child organize toys: the A-B-C-D method:
- A: these are toys your child loves and plays with as often as he or she eats or brushes teeth
- B: your child plays with these toys frequently, perhaps as often as you go to the supermarket
- C: these toys aren’t played with too much, about as often as a birthday or holiday comes around
- D: your child doesn’t play with these toys any more
Toys in the A and B category should be stored in a way that your child can easily access them. Type C toys can be placed on a higher shelf or otherwise stored away until needed. D toys? DONATE!
OrgJunkie.com posted a fabulous article with visuals showing ways to organize toys for your young children.
More organization tips for your young child
Meanwhile, Scholastic adds these two tips:
- Keep a family calendar where everyone’s activities are tracked. Let your child see the calendar. Before he or she reads well, you can use stickers to help him or her know what’s coming up.
- Assign chores that involve sorting or categorizing. This can include cleaning out a closet with you, putting like items together – or sorting photos or books.
Keep the end goal in mind!
While it’s great to have your child learn how to put away toys properly and to brush his or her teeth, you’re laying a much more important foundation. Here’s what Education.com has to say about the value of teaching your young child how to be organized:
“By helping your child create her own systems to keep track of her work and her workspace, you are laying the foundation for success in school and beyond. The process itself is a wonderful way to let your child experiment with decision-making, trial and error and learning to trust one's own instincts. It's also a great opportunity to create a non-academic component within your child's school experience that can be relieved of the pressure of grades and judgment. It's an arena where she can find success and build on it. As she sees results in school and at home she will discover the value of the tools and find the encouragement to continue.”
Horizon Education Centers provides affordable quality child care that includes educational and enrichment opportunities – and we’re here to answer your questions! Contact us at one of the following Northeast Ohio locations.