This post might be helpful for your classrooms, but it is sure to please families, especially at this time of year when many children will be home and messes are sure to abound. Toys can take over a house (or classroom) and weary families often struggle with constantly cleaning up. The refrain, “Pick up your toys” is often a favorite but unfortunately may not yield the results we want. There are a few ways we can avoid the constant struggle that disorganization brings.
|This child was not happy with the disorganization of his toys. He often complained about it but did not know how to fix it.|
Children must be included in organizing a room. This means that adults should not quickly clean when children are sleeping or at school. Small children are usually eager to help. While having their help may take a bit longer, the results are worth it. Children who are invested in organizing and have a hand in deciding where things will be kept are more likely to find those spots again when asked to clean.
Another important component of cleaning and organizing is getting rid of toys, books, and games that children have outgrown. Have special boxes for these. Discuss with children where these should go (a neighbor, friend, relative, organization, or yard sale). When children can name the place their toys will end up, they are often more likely to part with them.
Finally, labeling bins, boxes, or even spots on the wall can help children as they return toys to correct places. The bonus? It helps preschoolers understand that words have meaning. They may even develop sight vocabulary!
|When he was involved in organizing, the child knew where everything should be put away. After having friends over, he cleaned up his room in less than 20 minutes with no complaints.|
Involving your children in all aspects of cleaning and organizing will pay off!
NAEYC – 3.E.03, 2.L.02
Head Start – II.B, VII.D.