Toy boxes and play rooms are so often the perfect location for a disaster. Toys, markers, books and other play things are strewn about without even the tiniest bit of organisation in mind. Things tend to get lost or broken when you’ve got nothing but a mess all around.
Happily, though, there is a solution to this madness, labels and organisation! Name labels are a great way to get things organised. If your child is too young to read, use images. Importantly, this represents an opportunity teach your children discipline, responsibility, appreciation, and organisational skills.
Giving children defined jobs around the home can be an important part of their development. These tasks don’t have to be limited to the home. Starting at an early age, children can be asked to complete specific duties in all areas of their life, and as they take control of more elements of their daily routine, they can learn to be more independent and confident in what they do. It might start cleaning up their toys, but in the future, they’ll be better at handling multiple tasks and organising them so that they are achievable.
The sense of responsibility that children experience as a result of being given such tasks, whether at home, school or in other areas of their lives, is also very valuable. Aside from all that confidence and independence that they can gradually develop, children also get a greater sense of self-worth from knowing that they are in charge of perhaps a physical area in the home, or a particular chore every weekend, or of making sure that their sibling is taken care of. It’s also important that children can feel they are helpful and see the benefits that others receive as a result of their efforts.
Toys can be expensive but it can be very difficult for children to understand or appreciate what that really means. To help them develop a stronger concept of money and then to treat their belongings with greater respect, give them choices that will demonstrate the opportunity cost of those toys, ie they can have that truck, but it will mean a (hopefully minor) sacrifice of something else that they may also be hoping for. Once children have recognised that in order to have something important to them, they must give up something else, they will have a better appreciation of value, and have more respect for material objects in the future.
And of course, labels and chores also help keep your children organised. Returning toys to their proper place keeps things in order and clean. Household tasks such as these give your child structure, and all of us appreciate structure and stability.
Be thoughtful in using opportunities to delegate, give responsibility, and also strategically place the odd name label here and there (visit stuckonyou.uk for a great selection), to help keep your home in tip-top shape, and to encourage your children to grow into responsible and organised adults.