How to make organizing Fun for kids this summer

Now that school has finished for another year, and all the contents of your childs desk/locker has descended on your home, it is time to try some organizing strategies that will work through the summer months.
I know this seems like a daunting task, but it can be achieved, I will give you tips on how to make organizing Fun for kids this summer.

Let them be involved in the process

If they are allowed to get involved in the process it will stick faster than if you do it for them. This can be a struggle for many of us parents, because we all know it can go a lot faster if we do it ourselves, however they will not learn the process if they don’t share in the action.
Come up with a plan together.
When dealing with teens, they have their own unique challenges, they sleep longer, some have part time jobs, or volunteering, but all of them are trying to assert their independance.
Set up a routine together, but don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t stay that way, they have to learn to independently keep their routines going themselves.

Make their treasures visible

You may think that some of the art work they bring home is ready for the garbage, but it is amazing the things they find beautiful and want to hold on to.
One way to do this is have a frame to hold their treasured peices and put them on the wall, hey, free art. The rest can be stored in a underbed rubbermaid, they can then be swapped out during the summer months to keep it intersting.
Allowing them space to display special creations is important to many as well, decide on what amount you are willing to leave out.
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Make routines easy to follow

The simplier the routine is, the better, really no matter what age your child is routines can be a challenge. If you don’t already know, talk about your childs preference for keeping things organized and put away.
Do they like to open drawers, or would they rather hangs things up. When it comes to toys, would they rather have individual bins for different groups of toys, or do they like the adventure of digging through a chest. Either way, there has to be an easy routine for clearing up afterward.
Each of us our individuals and we all organize differently, the same is true for our kids.
These routines for clearing up will be different for each age group, but always have a time limit on the process.
This could be, everything put away before supper, bathtime, storytime, tv time etc. What ever is effective for your child, choose that.

Reward their effforts

Remember the potty training when your kids would get stickers or treat for using the potty? The same can be used for organizing, especially with smaller children, older children could get more screen time, a movie trip, sleep over, a new book etc, the ways you can reward them are endless and as individual as your child is. Find what keeps them track and repeat.

Time limit

What I mean by time limit is to make the organizing process doable. Ask them to keep their room clean for a week, revist their progress, tweak where it needs to be, reward and repeat.
Like organizing with adults, children need to have short time frames for success, when they succeed, build on the progress, maybe go two weeks.
It takes time to build in a routine with your children, but if they are successful this year, next year will be easier to transition to the next age of organizing challenges.

Within this process always remember to make it as easy and as fun as possible, a positive feeling around organizing and keeping it that way will carry with them into adulthood, and the workforce with great organizng processes.
Just like learning to tie shoes, reading, writing, swimming, playing an instrument, it all takes time, practise and eventually success. So set up individualized systems, tweak, reward, and repeat.

What has worked for you in the past? We would love to hear your success on this subject.Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

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8 thoughts on “How to make organizing Fun for kids this summer

  1. Kids can do a lot, it just needs to be fun and not too hard. I love your point about hanging things up. I find hardly anyone who ever wants to use a hanger! Parents can really help the process but allowing breathing room in the schedule for restoring order. It can become a habit.
    Seana Turner recently posted…Polly Loses TrackMy Profile

    • Thank you, Seana, I made the comment about hanging clothes because my son never uses things he has hung in his closet, those are for “formal occasions” he uses his drawers everyday. Breathing room is important, after all they are just mini me’s. Thank you for commenting, have a great week.

  2. I worked with a teenage boy last week on his room… Our main goal was to get rid of books that were way too young for him, and taking up a ton of room on his bookshelves, and make space to display all of his treasures! He was so excited to rediscover his creations!

    • I love working on transitions with kids, it makes them feel so grown up when they get decide what they keep, and when they let go of childish things. Thank you for commenting, Kathy, have a great week.

  3. Who doesn’t love a nice reward for a job well done? =) When you couple that with an easy to follow system, it’s a win-win. A chore chart with fun stickers (or magnets) can appeal to some children.

    I’ve also found that showing children how to organize an area (actually doing it with them, step by step) can help the process go more smoothly when they start organizing (and/or cleaning up) on their own.
    Deb Lee recently posted…“No Apps Productivity” – How to Get Things Done Without Using TechnologyMy Profile

    • I agree, and i have used a chore chart for my own family that had their name and task to complete, it worked well when my son was younger. I like the idea of step by step, it is all in the process.

  4. Making organizing fun is so important! If they learn to enjoy the process when they’re young, they’re way more likely to keep it up throughout their life than if it feels like a thankless chore.

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