In This Issue:Let's look at how we organize a child's room. If we work with children on learning the benefits of having everything in its place and we make it meet their fashion statement...it just might happen! Who knows...we did go to the moon!
See the room from their viewpoint. Sit down in the middle of the floor with them and take a look. From this vantage point you might see the room, differently. How could things be stored more conveniently for them?
How does the child use the room? Is it just for sleeping?...No, probably not. Children's rooms usually are dressing rooms, study rooms, play rooms, and sleeping rooms. So, think in quarters. Visually examine lighting, doors, windows, and decide which of the 4 quarters is best used for the purposes of the room. For example, the quarter of the room with best lighting is probably best for the study area. The quarter of the room away from the window is probably best for sleeping, right?
What is the child's favorite color? You don't need to paint the walls lime green or hot pink to personalize their space. Accessories are usually the best way to use their favorite colors, anyway; because, we know how their taste can change, right? Try to use soft, calm shades on the walls of bedrooms, then use the accessories to add the brightness of their favorite colors. Intensity of colors can alter moods, so in their bedroom think about what behavior you want to project into the room.
Involve the child in creating organizing materials. Plastic bins can be stored attractively on short shelves that they can reach, so help them decorate the bins with their favorite characters, colors, or shapes. Try and match the outside decoration of the bin to what is stored in the bin either by words or icons. Children can also use craft paints to decorate peg boards for hanging commonly used items, including bookbags.
Decorate book shelves with the child. Use stamps of their favorite things...butterflies, peace signs, horses. Children are more likely to use things they help to make. Have a shelf for bedtime stories, for teaching books, and and board games, so they learn to organize in ways that makes sense to them.
Remember children need regular reinforcement and behavior modeling. Set aside a time everyday, if possible, to help them put things away in your room and theirs. They will learn putting things away are important in your room, and by modeling this they will begin to understand this isn't just about telling them what to do, but that it serves a purpose. This also gives you some constructive, but fun time, together. Helping each other is one of the golden rules, after all.
Good eating habits start at home, so keep food at the table. While it is sometimes easier to let a child have snacks in their room...it is not the purpose for their room and it is hard for them to avoid spilling. Children need to learn about food and its purpose for nourishment, rather than eating for boredom or entertainment. Keeping food at the table will help to reinforce your commitment to healthy living.
We hope you will find these websites helpful to as you prepare children for back to school.