Do you believe in coincidence? Recently, I was talking to a woman struggling to keep her young son's toys organized. He has lots of legos and construction toys that are alway underfoot or spread over her living room and bedroom. She tried to get him to help her pick them up but he always quickly lost interest. I couldn't resist suggesting some of my tried and true strategies:
Create places to hold the items such as clear bins with pictures of the items to be contained.
Place the bins close to where the child plays.
Make sure your child can reach the bin easily and safely (perhaps a small step stool, if necessary.)
Make organizing fun! I told my client what worked for me with my daughter. We'd set a timer for a 5 or 10 minute tidy and see how much we could get done. There was often a reward at the end such as playing a video game or watching a favourite TV show or video. Often just doing it together was enough.
Although, I knew she was grateful for the suggestions, I sensed she really was hoping for something more - a way to get her son involved in the process.
SOON AFTER THAT CONVERSATION I CAME ACROSS THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IN "LIFE GETS ORGANIZED".
In it the organizer describes how she uses the Pokemon Go app to get kids organized: She found a fun way to use the Pokemon Go app idea and turn it into a fun game to help you and your kids get organized.
If you have kids (or even if you don't) you have probably heard or maybe even played Pokemon Go . Yes, my daughter and I are playing. It is a fun way to get
outside, work together as a team, walk the dog, learn to read a map and just have fun!
It is really pretty simple - and a bit addictive (we just do the basics). The following are simple instructions to get started.
You look at a map of the area you are in for 'stops' (often a sign, a monument, a statue, a bench, etc.)
When you get to a stop you can grab Pokemon balls that will help you later
At random times during your walk, Pokemon characters pop up next to you and you capture them. You then use those characters later in battles and to earn things
Playing Pokemon is fun, popular and gets your kids active and engage. People are stating other benefits as social interaction, exercise, and teamwork - which are all
great skills for organizing, too!
Using the principles of Pokemon Go you can create a simple ORGANIZING GAME FOR YOUR KIDS:
Create stops - places they need to go to clean/organize (under their bed, their bedroom floor,their stuffed toy collection, toys left out, etc.). To make it realistic, like the game, take pictures of these spots and create a folder/gallery on your phone for them.
Create rewards - (for example:15 minutes watching TV, money, a food/snack item, time with mom/dad, etc.). Write them down and put them in a jar.
Play the game - let the child choose the organizing spot they want to go to - when they open the picture they need to find that spot in the house. After they clean or organize that spot they get to choose a reward from the jar. If they complete them all, you could consider doing something extra special for them.
So whether you believe in coincidence or not. The conversation left me thinking and open to exploring new solutions to how to get our children to pick up after themselves. Making a game of tidying up is a way to structure kid-friendly organizing methods within a kid-friendly popular culture.
There is no time like the present for setting up kid-friendly organizing systems