With the school year starting, this is a great time to ensure that your kids have a space that's ready for sleep, play, and study.
Make sleep space snooze-worthy. Your kids may actually sleep better if you consider these tips.
- Keep the bedroom simple and orderly (free of draped clothing "monsters") to help kids feel secure and comfy.
- Dim bedroom lights for a half-hour before bedtime to help kids calm down and prepare for sleep.
- Use a small night-light, if necessary, but limit light from electronic devices or windows.
- Place beds in quiet areas of a room, away from bathroom walls or bustling hallways.
Highlights High FiveNovember 2007My First Hidden Picture
- Giveaway: for outgrown toys, clothes, and other items that others can use.
- Throwaway: for broken toys and other items beyond repair.
- Put away: for items to be stored for the future. Rediscovered old toys and games feel "new."
- Keep around: for items that need to be accessible.
- Make child-level bins, shelves, and cabinets available.
- Help your kids and you remember where things go by labeling the shelves or bins. Use pictures for pre-readers.
- Use a simple filing cabinet to help older kids organize and access their papers.
- Buy or assemble a simple desk or worktable. Make sure the chair is an appropriate height and there's enough light.
- Provide a flat stretch of splinter-free floor space to make a good play area.
- Encourage your kids to keep their work surface clear by specifying other places to keep papers, notebooks, and toys. Plastic bins or simple wooden shelves provide an inexpensive solution.
- Provide a few pillows for a quiet corner to create a private oasis.
- Indicate to family members that each child's special place is there just for him or her.
- In a shared space, make sure each child has a bin or drawer for his or her possessions.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages parents from letting kids have a TV in their rooms.
- It's much easier to supervise your child's Internet explorations if the computer is in a central family location.
- Help kids get into the habit of emptying backpacks of school notices into one "in box."
- Create a staging area near the door for anything that's going to school with your kids the next day.
- Keep calendars and announcements posted for better visibility.
- Put tickets and other important items on a bulletin board or magnetic board so that they will be less likely to get lost.
Even if your kids end up doing homework on the kitchen table, understanding how to utilize space purposefully is a learning experience that will serve your family well.
For tips about displaying and storing your children's artwork, go to Displaying and Storing Your Children's Artwork!
For tips on Helping You and Your Kids Get Organized, click here.