Teaching your kids to be more organised

First published: 24-08-2015

Teaching your kids to be more organised

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Over the summer holidays, when the kids are enjoying their time off school, you can take the opportunity to teach them some key organisation skills. Ahead of the next school year, hone their abilities of time management so that when they get back in the classroom, they can organise themselves efficiently.

We've compiled a list of ideas to help encourage your kids to become super-organised, from days out to everyday activities.

Buy them a diary

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One of the best ways to encourage them to learn is to give them control. A diary (electronic or paper) will let them plan their schedule and whilst at first you may need to give them a hand with getting everything pencilled in, it will become second-nature after a while.

An alternative is a family calendar with a section in which they can jot down their plans. This can help you keep on track of what they've got coming up, and give them a helping hand if they need it too. It will also give them a better understanding of what everyone else's plans and schedules are.

Have it somewhere easy for everyone to read - the fridge is usually a very popular choice, so you can refer to it during breakfast.

Tip: To help them get to grips with using the diary or calendar, take some time every Sunday to get them to list all the things they need to do over the next week, and help them plan when to schedule everything in.

Remember to acknowledge when they have done a good job of this, and if they need any assistance then a regular Sunday diary time will give you a chance to help them improve.

Let them plan days out

If you're going on a big family day out, you can use this to explain organisation to your children. Ask them to help you plan out your schedule, factoring in your travelling time (and any toilet breaks you need!) as well as any specific attractions you want to visit or activities you've got planned.

A day at a theme park is ideal. You could ask them to look at the park map and figure out the route you will take, including all the rides they want to go on. For older children, this could be as complex as you think they can manage, looking at when to stop for lunch, or how long it will take to get to and from the car park.

Involve them in house activities

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If you've ever tried to cook a big meal for more than one person, you know that cooking takes a lot of organisation. Therefore, to help your little one understand time management, why not get them cooking?

It doesn't have to be a three-course dinner; having them be your assistant when you bake a cake will work. Ask them to fetch the necessary ingredients, and weigh them out. If they are old enough, this could be an opportunity to let them practice their reading, telling you the recipe instructions as you go along.

Have them figure out how long it needs in the oven, and then wash and dry up, lay the table, or fill up the dishwasher together while it's baking, utilising their spare time efficiently.

This is something you can do with them from a young age, gradually making the meals trickier as they get older. It will encourage them to break down bigger projects into smaller tasks, order and prioritise these tasks in order to tackle the project as well as make good use of the time they have, figuring out a schedule and getting everything done within that.

Unpacking the weekly shop is another option. They will need to consider which cupboard or fridge shelf everything goes in, and look at use-by dates to figure out what needs eating first. This will also teach them about household objects having specific places and get them in the routine of putting things back where they found them, showing them how to keep their space organised.

Buy them a watch

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Time management is essential to keeping organised, so having a watch will really help them plan their day. A watch with large, easy-to-read numbers will be ideal, and an alarm function will help them stick to their schedule.

This digital chronograph watch by Limit is perfect, since it displays the time and date really clearly, and has that all-important alarm.  If they need any help learning how to tell the time, we've got a few ideas to get them started!

Establish a routine

Every night, ask them what they have planned the next day to help them get themselves prepared, and help them pick out what clothes they think they will need to save time in the morning. Over time, this can become a routine for them, and eventually they won't need as much help in getting themselves ready for the day ahead.

Come school time, this will involve the books they need for the next day, plus PE kits, permission slips, and anything else they might be required to take in.

Getting your children in the habit of planning for the day ahead, can save everyone so much time in early morning panics over lost items.

A routine in the morning is equally important, both for parents and kids. Don't worry, we've got you covered there, too.

Set up a working space

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When they get back to school and start being set homework again, they will appreciate a space at home where they can get their work done, somewhere specifically set out for them, rather than a corner of the kitchen where there might be a lot of noise.

You can help them out by making it a distraction-free zone, with the Xbox tucked away out of sight, and ensuring that all the essentials are within arm's reach, such as a calculator and plenty of pens and pencils.

This could also be their space for storing all their books and folders, so that all their school gear is all in one place. This is another opportunity for them to learn about organising their space, keeping everything in easy-to-find places, and putting things back once they have finished.

Getting your little ones organised needn't be tricky. With your help, they can get to grips with time management and planning before they head back to school in September, making the morning rush run a bit smoother and leaving more time for fun!


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