As kids grow up, it's important for them to have their own spaces.
This will help them to learn some reponsibility with regards to taking care of their things, be able to become independent and feel that they are contributing to the family.
Because let's face it, after a few years of constantly picking up after them, we're always happy when they learn to chip in and start to do more for themselves.
Here are a few ideas for easy ways to change your home environment so that kids can do more for themselves, enjoy their space and help out around the house.
These ideas can be used with kids as young as 2 years old and are perfect for creating independence in kids ages 5 - 12 years. I've included affiliate links to some of our favorite kid-sized items for your information and convenience.
Play Music in your Home
Most of us find this out very early - kids love music! I always find that the kids are more willing to help if we play some music while we clean up!
- Sing with kids
- Play all kinds of music in the house
- Encourage kids to make or use musical instruments.
There's quite a bit of research that show how babies benefit from music, and how playing an instrument enhances learning in children.
If you're looking for more fun ideas, we have a variety that were shared on our Musical Activities for Kids linky.
Make It EASY for Kids to Clean Up
Kids need simple ways to help keep toys corralled - think the 3 B's: Bins, Baskets and Buckets!
Bins can help kids sort and quickly put toys back where they belong, buckets are great for use in the garage or yard, and books can be neatly stored in baskets near your child's favorite reading area.
Laundry baskets are also a wonderful way to get kids more involved in the cleaning -- get a small basket so kids can gather all the items they've left around the house and then carry the basket from room to room while they put things away.
Having a shelf with bins like these adorable Animal Canvas Storage Bins are both fuctional and decorative.
And a pull-trolley bin such as this cute Rolling Bus Storage Bin with Wheels would make it so easy to move toys from room to room while still keeping them organized.
Another idea we use is to draw a 'parking spot' in the garage using sidewalk chalk so the kids know where to put their bikes.
Do you know how many times I would back the car out of the garage and have a bike fall on it because it was too close! The kids just couldn't figure out where to park their bikes when it was time to put them away.
So, here's our easy fix! Have Mom or Dad park the bike where they want it to go and trace a rectangle around it so the kids know exactly where it should be each time they need to put it away.
Helps in two ways:
First, an empty spot is a reminder that something needs to be put away.
And second, no stray bikes leaning on the cars or left in the driveway! :)
Display Their Artwork
This really is a huge deal for kids!
When kids create something, they want to be able to share it with others.
Every family and home is different, so find a place that fits your life --
Some families hang artwork on the fridge or bedroom doors,
You might choose to frame it and place it on shelves or the mantle -- these Easy Change Artwork Frames would make a beautiful display that you could change seasonally.
If you're short on wall space, kids would love to make their own 'art porfolio' (use a 3-ring binder to collect all their pictures and make sure it's avaible for them to look at whenever they'd like to or 'show off' when others visit).
Get Things Within Their Reach
If you haven't already learned, kids will get what they want -- some how, some way.
So why not make it easy for them before you catch them climbing up the shelves to reach their toys :)
Place frequently used (and parent approved) toys and books at their level.
Make sure to have step stools in places, like at the bathroom sink or in their closet, so they can feel more independent when learning self-care skills such as hand-washing and getting dressed.
Assign a bottom shelf in the fridge for kid-size items (juice boxes, water bottles, small snacks).
Hang removeable hooks on the closet doors so it's easier for kids to hang up jackets and clothes. We use the Large Command Hooks for jackets since they can support heavier items.
Have Kid-sized Items Available
It's always easier for kids to do things if they have items that fit their size.
One of our most used and BEST investments was our kid-sized table. The kids used this every single day for snacks, projects or just as a place to sit and play with things like play dough. We chose a wood one like this Melissa & Doug Wooden Table with Chairs.
Less obvious ideas might include a Children's Dictionary (teach them to look up words at a young age), a child's apron so they'll offer to help in the kitchen and small canvas bags so they can carry library books or help at the grocery store.
Looking for more Organizational Inspiration?
What ideas do you use to make your home more kid-friendly?
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