October 23, 2010

A little more organization...

I'm sure you noticed my lack of posting last week... I was trying to finish up some things in the house that desperately needed my attention.  I showed you our closets and mudroom, but I had one  more project up my sleeve that I wanted to share.

This is the door to our water heater.  It's in our kitchen.  When we did the big remodel, it was going to cost a ton of money to move, so we didn't do it.  I thought it would bother me more, but it really doesn't.  Since we don't open it often (hopefully never, unless the thing explodes), I have used it to put the kids artwork on display.  This all got a bit messy and overwhelming, so I figured a change was in order.

We've been needing a "command central" for the kids for a while now, but I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it.  The boys all get out of whack when they don't understand a schedule.  Since they are all pre-readers, I knew I had to do something with pictures and I knew I wanted it to be easily moveable... inside our typical schedule.

I put dots of velcro on the door and behind each picture, so we can easily change things depending on the day.  For the most part, there are only two sections that change frequently: a section for our morning activity (school, story-time, music, etc.), which is actually split up for each child since we often have different activities in the morning (i.e. Holden goes to story-time and the bigs go to school); and a section for our afternoon time (go to the park, play with a friend, play at home, run errands).

I also put a spot for chores and the boys have really gotten into it.  They fight over the chance to be the clean-up captain, which I find hilarious!  We also have a line leader, minute helper and table setter.

At the tip top of the door (I didn't get a close up picture) there is a weather spot and today chart.  The kids really like looking out the window and predicting the weather, then singing the days of the week song.  It's become a fun routine before breakfast.

This little chart hangs at the bottom of the door - and I also keep one in the car.  We got the idea from a play therapist we worked with, and it has helped our family tremendously.  With Cash being highly emotional (and often losing his words when he gets there), Stone having some speech delay and Holden just being a general two-year-old, we have found that using pictures to reason with the kids when they are upset saves a ton of energy and stress.  I keep a bag full of pictures of situations, then use them to talk through the problem.  Here, someone needed to sit down in their chair before they could eat - I don't remember the exact incident, but am pretty sure someone left the table with a cookie, which was then taken away, leading to mass hysterics.

So, there you have it, our kid "command central"  and the reason I was a blog slacker last week.   It's working really well for us, but I do have a few tweaks I want to make along the way.  Maybe add a cool background and for sure make doubles of some of the pieces.

What do you use to help your kids stay on track?  I love seeing ideas!


Anna said...

What a great idea! I really like using pictures to talk through situations that are (or could become) out of control. I bet it helps you stay calm, too, which probably helps the situation also.

JodyB said...

Please see my latest post! Thanks for the inspiration too...