The following is a guest post about 3 ways kids can help organize during the holiday season from regular contributor, Rachel.
Happy December, Friends! You may remember that I’m a big fan of helping my children gain independence when it comes to organization. It seems like a valuable tool that will assist them later in life. It’s also a long teaching process that I don’t expect to happen overnight. That said, there are a few key opportunities in life that help my teaching efforts and the holiday season is a perfect example and time for kids to help organize!
Below are three ways that children can help YOU in your efforts of planning an enjoyable holiday season this year.
3 Ways Kids Can Help Organize During The Holiday Season
1. Let Them Talk about Holiday Memories
I know at first glance, you’ll wonder how an open dialogue about past memories will help you be more organized. It will, keep reading. ;) The holidays are so magical and special for such a variety of reasons, yet the days and hours fill up with commitments in the blink of an eye. For me, over commitments cause palpable stress within our home. Some of my December dates are already full by October! Talking about what memories are special to my children keeps my priorities aligned and my calendar in check. It also gives me opportunity to talk to them about what memories and traditions are special to our family and why.
Some things just aren’t fun to a child but are special to the parents. While, some memories you facilitated for a child are so effortless on your part and yet surprisingly impactful. For example, the countdown calendar, pictured above, I ordered on a whim and it’s been a favorite in our house for years (ordered from Amazon HERE *affiliate link). Other memories kids hold in their heart are special traditions treasured by everyone in the family, regardless of age. The point is, each memory, favorite or not, is worth evaluating it’s priority level on your calendar in efforts of making the overall season more calm.
By all means, keep the special family traditions that infuse your Christmas with meaning! And, of course, keep the traditions your children adore! Most of us love to watch the sparkle in a child’s eye. However, I challenge you to do away with the “fillers” that your kids don’t consider special and cause you unnecessary stress. The best way to take inventory of your family memories and weed out the unnecessary “fillers” is to let them talk.
2. Write a Winter Break Bucket List
This is the first year I’m delegating the list-writing to my oldest daughter. In past years, we brainstormed a few fun ideas to do as a family during her school break. This year, I’m passing the torch and letting her make the list. It’s a simple and fun task for kids to create while helping you organize the upcoming special events.
I think of a bucket list like an itinerary of sorts. Similar to what we do when planning a family vacation over the summer months. This is a winter version and something that gives you insight into your children’s hopes for their holiday free-time. I always give the caveat that not everything may get accomplished but we will do our best within reason. Inevitably, sickness arises or timing isn’t right but having a list like this gives us fun goals.
3. Help Them Contribute to a Toy Donation Pile
This is the perfect time of year to talk about giving, sharing, and simplifying stuff. Organizing the toy zones in your house is an ongoing effort. Why not help your kids learn the art of decluttering before another round of gifts enters your home? You can speak to their hearts about sharing with those in need, and not just the abandoned toys, but genuinely giving to others with a loving heart. In my experience, love is not naturally the first emotion a child has when donating toys or clothing. This may take effort on your part, but is such a valuable lesson to learn at any age.
It also may not go as planned, especially if you’re decluttering toys for the first time in a long while. Go slow and take small steps by addressing one “area” of toys at a time. Start with just one bin or shelf. Coach them through the process of determining if the toys in that bin are something they play with or something another child would utilize better. I heard one Mom explain that she likes to have her children look through a batch of toys and choose their favorites. After setting aside those well-loved toys, she then helps them see the value of donating to someone who would love to play with “such-and-such” things that weren’t first pick.
While the first and second point I gave are more for older kids, this one is doable for even the Littles but it may involve more of your time. That’s okay, especially if you’re like me and hope to teach organization and decluttering skills to your children (grandchildren) over time. Assisting your children in decluttering and donating toys from a few shelves and bins around the house may be something found only on Mom’s holiday bucket list. However, the impact of doing it with them will compound over time. Keeping long-term goals in mind is key to parenting.
Any other ways you can help your children purge their toy piles? Comment below! You never know what may help your fellow readers!! :)
In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughters. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours!
Don’t forget to download a FREE Holiday Planner Printable Pack perfect for staying on top of all their is to do this season.
See also my 2017 Christmas Gift Guide for Her Under $50:
- *Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links, but this is at no extra cost to you. As always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own – or the author, in the case of posts by my guest contributors. Thank you!*