Even A 6 Year Old
Yes that is right, teaching organization to this wild and crazy 6 yr. old with video to prove it!
I recently visited my son and his family for a week, due to the birth of a new grandchild. What an exciting time. I pitched in to help with the other children, one of them being my 6 year old grandson, Eli. Due to two weeks of bed rest prior to the birth, my daughter-in-law really needed my help with the house as well.
While organizing his younger brother’s room and closet, Eli was amazed at the transformation and asked me to do the same to his room. His room was uncomfortable to him because his toys were everywhere and definitely was a hazard to his toddling younger brother. With all the tiny legos and stuff, his door had to be shut at all times. As I suggested in the topic, “KID’S BEDROOM“ I put my theory to the test that teaching organization to a child is not impossible but actually quite easy.
I told him that I would be glad to organize his room and he was actually excited about it. Teaching organization to a 6 yr old requires patience and lots of praise. I made a deal with him, “If your room is going to get Gammy’s touch, you have to agree to help me the whole time and promise to keep it this way after I leave.” I made it clear that I was teaching organization to him, and that I was not going to do all the work. He promised.
Eli’s passion is his Lego collection. He can be lost in thought for hours building all kinds of structures. However, they were everywhere and he had no clue just how many he had. So I started teaching organization at the Lego level. His first project was to find every little Lego and put them in the Lego container. Yes, he had to be reminded a couple of times not to play with them until we were finished, and he gladly returned to work. The whole time, I was praising him for his eagle eyes and for finding these tiny pieces. He was so proud when he found those missing gems. While he was doing this, I watched and praised him. He did the work and we didn’t move to another project until every last Lego was found. Yes ,we found a few stray Legos later as we worked, but when one was found he got excited at took it straight to the proper container.
Teaching organization to a child is better than doing it for them. Until they actually do the work themselves and understand why there is a place for everything and everything in it’s place, it will not stay organized.
His mom had made previous efforts of organizing it for him and by providing organizing containers to separate his toys, but due to mom being on bed rest, they were all empty. Teaching organization to him was important for him, but it was also to help his mom out as well.
As I was teaching organization to Eli, together we designated other containers for cars, army men & action figures, etc. I could see the light going off in his eyes. He was getting it! I knew we were getting somewhere when we stopped for lunch, and he spotted a Lego in the den. He said, “Gammy I will be right back, I have to put this where it goes.” My heart melted.
Teaching him organization did not stop at his toys. He needed to learn how to keep his clothes organized as well. I started refolding his drawers as he watched. I explained as I worked that if the drawers and his room stay this way, his room will never be messy. He loved that idea. Amazing!
Once the room was finished and everything had a place and everything was in it’s place. I explained to him, when he was finished playing with one toy, to put it back before getting another and to always leave his room organized when he left it each time. He agreed and I sat back to watch. I was proud as a peacock that his little 6 year old brain got the concept. I saw a complete transformation in the way he treated his room.
My final challenge teaching organization to Eli, was putting his folded and hanging laundry away properly. I have to tell you, I was skeptical of this step myself. I knew he would try to impress me, however I had some doubt that he could actually keep up a perfectly organized drawer (to an adult standard) on his own. Boy was I wrong.
As I was doing the family laundry, I made it a point of folding Eli’s clothes in separate stacks according to categories. I made a stack of his white t-shirts, underwear, socks, shorts, printed t-shirts, etc. I then challenged him to put them away according to the way I had organized his drawers. He was up for the task and I followed and watched him do it. My jaw dropped as he neatly placed every article of clothing in the designated drawers perfectly.
For the rest of the week, I watched as he would put his toys where they belonged without being told. And to my amazement, if he saw stacks of his folded laundry, he quickly put them away perfectly without being told. I am a very proud Gammy.
Since I have left, I report in regularly to check on his progress. He is not only keeping his room organized, but is now teaching the concepts to his older brother’s and sister.
Watch this video of Eli organizing! Watch here.
Teaching organization to a 6 year old?
You bet!! And it only took a little over one day to do it.
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