We all need some quite time during the long summer days. This is an idea that my mom used in her preschool classroom. She helped me set this up in my son’s room when he was younger and it worked wonders.
Find a bookshelf or organizer similar to the one pictured. This one was from a school supply store. Kaplan Catalog Showroom in Lewisville is a great place to find something like this. Target also has a great selection of organizing systems like this. Then use canvas boxes, baskets, Tupperware, shoe boxes, or any type of container that fits snug on your shelves. Get your child’s help in filling each box with a certain type of toy. My son’s quiet boxes were filled with the following: Lincoln Logs, bouncy balls, art supplies, Magnetix, cameras & view finders, army men, action figures, animal figures, dinosaurs, matchbox cars, rock collection, building blocks, miscellaneous, Bakugans, Pokemon figures, etc. You will be amazed at how many “little things” these kids keep in their rooms!
After we filled the boxes with toys, we labeled each box with a label maker and even added a sticker that showed something similar to what was in inside the box. My husband was making fun of how I was labeling everything and then laughed even harder when my son said, “Mom we really don’t have to put labels and stickers because I can see right through the box to know what is inside of it.” (OK, one point for Dad.) But I still thought it was a good idea and made them look cute!
Once the shelf and boxes are all put together, you can go over the rules: You can only take out one box at a time when you are ready to play. When you have finished playing with that one, all the pieces must be back in the box and on the shelf before you can take out another box.
Of course now and then we have a few boxes out at the same time when my son has wanted to make a village with cars, people, and animals. But overall, the idea of only taking out one box at a time really helps them to keep their room (or playroom) picked up and looking neat. We used this system for a number of years. Toys have come and gone and we just refilled the boxes with new things.
You are probably wondering why they are called Quiet Boxes. In my mom’s classroom, they used these when it is quiet time and each child needs to find something to do on their own. At home, we still called them quiet boxes because they are great for some down time when my son needed to go in his room and just play alone quietly. When he used to wake up really early in the mornings, we told him he could play in his room with his Quiet Boxes until the clock said 7:00am and then it would be time to come get mom. It worked great!
For your little girl, imagine how easily those quiet boxes would be filled? Between the dolls, tea cups, erasers, dollhouse furniture, mini books, hair accessories, Dora figurines, chapsticks, and Barbie shoes, her room will organized in no time.
Please share any organizational tips you have for keeping your childrens’ rooms clean!