Ever wonder how daycares can stay so neat and tidy with a classroom of kids while at home it's a struggle to keep toys and books and all kinds of kid clutter in check? Here are some tips daycares use to keep things organized. Daycare fix: Use bins, baskets and labels liberally
Most daycares have the luxury of child-level hooks and cubbies, which makes it easier for kids to clean up after themselves. You can replicate this with labelled baskets. If you can, attach pictures or quick drawings of the contents to each bin to make it easier for kids. Put them everywhere: at the front door, in the kitchen, in the TV room and, of course, in the playroom, if you have one. Label hooks, and put a mat down for shoes. Even a young toddler will get the idea. They’re learning to take responsibility for their own things and building a foundation for organizing. It may take a bit of getting used to and then it becomes a habit for them. For special items like artwork, kids love putting things in their cubbies with their name on it. It gives them pride to know it belongs to them and that the cubby holds something that they created. Daycare fix: Make cleaning fun The imaginations of toddlers and preschoolers are exploding. Use that to your advantage. For example, tell them their shoes want to stay together so that's where they go on the mat. Make it fun by making cleaning up a race, or turn on some music and dance while you tidy. Count the items as you pick them up. Is your child an animal lover? Tell them they're a zookeeper who has the very important job of putting all the “animals” in their cages for the night. Or a construction worker when it’s time to clean up the blocks. Whatever the mess is, associate it with something fun. Eventually this will become what they know to do on their own. Daycare fix: Be specific with requests A two-year-old won’t know everything that “clean up” entails. In our classroom, we will ask specific requests as possible. For example, “Clean up the toys you were playing with,” might not work. But “I see a ball over there — can you put them in the cubby?” should do the trick.
Here at Discovery Point Nursery and Academy, our daycare in Vaughan, have fully trained and experienced ECEs with a wealth of information. Feel free to talk to your child’s caregivers for advice on how use their tried and true tips for managing the day.