Friday, January 13, 2012

Play and Sort

I am a big fan of sorting.

And a little obsessive.

Of course, like any good obsessive mother, I have to make sure the kids are obsessive, too. And then, there is the fact that sorting is good for kids cognitive development. You don't need fancy games or worksheets or projects to teach kids about sorting. In fact, all you need to be slightly neurotic about the playroom being organized, and then you will have an opportunity every day to sort with your kids!

I made these toy bags for Christmas one year when V was getting too old for just baby toys and I felt like the toys were taking over the family room. There was an animal one, too (with an elephant on it!) but our animal collection quickly outgrew the size of the bag.

I also realized that the bags are only really good for toys that are better to play with in a set (train tracks, blocks, dishes) where these plastic drawers work better for "categories" of toys (robots/people/machines, building blocks, animals, etc). If the kids are looking for a lion, they just pull out the animal drawer and get a lion, instead of dumping out the whole bag.

And when it's time for clean up? Sorting practice!

I made signs from pictures I took of the kids' actual toys for the front of each drawer - to make it a little more personal, and to help them with sorting. I was thinking of printing them in color, but I think the black and white is less distracting. I am pretty happy with our system for now, but I want to build a toy shelf/cupboard that I can lock up (when the kids don't clean up their toys or when we don't want them out all over the place). However, I think I will keep a lot of our current system when I build the cupboard.

How do you organize toys? Do you have to convince yourself that having all those little toys everywhere is actually good for your kids? How do you get your kids to clean up their toys? Do you play games with them?

 - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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