How to Keep the Home Classroom Organized and Welcoming
An Organized Learning Environment
It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed with trying to create a functional and organized at-home learning environment for your child. Trust me, I know the feeling. But don't worry, you’ve got this! Here’s my experience with creating a space that not only helps children learn, but also brings a sense of calm and structure to your homes. From creating designated play spaces to creating a clean up routine, there are many ways we can make our spaces more effective and welcoming.
Create designated home classroom areas for specific activities.
Designated areas help your children feel a sense of predictability and help them determine which products go where. For example, where do you usually do crafts? Can your child access the craft materials easily so they can grab paper and markers to color? Keep sensory play materials in or around your sensory table, so your child knows the boundary around sensory play (trust me, you don’t want rice or beans all over the house!). Keep an area open for large block creations and trains/roads. Having designated areas for each concept can help children easily know where to put materials away when they are finished with them.
Use clear storage containers or labeled bins to keep things organized.
With clear organizing bins, children can easily see what’s inside to help remind them what each bin is used for. In the case of a completely empty bin (let’s face it, kids like to take out a lot of things at once!), add labels to the front of the bin with pictures and/or words of what each bin should hold.
Create a system with zipper storage bags.
Clear zipper storage bags have been a game changer in our house. They have allowed me to store all of our CLC boards in an organized way and keep coordinating accessories all in one place. It makes it super easy to grab and go when I am ready to set up play. My little one can select the Learning Board(s) she would like to use and in no time, I have an invitation to play set up.
Make a schedule for cleaning up.
A schedule can help children learn the importance of keeping things tidy and organized. The schedule should include pictures and basic words (depending on your child’s current reading/comprehension level) on what your expectations are for cleaning up. We recommend putting the schedule in a clearly visible place so they know exactly where to find it at all times. Pro tip: The Vinyl Flisat Table Covers make cleaning up a breeze!
Encourage children to take responsibility.
It’s never too early to help your children develop good habits, such as putting things away after use. By encouraging them to put things away on their own, they not only learn good habits, but are less likely to make such a big mess if they know they will be the ones to have to clean it up afterwards.
Make it fun by turning cleaning into a game.
At the Creative Learning Co, we want to turn learning and responsibility into play. These these ideas:
- A scavenger hunt for toys by color! “Find all of the blue toys and put them back in their designated areas.”
- Clean Up songs to sing and dance to while cleaning up (youtube is a great resource)! The “Clean Up Robot” is one of my favorites! Also, a good incentive: if you clean up (designated area) you get to pick the next song!
- Organization can play a key part in cleaning up as well. “Find me all of the materials you can color with and bring them to the bin!” Or, find me all the biggest items you see first.
- Make it a game between siblings: “Whoever gathers the most gets to pick the next clean up rule!”