View Full Version : how do you teach kids to be somewhat neat??

04-30-2004, 08:11 PM
Ok so dd sits at her desk and then gets up and the tornado has struck and you didn't even feel the wind. LOL My question is, my dd(close enough to 6)is just a mess, ds is (18 months younger at age 4 1/2) and he is tidier than she is. Any tips on how to shape her into trying to be neater about her work space. It doesn't even seem to matter much to her about the mess. It is bother some to me because she can't find her pencil, her scissors and so on. I am the kind that wants things in there place and since I am now mommy I realize that is not going to be to my standards. But when you are losing your child under the mess, that tends to interfear with school. LOL


05-01-2004, 07:48 AM
Well, I think some kids have to be taught (and taught and taught , lol) to be neat. My dd is naturally messy by nature, but I am not at all. So, her messiness bugs me! I am constantly showing her how to organize. As far as school stuff is concerned, right now she is only 7 and doesn't have to keep up with as much stuff as an older child might. I organize her myself. I have a school table that we sit at and on it is a cool organizer that hold all of our pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, glue and such. I love it because all we need is always right there on the table. I even put in a small ruler. I have a 3 drawer plastic bin that holds plain paper, story paper and then one drawer is for completed work. As soon as I grade or check her individual papers/worksheets she takes them to that drawer. Other workbooks, journals and such go into a plastic file box. All the toys and educational manipulatives have homes as well and she is expected to put them back. Also, I make her clean up all the paper and mess she makes at the table in the trash. It has really worked out this year. However, she is still messy by nature and her room is never the way I want it. But, that is okay...atleast she has one room to be "relaxed" in ! :)

05-01-2004, 09:30 AM

Other than having a SIMPLE way for her to put all her things away...it's just going to take you to remind her to put everything away before she goes to play. :)

We have a small 4 drawer *chest* it's only about 12" high and 7" x 10".
The top drawer is for pencils, scissors, glue, etc
Second drawer is markers
Third drawer is marker stamp pens & colored pencils
Fourth drawer is crayons

While we are schooling I just put the *chest* on the floor next to ds. Seems to work well for us. If 18 month ds#2, "Taz", is wanting to color as well then sometimes the *chest* will get moved to the top of our school table.

It's gotta be easy for her otherwise the clean up is too overwhelming and she will just blow it off since it's not the task that she has on her mind. :D PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY PLAY is all she can think.

Good luck!!

05-01-2004, 08:06 PM
Hey Tandy...

I too have a small plastic see through container with 3 small drawers that sits on a 3 drawer chest. Each kids name is marked in permanent marker on each drawer.

I just have one drawer for pencils, erasers,scissors and glue. For me, its easier to have ONE drawer that each child keeps up with.

I have small buckets(some plastic, some metal) with handles. They have different colors. One yellow, one blue, one red. I got mine from Target in the *lawn maintenance* section. One bucket holds crayons, one markers, one plastic letters.

For me, having 3 kids that share the same supplies is easier than each having their own crayons,etc.

We just sit the bucket in the middle and everyone digs for what they want.Its easy to carry the bucket since it has handles..to transport from school table to living room. Then, put away is quicker. The bucket sits on the shelf when not in use.

Taking one or two minutes of cleaning up after themselves is part of the training. I tell my kids *who wants to be around someone that doesn't clean up after themselves* :rolleyes: So before they walk out of the school room, the mess has to be put away.

Also, not having so much to put away helps.

I use to have trays marked with *work completed*. Now the completed work goes immediately into a 3 ring binder for that subject. If i don't want to keep it, i pitch it right then. That way there is no going through *end of the year* papers like I did before. The pile just gets bigger with each kid:eek:

So I organize as I go,much easier:D


05-02-2004, 09:36 AM
Have you tried setting 3-4 cleanup times each day? Possible ideas would be mid-morning, before lunch, mid-afternoon and before dinner. This may set the pace for a habit to be established. I would do the clean up as a family each time.

Funny, my boys are really quite tidy by nature but my daughter...she is a whirlwind. She is done and likes to move on.