Often, you need to make a bigger mess to really sort a collection of clutter!
Many young children enjoy doing “making”, often after a good trip to the recycling place and armed with plenty of sticky tape, glue and a space on a floor or kitchen. Kids can use items from the recycling bin at home, such as boxes and tubes and wool. Sometimes inspiration comes from a craft show on TV, such as Mr Maker or something they had seen or talked about before. Many families have a designated corner or space in the main area where children can still be seen and feel included as they play in the messy or creative corner.
Once again, this is so much easier when everyone can see what is available for making such creations. You and your kids can use a plastic or strong cardboard box and a set of plastic drawers as a collecting box, inspired by the Playschool Useful box from long ago. When the creative urge strikes, children will know where to find the tools and materials to begin. When cleaning up, miscellaneous items can go into the box and when it is too full, decisions and choices can be made to keep it manageable. This way you can teach children how to declutter and take responsibility to make the space one that they can enjoy and you can live with.
An old book case, a sectioned shelving system like the 4 x 4 shelves from Kmart and Ikea or sets of shelves built into a cupboard all make useful places for keeping children’s play things manageable. By tidying them and displaying them clearly, we make them more attractive and accessible to children. Displaying a photo on the front of each container is a useful way to ensure that everyone knows where to put odd bits of toys and play things. You can simply cut a picture from the box to stick on a new container and show where it is kept.
Display children’s work for a couple of weeks and then change the ‘gallery’ or keep a scrapbook of photos of favourite pieces. Encourage and enjoy these insights into your child’s creative mind.