Japanese method: 10 tips for teaching the art of tidying up to children

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How much time do we spend yelling at our children to tidy up the games in the bedroom or lounge? And how many times do we give in and end up putting us right?

Yet teaching how to tidy up is much more than educating the little ones to order.

"Making a child able to tidy up does not mean making him a lover of cleaning, but rather making him learn the basics of live generously and happily together with others. This is why it is very important to teach the concept of tidying up from an early age "explains the Japanese writer and educator Nagisa Tatsumi in her book" The art of teaching tidying up to children "(Vallardi).

In addition, Nagisa argues, getting babies in place means stimulating them to move their bodies, arms and legs, and this is very important for their harmonious development and for their well-being. In fact, nothing like getting physical work done gives a feeling of self-fulfillment and satisfaction.

"The mind and heart relax not only when we tidy up, but, in general, whenever we do housework.

Read also: How to teach children to tidy up with the Montessori method

Here are his tips for teaching children to keep in order.

1. Determine the most suitable accommodation for everything and the right amount

Before you tell your child to tidy up, you need to establish the fixed arrangements for each item and the right quantity. And you have to be ready to throw away what does not find a place.

Always make sure that the location chosen for each category is easily accessible, unless they are objects that are hardly ever used anymore.

2. Keep school supplies in order

The objects for the school can be divided into: textbooks, notebooks, stationery, handouts ... To each of these groupings you must assign a precise location and quantity.

For example: textbooks on the first shelf above the desk. The notebooks in the top drawer. The pantries in the container placed on the table. The pencil case and pencil holder above the desk.

Be inflexible in saying that above the desk, besides the essential material, there must be nothing else. The desk must absolutely not become the place to park objects that you don't want to put back in place.

3. Toys: divide them by type

Until the age of ten, toys change constantly. For this it is important to establish a fixed space that must not increase.

For example, you can set up a multi-storey shelf. The toys that your child uses often can be placed directly on the first two floors of the shelf, so that the little one can easily extract and store them. On the lower shelf you can arrange boxes without lids containing the toys he occasionally uses divided by type: "puppets", "wooden constructions", "toy cars". You can also create an "unused stuff" box.

This space must not increase year after year. After a while, games from the "unused" category can be given away and replaced with others.

Don't do this in secret from children. If the little one just doesn't want to separate, put them in the cellar, you will consider the matter later.

4. Folders and apron hanging on a hook

Usually these objects are abandoned at the entrance or worse in the living room.

Instead, the best thing would be put a hook near the desk where to hang the folder. Then tell your child that this is the final location. He will soon learn not to leave his backpack lying around the house anymore.

Then another hook, still in her bedroom, where she can hang the apron.

5. Sports bag and snack holder

Back from school or sports class, the little ones often drop dirty things around. Instead it is important to get them used to taking them out of the backpack and putting them to wash.

You could set up outside the bathroom or the laundry room a space where your child can easily leave the bag with used sports clothing.

For the snack holder the only thing is to constantly remind the child to take it out of the satchel and put it in the kitchen. If this is pointed out to him every day, he will eventually internalize the command.

Practicality must always be the basic criterion.

For example, if the child is taking a piano course, the music bag will be placed next to the piano.

6. Chores done at school

Often shelves and drawers are filled with chores, especially when the children are at the nursery. A tip not to accumulate an infinite number of jobs, is to photograph them and create a scrapbook, so you can throw away the originals.

Rest assured: children are not so much interested in preserving the product they have made indefinitely, as they are interested in showing it to mum and dad and feeling praised and appreciated for the work done.

And if there are objects that you really want to keep, you can make one "memory box" to be placed in any hard-to-reach place.


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7. Educate in the care of clothes

It is very important to teach the techniques of rearranging clothes from an early age.

From three to six years old you have to make the children understand that there is a precise location for each garment: t-shirts, underpants, socks ... When you fold the laundry, give the children the clothes and ask them to put them in the right place.

Six to ten years oldInstead, let the little ones manage their own clothes. Teach him to fold (or roll as the Japanese method suggests).

And check that the volume inside drawers and cabinets never exceeds 70%.

Another thing to teach children is the change of seasons. Get help to fold the sweaters and put them in the boxes with the anti moths. Then take out your summer dresses and convey the enthusiasm of finding old dresses. The foundation of clothing care should be laid when children are small.

8. Find the right time to get it fixed

Once the arrangement of the objects has been established, it will be easier for the child to get used to tidying up. Look for the right time, if for example he is watching a cartoon or is absorbed in his imagination, it will hardly be collaborative.

When there is a friend to play, don't wait for him to come home, but every now and then go into the room and tell the children to tidy up the toys they are no longer using together.

9. Tidying up in everyday life.

The whole family has to get used to tidying up in the flow of everyday life.

The two basic rules are: "put things in the place where they should be and in the quantity they have to keep (it means to throw away if they exceed a certain level)";

"easy to remove, easy to store";

After eating, get your child used to taking his plate to the sink.

If he helps you prepare a cake, after beating the eggs, tell him to throw away the shells; when he takes the milk, remind him to put the carton in the fridge.

Another rule to establish is that you do not leave your belongings scattered around the living room.

In most cases, mothers think they can get them right first. But children (and sometimes husbands) are not taught to do what they would be able to do.

Get your little one used to phrases like: "It's okay to play in the living room, but in the evening the games have to go back to their place".

Surely you would do it first, but Parents need to have the love and patience to get children to do things.

10. Cleaning of the bedroom

It is also important to accustom the children to participate in the cleaning of his room. Up to the age of six she will help with small tasks, from six to ten she will be able to do almost anything, from ten onwards she will have to do everything by herself. Educating children in these tasks means helping them to grow and become independent.

Read also: 10 PRACTICAL ways to educate children about autonomy

  • teach to tidy up
  • 3-5 children years
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