Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids about Time Management and Organization

Certain habits stick better when they are instilled as early as childhood. If you want your children to achieve more and do more with their lives as they grow older, teach them how to manage their time and be organized as early as now.

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To make learning time management and organization effective and interesting, you can do fun and creative activities with your kids. Here are some ideas you can try:

1.Set up a “Get Ready-Do-Done’ space for them.

The “get ready-do-done” model, developed by speech and language pathologist Sarah Ward, is a tool in organizing your children’s workspace.

All you need are three sticky notes, each labelled “Get Ready”, “Do,” and “Done.” You don’t even need to have a proper table, which makes this setup ideal for homes with small spaces.

When you have the labels ready, ask your children to come over so you can set up the space together. Follow these steps:

  1. Space out the labels evenly on your work surface with “Do,” marking the workspace in the middle.
  2. Put all the supplies needed to get the assignment done under the “Get Ready” label. These can be books, notebooks, pens/pencils, art materials, laptop, calendar, etc.
  3. Tell your children to move items under the “Do” label as they actually do the work.
  4. Once an item is completed, your child can then move it under “Done.”
  5. When everything has been completed, have your children return their things neatly inside their backpack. Aside from being organized, this will also teach them to be responsible for their belongings.

The labels are usually in red, yellow, and green to resemble the concept of the stoplight, which young children across levels become familiar with as early as first grade. But you can choose whichever colors work best for your children.

You can also turn this activity into a family bonding ritual. If your children are very young, you may even want to document this activity in your family photo book for your children to view in the future, inspiring them to do it with their kids.

2. Encourage them to use productivity apps.

Tablets have been slowly taking the place of toys for children. If your kids often play with their tablet, use it as an opportunity to develop their time management skills. You can download any of the following apps to add a positive spin to their routine:

Age Group App name Available in the following devices
5 to 7 years old My Video Schedule iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Time Timer iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android
10 to 12 years old Timers4Me — Timer & Stopwatch Android, Kindle Fire
TextMinder SMS text reminders iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
13 years old and above Remember the Milk iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire
Evernote iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD

Although these apps were all created to improve one’s level of productivity, each has its own unique feature. So be sure to read the app description carefully and choose which one is most suitable for your child’s needs.

3. Make using a calendar interesting for them.

Calendars are a perfect time management learning tool, especially if you’re not too keen on letting your children use a mobile device yet. Traditional calendars may bore your young ones, so do away with it and consider an out-of-the-box calendar design that will catch and sustain their interest.

You can create a personalized photo calendar that features images of your children and your family, including your pets. An online photo printing service that allows you to create your own calendar design prior to printing. You can even ask your kids to help you choose the photos they’d like to see on the calendar.

Consider getting your kids cute stickers and washi tapes to mark special events and important dates (e.g., birthdays of family members) or even just to decorate. You can choose designs in their favorite animal or cartoon character so that they’ll get even more motivated to plan their day. This also serves as a good exercise in expressing what they like and developing their visual eye.

4. Teach them how to sketchnote.

Seminar lecturers use a sketchnote to capture their audience’s attention. Teachers use it to stress their points. But do you know that sketchnoting or visual note taking is also an exciting way to teach your children to plan for their assignments and projects for school?

In a piece of paper, ask your children to draw what they imagine their assignment or project to look like and the steps they have to do to get there. This will help your children begin with an end in mind, one of the essential habits to develop according to Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Visual note taking will also help your children retain information better and stimulate their creativity.

Worried that your children cannot draw that well yet? Don’t fret. How the drawing looks like doesn’t matter. What you should pay attention to instead is their ability to express their plans through illustrations, and that they are able to attach meaning to the figures they drew.

Fun ways to teach your kids about managing time do exist. Well at least, they do now. Innovations in technology, product development, and education have paved way for more exciting methods to instill concepts like time management and organization in the minds of our restless youth.

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