Steps to Teaching Toddlers How to Organize Their Supplies, Books and Toys

Learning Responsibility Early

Teaching a toddler to organize his or her space may require a few extra tricks and steps that are not needed with older children but, by applying these helpful tips, even a toddler can be trained to be organized. Teaching toddlers to get organized at an early age is essential not only for showing them they will have an easier time finding their personal items if they are organized but also because it teaches them to be responsible for their belongings.

Start With the Desk Area

The first step is to first approach their personal space in the classroom at their desk or desk area. Toddlers do not have to have their own desk in order to do this but rather their own personal space they use for activities.

To begin, take all of the items used by the toddler such as crayons, paper, a pencil box, and a small folder and place them on the child's work area. Be sure to have all items separated from each other, and then go through the process of showing the toddler where each item goes. Place the crayons in the pencil box, the paper, or color sheets into the folder, and then have the toddler either put those away in his desk area or in another designated place.

An extra step that can be taken is to print out a picture checklist of what items are on the desk and some pictures of where to put them so the child can see the list for themselves. When the child has put their items away correctly, they can be given a small reward such as a sticker.

This should be done for several days until the toddler learns to put her things away without being asked. When she first accomplishes this, then perhaps a bigger reward such as a piece of candy can be given.

Organizing Books

The books they enjoy is another good place to start before moving on to larger play items such as toys.

Before starting, take the time to separate some of their books into piles depending upon their different sizes. Next, show the toddler the different stacks of books and how they are separated into piles ranging from small to big. Unstack the books and mix them all up and then help the toddler to put them back into stacks again according to size. The child may need some help the first few times they attempt this. When they are done, reward them by letting the first student to "get it" pick out a book that you can read to the class.

Putting Away Toys

Once the young child has gotten the general idea of organization, then it is safe to move on to bigger items such as their toys. If the child does not have a designated toy area, teachers and parents should first create one in either a toy box or some other type of place where toys can go. Teaching toddlers to organize their toys can be made into a fun activity by using a little imagination.

The idea is to pick a song the child likes and try to get all the toys into their place before the song is over. First demonstrate this to the child, and then ask them to try. While she may need some assistance, she will like organizing her toys this way, and it can become a fun game. As each child does it correctly for the first time, be sure to give him or her a small reward.


With these fun ideas, you too can help teach your toddler to get organized!

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