I know a lot of people like to start organizing projects at either the beginning of a school year or at the beginning of the year. However, when it comes to getting my kids organized, especially if it is an ongoing project for them, I like to do it at the beginning of the spring. This allows me to get the kinks worked out and then get them using it all the time for the summer. Then, when school starts, the system is in place and it just needs tweaks.
To create a kid command center like this one, there are just a few things you need. First, you need a few cookie sheets (one, plus however many kids you have), thumbtacks, and the chores/ routines you want to be included. Then, head on over to Oriental Trading and grab a few more things to complete the project:
From Oriental Trading:
Pocket Chart Rod
Wide book Holders
Magnetic Storage Hooks
Cord Holders (organizing kid electronics)
Ring board Book
Small Metal Buckets
Clip Magnet Craft
Dray Erase Roll
Some of these supplies are for decoration, but some are functional. However, for something to be used often and used correctly, it should be a balance of function and fashion. Our command center is beside our "homeschool wall" and happens to be beside their bedroom door, so it is in the perfect place, but also out of the way of the home functionality.
This is a fairly easy project. The hardest part is prep, but it can easily be done in one afternoon.
- You need to figure out your location and the layout that best works for your family. This will depend on your family dynamics, age of your kids, and needs.
- Paint your cookie sheets with chalkboard paint.
- Create your dry erase spinner. I used a yogurt lid, covered in dry erase material, used washi tape to divide sections, and stuck to the main cookie sheet. You can use this for rewards, extra chores, movie selection, or so many things. I use it for weekly chores now.
- Create your chore/ routine books. Use scrapbook paper, stickers, washi tape, and sharpies. After these are set up, they easily hang on the magnetic hooks, without taking up too much space. I used the ring board books and the sections are: chores, bedtime, and ready to go. My kids are 6 and 3, so routines are huge in our house.
- Put together your wide book boxes and supply boxes. The wide book boxes hold the accordion folders (school work on the go) and other items the kids need to grab before we leave. The supply boxes hold lunch boxes, mittens/ hats, electronics, and other travel items. These are not things we use all the time, but that we need to have handy. Library books and other things that need to leave with you can go here as well.
- Put magnetic tape on the back of the pencil pouches to hold supplies (dry erase markers, extra visual schedule items, etc)
- Use the bulletin borders to write the kids names on so that they know which is theirs. I also used a section to create Snapper's visual schedule (there are 3 sections on her board for this).
- We did the highest power clip craft to remind them every day that God is there for them. What better place to put this reminder than on their command center.
- I included a calendar because Tbomb likes to know how many days until something is happening, so I write that on the calendar and then we count down. The dry erase clock is great for them to know what time we are leaving or what time we are starting school- it helps keep them on track when they do their chores, plus having digital and analog helps reinforce those lessons.
- I added the pennant banner for decor, along with the gorgeous cross stitch my mom made me.
- Mom's section should include a bulletin board, buckets for supplies, and another cookie sheet. I used to pocket chart rod to hang my bulletin board and buckets on. Don't forget to include a timer and a place for notes.
What I love the most about this project is that it is easily customized for each family's needs. It can also grow with the children and with your needs.
Do you have a command center for your kids?