Life Skills for All Ages
Life Skill: Organization
Young Children (preschool)
- Designate bins for their toys by putting a picture of the item that belongs in that bin where the child can see it. When you are helping them pick up their toys, you can talk about what items go in what bins and how keeping things in order helps them be ready to play again next time. Check out a Kids Toy Lable printable template.
- Make a picture chart of the tasks the child needs to do each day. Let them help you look through magazines for pictures or take a picture of them doing the task. Tasks may include brushing his/her teeth, picking up the toys, and getting ready for bed. The child could earn a sticker for accomplishing the task.
- Help them set-up a study spot. Let them help find the supplies they would need to do their homework such as pencils, erasers, paper, etc.
- Make a calendar together. Write the child’s activities and appointments on a calendar that is posted in his/her room. Be creative! Let them use colorful markers or stickers to personalize it.
Adolescents & Young Adults
- Many adolescents and young adults in care are worried about what will happen when they age out of the system. Use this Transition Toolkit from FosterClub as a guide for what kind of information young people should gather as well as life skills you can help them with such as balancing a checkbook and more.
- Young people need the independence to figure out what organizational system works for them. Where’s My Stuff?: The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide by Samantha Moss is a book written for teens. They can take a quiz to determine their organizational style. It also provides lots of lists and resources to help them organize their school stuff, their room, and more. This book can be found at www.amazon.com or at a bookstore.
- Set-up a Family Management Binder. Use a three-ring binder and tab dividers to organize all of your family’s information in one place. You can assign each person their own section or divide it by categories such as Schedules & Appointments, Menus, Emergency Contacts, Chore Charts, etc.
- Are you worried you’ll miss an appointment or are you tired of answering the question “What’s for dinner?” several times a day? Create an Information Station for your family where you can post calendars, menus, and lists that everyone can access.
- Establish and maintain consistent routines. Having a flexible structure to the day helps people know what to expect and leads to a sense of being in control.
- Develop procedures for how you will handle important information such as mail, bills and financial information, important school related papers, appointments, etc. You can also have procedures for where you want your family members to put their belongings when they come home so the stuff doesn’t pile up and it’s easier to locate when you’re in a rush in the mornings.