I recently was asked ‘what’s a great way to get kids into planning?’. I love this question because I had a chance to sit down and think about how I got started as a kid. I was about 8 years old and purchased a Chandlers planner (sadly they no longer make planners). This was a fantastic planner that came out every new school season and the most difficult choice for me was color selection and my parents knowing my stationary addiction allowed me to always get two! With that said, it brings me to the point that support and sharing with your kids is so incredibly important. Now, my mom was never a scrapbooker and never used a planner or lists or anything. My Dad was more organized and loves pen to paper. He always carried a daily agenda and loved using yellow legal pads for list making. I was never restricted if I wanted to look at his lists or his daily agenda. I do remember that he carried that with him ALL the time. It always would sit on the dash of his car and on his desk. I remember he always referenced it for phone numbers and notes and anything else that ‘grown-ups’ need access to. So I highly highly encourage showing your kids your planners and sharing examples of things to put inside of your planner.
My daughter is 3 and she shows some interest in notebooks and journals but I don’t push it. I think that kids need to naturally stumble upon things and showing them by example I personally feel is the best way to get little ones interested.
The next best thing I can recommend is a space for kids to have all their own. Whether that’s a little table or a space in the kitchen, bedroom, family room, kids need to have their own place. For myself growing up my parents always had a desk for us. To this day I have always always had a desk! Each apartment that I have lived in and each house that I have shared with my husband I have a desk space. It is something that is essential to me. I have to have somewhere where I can sit down and write, draw and color. I have done this for as long as I could remember. I have a hard time writing while lying in bed or sitting on the couch. It happens but usually I like having my designated space, lighting a candle and becoming creative or planning my next day.
I have a small desk that I purchased for my daughter and put it in the same room as my desk. Whenever I sit at my desk she will wonder on over to her creative space even though most of the time she wants to sit at my desk, it’s an option for her. The desk I purchased was $20 at Ikea and I placed some paints, scissors, markers, pencils and crayons. I tend to stock up on these items whenever it’s back to school shopping. All extra supplies I keep in a cabinet high up and replenish when needed.
I will often times sit with my daughter and show her the journals I have put together. She loves to look at the pictures and point out different family members. I love to remind her of the things we have done. I have not shared too much of my planners because I think it’s something that might come a little later. I focus on more of the creative process with her right now. Letting her play with finger paints and use all kinds of bright colors. Gluing down scraps of paper and cutting up magazines, it’s all lots of fun and I use inexpensive composition notebooks and write down dates so that it’s something my daughter can look back on.
When I was first using planners as a kid one of my favorite things to use inside were the pens! I loved using the bic pens with all the different colors. I loved using stickers and markers to decorate the pages and make them my own. I know that some of my girlfriends in school use to clip out magazine articles and glue them into their planner. We use to write notes to each other in our planner as well. Every Sunday night before school would start I had a dedicated pen color for each subject and I would for example, write Math and underline it. I wrote out all of my tests and quizzes to make sure I knew when I needed to study and I was never surprised and never missed assignments. I use to love sitting at my desk and decorating my weeks. I clearly remember drawing christmas lights and using them as borders in my layouts. I remember purchasing lisa frank stickers and holiday stickers and posting them throughout my pages.
Getting your kids excited about their planners and having them pick out what THEY want. Do they want to color and fill it with stickers? Let them! It’s their own planner let them play and explore and see what works for them. I have my daughters calendar on our kitchen fridge with dates highlighted and share with my daughter important dates. When she comes home from preschool we go through her folder and look through everything she has done and we talk about her assignments and things that are coming up. I am not someone who is a type A personality but I do think it’s important to have some kind of plan. Having some kind of skeleton for what you want out of life is the way that I like to look at it. Things happen and life has it’s bumps but having an idea of what you want out of your day, for myself has helped me get things done and have a successful life.
These are some of my tips to help kids get excited about planning and getting organized. Share your calendar with your kids show them fun activities they can plan out and that way they have things to look forward to! Show them that writing down assignments and tests and quizzes helps them to be prepared ahead of time and nothing feels better than to get a good grade on an assignment! The reward of doing well in school will help them see how great it is to have a planner. Making it fun and something that is their own is usually a good recipe! Don’t push anything on kids just show them the options and allow them to grow into it! Do your kids use planners? Any tips that you recommend?