If you’ve ever stepped foot in a school during the winter months, it’s highly likely you’ve encountered the massive mound of clothing that we like to call Lost and Found?. It’s a bit frightening to think of all that might be lurking there, but it’s equally frightening when you realize just how much money was spent on winter clothing that now resides in the deserted pile. Kids will be kids, and that means that they just might have a tendency to lose all of that winter paraphernalia- hats, gloves, scarves, boots, etc. Here are some ideas that will help kids keep track of and actually use those accessories while saving your pocket book, too.
-Label clothing tags with contact information so they can be returned if found. It is much more likely that the clothing items will be returned to their owner if someone knows who they belong to in the first place. The items may even be able to avoid the Lost and Found? rack all together! Using a thin permanent marker, write your child’s name and a phone number (in case the item is lost in a public place) on the tags inside each item. Keep in mind that you may pass down coats or other items from one of your children to the next so consider just using a last name and/or a phone number you plan on keeping for a while.
-With your child, designate a consistent place to always put items for safekeeping when not in use. Have a simple conversation with your child to educate them on tips for keeping all of those accessories in a safe place. A little up-front teaching could prevent loss and help your child to understand how to keep themselves organized. For example, if a coat lacks pockets or they aren’t a sufficient size, train your child to stuff their hat or beanie down one sleeve of their coat as soon as they take their coat off. It is much easier to do this from the inside of the coat and stuff it down instead of trying to push the hat up from the wrist. Stuff a scarf down into the other sleeve after folding it in half a time or two. Three accessories have now become one, and your child can hang their coat in the designated spot at school without the smaller items scattering. If your child changes from shoes to boots at school, teach them how to tie the laces together. Of course, be sure this is in such a way that they will easily come apart. 😉 Whenever the footwear is not in use, have it tied together. The key here is making there be less individual items to keep track of and keeping like items together.
-Purchase or create gloves or mittens that attach to each other and/or to the coat. You may have seen gloves or mittens in stores that are connected to each other with a long string. This can be easily replicated at home by adding a sturdy piece of string, rope or yarn to connect a pair of gloves together. You can either sew this onto the inside of the wrist section of the gloves or connect the string to safety pins that pin onto the wrist sections (if you want something removable). You will know how long to make the string by pulling string through the bottom of one sleeve of the coat, across the inside of the coat (along where the back will rest) and out the bottom of the other sleeve. Be sure to leave wiggle room in the string’s length because the coat will not be in a resting? position when it is being worn. Allow for arm movement and tightening when zipped. You may want to keep the string and gloves permanently strung through the coat, and teach your child to leave them there.
How do you keep your kids organized during the winter months? Please share your tips with us in the comments section below!