The launchpad: create little helpers early on
Once your little one starts daycare or preschool, they are going to have a lot of things to remember each day i.e their bag, water bottle, hat and shoes. Having a ‘Launchpad’ is a great way to keep everything in the one place, and involve your little one in the process. If you’ve got the space a cube system is perfect for this.
Of course, the amount of cubes you need depends on how many of you there are in the family. It’s a good idea to get mum and dad involved with the Launchpad area – they are going to need a place for their bags, their shoes, their hats too.
The Launchpad is basically an area to place things when you get home. So the lunch box comes out and then your bag goes into its specific area, along with the sun hat, water bottle etc. Lunch is made and kept in the fridge, so it’s also a place to launch the next morning. If your little one has an extra-curricular activity the next day, whether it be ballet, jiu-jitsu, karate, soccer – those items are also bagged and in a section labelled in that launchpad. This way you are always ready! There is nothing worse than realising you have swimming in the morning and have to start running around for things.
As they grow up in pre-school, you might also have an area for library books, readers or those notes sent home from school, so it will grow with you. It is important for each person to have their own section, and it needs to be labelled accordingly. You can use hooks to hang up your jackets or hats but don’t think you have to. Even if you haven’t got the room to actually install a cube system, you can use an existing cupboard. For example, you can put baskets in an existing linen cupboard or use a shoe organising cabinet or even a buffet. This is basically just somewhere for them to put their bags and unload.
You just need to think outside the box a little and set yourself up with a launchpad wherever it suits in your home. This is guaranteed to make the start of your day so much easier. It also gives kids a sense of responsibility. When they walk in, they unpack their own bags and know where to put it.
You should start them early but be sure to take them on a guided tour. They’re not going to understand what it is until you show them and you’ll need to do it with them quite a number of times in the beginning. Try doing this each day for a week to show where their bag goes, the water bottle, hat or raincoat – whatever it may be.
Kids love doing things right! If you show them how to do it, they’re going to thrive on that… they love to make you happy with their achievements.