Thursday, October 29, 2009
Fun Uses for Personalized Toys and Accessories
You know your kids love seeing their names displayed proudly on their favorite things, but there are also lots of fun and practical uses for personalized toys and accessories. Not only will your child feel special and more in control of his own belongings, but you can also use personalization to avoid conflict between children and to enforce non-confrontational discipline strategies.
First, the obvious. Personalized toys and other items helps to avoid confusion when multiple children have the same toy. This is true both for school where there are dozens of children sharing the same classroom, and for home for settling disputes over which thing belongs to whom. Let kids pick out their own toys and personalize any of them that may become a source of confusion for kids (and yourself…). That way, the next time there is an argument, you can point to the name on each toy and say "See, this one belongs to you, and this one is your brother's." Problem solved.
Another clever way of using personalized items is to help children with the concept of sharing. It is common for kids to stake their claim on prized possession during play dates. But, as we all know, kids who don’t learn to share are not much fun to play with and you may have a hard time getting parents to bring their children back to your home if their little one leaves in tears after each visit. The solution? Get your child his own personalized toy box.
Before any play date, have him put his favorite toys inside the box and then close the lid. Tell him that all toys inside don’t have to be shared because they are in his own special box, with his name right on front. (If you want to get REALLY fancy, you might also have a box labeled "Sharing Toys" or something similar.) Let him know that any toys NOT inside his special box have to be shared with his friends. Most kids will comply knowing that their feelings have been respected and that their favorite things are safely tucked away.
You can use this same concept when disciplining children by having a "No No" box, bench, or stool. For boxes, you can personalize it by adding the word "No No" or your child's name. Use them for putting toys, games, and other revoked privileges. Seeing the visual reminder of having his toys taken away is often more effective than putting them away somewhere sight unseen (out of sight, out of mind…just get a lock for the box if there is not one already)
Benches, stools, and step stools are handy for variety of reasons; and you can have them personalized for multiple uses. Have one labeled "time out" for obvious reasons. Having a specified place used for punishments only helps to reinforce the concept, and will hopefully encourage kids to avoid being sent there.
You can also add your child's name to these items to help instill a sense of belonging. Seeing his or her name prominently placed on chairs, benches, and other items gives them a reminder that their place in the family is permanent and important.