Thursday, July 21, 2016

Organizing Books for Toddlers and Big Kids :)



Can I make a confession?  I have to say that, without a doubt, I am a book junkie!  Especially children's books-I love them all!  Perhaps it is all the fond memories I have of being read to as a child or staying up late reading my beloved books, or maybe it is the former kindergarten teacher in me that just loved seeing my students' eyes light up and hearing their precious laughs while reading stories to them every day.  Whatever the reason may be, I just love the wonder and the excitement that books for littles bring!

However...with this love, has also come a BIG problem in our home-with our growing collection of favorites and three kids five and under, we were having major issues figuring out how to store the books neatly, and keep them that way after the kiddos had finished reading them!  We had tried so many systems before, and nothing had worked until I came across an idea a friend had shared-sorting the books by color!

Color is something that even the smallest readers can typically identify (and if they can't-it is a great way to learn colors!), and because of that, it makes it very easy for even young children to find and replace books when they are sorted by color.

I had these stickers left over from another failed attempt at organizing books by genre, so I decided to make use of them to help both my big kids and our little guy keep up with where their books belong easily.

 I started with the big kids' books first.  All the paperback books and books with paper pages stay up on a shelf where the little guy can't reach them because, well...he doesn't quite understand the concept of turning pages carefully yet, lol!

Here is the full view of how we store and organize our big kids' books (DIY "You Are My Sunshine" canvas project here):

Can you tell a toddler lives here?  Did the empty bottom shelves give it away?!

To set this system up, I basically took all the books that clearly belonged in one color family, placed a sticker on the spine, and grouped them on the shelf together.

Here is a closer look:



You may have noticed that the orange books have a yellow sticker on the spine, and that is because I didn't have any orange stickers and wanted to avoid having to buy a whole new pack of stickers :).

You may have also noticed that there are some thin paperback books with no sticker on the spine-so what is a person to do in that case?!  No worries-I just placed the sticker on the bottom right-hand corner of the back of each book!  The big kids know to check the back for a sticker if there is not one on the side :).


We also had a lot of books that didn't have a specific color, so I put them all on a separate shelf and labeled them all with a purple sticker.

Toddler hand print DIY here.



Now, on to the books for my little man!  



As I mentioned before, this fella is not quite ready page books yet, so we keep all of the board books on the bottom two shelves of his bookshelf so he can read them anytime he wants :).  At 21 months, he is still learning his colors, so we kept it super simple with him.

I split his books up into three color categories (no rhyme or reason to how I sorted them-it was really just putting books in a basket, lol!).  I chose to go with green, pink, and blue.  I simply placed three colored dots on both baskets, and then a corresponding dot onto the front of the books that fit within each basket so he can match the stickers on the book with the stickers on the basket.



A few of our books were too big to put into the baskets, so I just put three dots onto the bookshelf, and stacked those books in a pile above the dots.




Speaking of learning colors, "Freight Train" by Donald Crews is an EXCELLENT book for doing just that!  Our little guy has been enthralled with this book since he was just a little bitty boy!  


That's it!  I am really pleased with the way this project turned out, and how much nicer our books stay organized since we implemented it!  I would love to hear your organizing tips and tricks-leave me a comment below and tell me what organizing systems your family couldn't function without!



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