If you are anything like me, you probably repeat yourself 234,000 times for your children to complete their daily tasks. One of the household solutions provided for this problem is to have a family command centre set-up somewhere in your home. It serves as a visual guide toward a productive day for everyone. Here is how I set up our family and kids’ command centre for as little as $40 bucks!
Generally speaking, people on the internet rave about family and kids’ command centres, but, I didn’t find them useful when my kids were in their toddlers/preschool years. My husband and I just managed our family tasks with apps like Cozi or Google Keep.
But now that our children are school-agers (5&6), I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when they are late for school or when they take ages to get to bed at night!
“If they are late, then we are late for everything… basically.”
So earlier this month, I went on Pinterest for some ideas on how to create a family and kids’ command centre and it tempted me to buy all the things I didn’t need.
Side note: Lately, I’ve been trying to pause before purchasing something and really ask, is it a need or a want?
I mean do I need all those glorified Michael’s supplies and crafts to create a Pinterest worthy command centre? Or did I need a functional one that serves my family on a budget? The latter was ultimately true and so I exited those breath-taking family command centre pins on Pinterest.
I rolled up my sleeves and went shopping in my own home first. I found a calendar I had from previous years and I added another one from Staples that was on sale. I have two calendars side by side because one is for school functions and the other is for family stuff. I don’t like having a big calendar with too many to-dos because the sight of it overwhelms me. This way everything is visually manageable. I also picked up a mini stainless steel board that was on sale to jot down any important information/recipes quickly.
When the weekend arrived, I visited Dollarama because I needed a bin to throw in important school papers and I found a beautiful rose gold metal basket and so I put it up with some hooks. Voila!
Now I can pretend that we were productive as ever because of this family command centre but we weren’t as I hoped. I realized that it didn’t solve my initial problem.
I was still repeating myself plenty of times for the kids to get things done. I recognized that the command centre I put together was meant for adults, not children!
On that note, I went on a hunt for things that were already in my garage, because I didn’t want to spend more money unnecessarily. I wiped out my pocket chart schedule I had from when I ran my preschool summer camp. I picked up a round clock and a whiteboard from Dollarama and created some printable task cards.
I wanted the command centre to help them stay on track of their tasks and to also introduce analog clocks. Most importantly, I wanted this kids’ command centre to help them understand the concept of following a schedule independently. I tried to make the clock a bit more colorful and appealing by adding fun number stickers (See above picture).
In addition to the chart and clock, I had to have some sort of a point system for their accomplished tasks and character traits as a positive reinforcement tool. Thankfully I found some letter stickers and some craft stick-on buttons that I placed on a whiteboard. Each coloured button represents a specific action. If they act on any of the written qualities, they get a point. Once we reach the weekend, we count the points earned and they get to choose an experience-oriented reward, i.e: mall, store, activity…
Now let me tell you something….this was a game-changer!
My kids no longer need ME to tell them what to do. They just refer back to their schedule as needed. They get a kick out of figuring out the time on the clock and of course, they enjoy not being “reminded” of what to do every waking hour. They feel like independent adults and I get to maintain my sanity. It’s a win-win! And the fact that every hour includes different tasks reinforces good choice making as well!
I hope this family and kids’ command centre system continues to work for us this year! And I hope that it inspires you to ease your organized school life chaos with a similar cost-effective system in place.
Don’t forget to get your cute and FREE daily schedule printable here.