Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday K.I.S.S.: Organize your kids' books

Today's Monday K.I.S.S.:
    Organize your kids' books!
We love books in our house! While Abigail still is not a huge reader, the boys have devoured books since they were crawling. I still remember, Isaac, with his favorite book, bringing it to me so many times a day, I would beg JB to take a turn reading it when he got home.

As we've continued to compile kids' books, I've also had the idea that as long as they were on a shelf, that was good enough for me. But Abigail changed all that. She is very picky about what she reads, and in order to keep her attention, I have to pick certain books: Mickey Mouse is one of her favorites right now. She'll sit and read book after book if it has something to feel, a flap to open, or a Mickey too ooh and ahh over.

Only problem was, I had no idea where those particular books were. We kept books in three separate locations around the house, and even then, there was no rhyme or reason to where they were located. I would offer to read with Abigial, and if she couldn't find one of her choice books right away, her attention was immediately lost. 

Our newly organized book center

So I decided to do something about that. I moved all the books in the house to one central location. And then I organized the books by topic. Eric Carle books in one place. Clifford in another. Pooh books have their own spot. Backyardigans. Mickey Mouse. Touch and feel books. You get the idea.

The result has been fantastic! Abigail has spent much more time reading than in the past. She knows where her Mickey Mouse books are, and she'll go and get them when prompted -- and even sometimes on her own. 

Of course, this means a little more work for me. The kids really aren't old enough to put books back where they are supposed to go. So instead, I have them make a big pile of "used" books, and then I put them back on the shelf when I get a chance. I made my system very easy and very quick so that they can keep track of it, and I can too. I didn't get too detailed. There is a whole section of books that are just miscellaneous. I didn't narrow down criteria too minutely.

So there you have it -- after five years of doing it one way, a complete switch, that has made us all very happy!

P.S. have a K.I.S.S idea? Please email them to me at!


Anonymous said...

As they get older, you could do genre bins. That's how I organized my classrooms. Some by author, some by subject, etc. I have W's organized into fiction, non fiction, holidays, transportation, animals, and Bible stories. The rest are thrown in a bin together. Hopefully, I'll get those organized one day too :)


Wendi Kitsteiner said...

What is a genre bin Stebbs?

Anonymous said...

To help the kids put them back you can put a sticker on the front cover and a matching sticker on the bin they go in. Even before they can read labels they can match stickers!