Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Lesson in Geography: Room Zones

My boys are slobs.  There is no other way to put it.  Their room is so bad that my oldest son, McLane, bought a sign for their door while we were on vacation.  The sign says, "Disaster Area."  This sign, unfortunately, is total truth.


When I tell the boys to go and clean their room, they are overwhelmed with the task.  Their room is small.  Although there is a place for everything, when one thing is out of place, it creates a dominoe effect.  One thing is out of place and then another thing is placed in the wrong place and before you know it..."Disaster Area."


As we were having the battle of the room yet again, an idea dawned on me.  Divide their room into quadrants.  Instead of saying "Clean your room" and having the boys stand in the middle of the mess with their eyes glazed over, I could say, "Check quadrant D"  Todd, my husband, and pulled out a large sheet of newsprint and made a simple map of their room.  Then he drew dotted lines dividing the room into several quadrants and labelling each quadrant with a letter.


We hung the new map on the basement door in the hall near their room.  Now, we say, "Hey guys, check quadrant B, I think it needs a little attention."  When the entire room needs to be cleaned, we assign one quadrant at a time and the boys report back to us when they've completed that task.  They make it like an army game and salute with a snappy, "Yes Sir!" after completing a task.


Another added benefit to this way of organizing their room is that it is teaching them map reading skills.  The boys must read the map when they get an assignment to know where quadrant K is located in their room.  Isn't it fun to learn when you don't even know it's happening?


By dividing the boys room into quadrants, the cleaning job is much less overwhelming for the boys.  It also makes a very dreary activity fun.  And the boys get to hone their mapping skills.  There's no down-side!


Find creative ways to enjoy the ride!


  1. PreschoolersandPeaceJuly 18, 2006 at 3:31 PM

    Loved this... thanks!

  2. Thanks for sharing the great idea! I think I'll try this with my girls. My son is messy- but not like my girls!