Sunday, August 27, 2017

Encourage Independence with a Kids Command Center

Keep your kids on track with a colorful command center of their very own - includes printables!


I'm standing in the foyer, taking a deep breath and using every trick I know not to lose my cool.

Put your shoes on, I say for the third time.

My twins are doing just about everything except putting their shoes on. It's the end of the school year, and we've done this dance just about every day. It's time to leave for school. They are dawdling. I get frustrated. Rinse, repeat.

Something needs to change.

I've slowly come to realize that simply telling my 5 year olds what they need to do is usually as effective as trying to brush my teeth while eating Oreos. It's just not going to work. What they need are visual reminders to help them to understand what is expected of them each day and when things are going to happen. When I discovered this little trick, the pieces started falling into place.

Before we embark on another school year and the endless cycle of reminders that turn into frustration, I decided to create a special spot in our house that would serve as their very own command center. And it has changed our life... for the better.

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Do Your Kids Need a Command Center?

A lot of moms (myself included) have discovered what a great tool a family command center can be to keep their households running smoothly. But do your kids need one too?

For us, the answer is a resounding YES. And not because my kids are overscheduled to the max - quite the opposite. We have lots of free play and downtime, but there are certain things that need to happen each day, like going to school, doing chores, or heading to bed on time.

Our command center is not a place to micromanage our lives to the minute. Rather, it is a central spot where my boys can find visual reminders of the important milestones of each day. 

It's a place where they can check to see what their morning and after school routines are, what time things will happen (like dinner and bedtime), and their chores for each day. It is a fantastic tool to encourage independence and make them feel empowered each day. Here's how it works.


Start with a central spot that gives you plenty of room for everything you need, and that is accessible at your child's level. I chose this wall that is right in between our kitchen, family room, and playroom - where they spend most of their time in the house.

Here's what I used to turn this spot into our command center:


I painted the bottom half of our wall with the chalkboard paint. I wanted to give it a fun color to make it pop and by using the chalkboard paint, my boys and I can decorate it or even write notes to each other.

Then I hung the clock on the top center of the blue space, with two magnet strips underneath. I used Command strips to adhere the strips to the wall so I can reposition them if I need to later as the boys grow. I added a basket for shoes and a bin for our backpacks to make this a central drop zone too. 

Once our wall was ready, it was time to turn it into a real command center. And I have a printable command center kit to make this easy to customize for your family too!




Creating Your Perfect Command Center

This set has everything you need to create the perfect command center for your kids. You can use all of the pages, or any combination that works for your family.

Here's what's included in the set:

  • Clocks for time reminders
  • Today page with spaces for day of the week, weather, places to go & things to do.
  • Morning routine checklist
  • After school checklist
  • Chore Chart
  • Week at a glance page
  • Month at a glance page
  • "I Can Do It" wall art



Once you've printed your command center set, I recommend laminating the pages that you'll be using (I love these self adhesive laminating sheets). This allows you to use the pages like dry erase boards and will save you a lot of paper and ink. I use these wet erase markers for ours because they wipe cleanly with a damp cloth and don't smudge.


Our command center starts with our Today at a Glance page. We fill this out together every morning. It's a great way to practice the day of the week, check the weather, and talk about the places we will go and things we will do each day.

We also use our Morning and After School Routine checklists to help keep us on track for school days. I laminate these back to back and flip it over while the boys are in school.


Next is one of my favorite pages and a super handy tool for helping with bedtime (yes!!). Right under the clock I have a page that shows the boys what time important things happen each day - our normal reminders are for time to go to school, dinner time, and bedtime. There are 4 blank clocks that you can customize for anything that you have going on each day!


These clocks have been a total lifesaver when it comes to keeping my boys on track each day. It's easy for them to see what time important things are happening without me having to remind and nag them. They feel more in control of their day when they know what is coming and what time it will happen.


We also use the chore chart to help remind them of their daily chores, and the week at a glance page to help them know important events happening during the week. And it is all in one fun, easy to find place that they can call their own.




Our command center has become a very important spot in our house. Having visual reminders of the important parts of our day has helped my boys to feel more independent and empowered, as they know what is going to happen each day. And I am feeling far less stressed as I have tools to help them navigate the day... without resorting to constant reminders and nagging. It's a great solution for our family and now I can't imagine life without it.

And we are managing to get our shoes on, too.

See the Command Center in Action!


Love this? Pin it here!

Help your kids navigate each day with this colorful command center! Make a central place for chore charts, routine checklists, and more to help kids with visual reminders. Perfect for back to school and includes a printable set you can customize! This really works!



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