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So I recently started thinking of ways to help my 7 and 4-year-old to be more responsible in their daily hygiene routine. Currently, our daily routine has them getting baths before bed time, but we like to have them wash up in the morning before getting dressed and ready for their day.
As you can probably imagine, maybe not, with 4 kids this can be quite a daunting task. Not to mention, we currently have one....ONE...bathroom. So if you can picture a line of kiddos with wet soapy wash rags, a drenched stool on an equally drenched floor...yeah, hardly the recipe for success. There has to be an easier way!
That's when my husband suggested we make the kids their own shower boxes. What?! Yes! Not only will they have all the tools they need in one spot, but they will have a place to put it all when their finished and they can be responsible for their own hygiene materials. Genius!
Not only did we decide to do it for the older kids, but we decided to give the younger ones their own boxes as well. What I love about this idea is that it does a couple of different things. It begins to introduce the concept of self-care, not just to the older kids but to our younger kids as well, and allows them to see what it looks like. Because lets be honest, they are watching EVERYTHING their older siblings are doing! It teaches them how to be responsible for their own things and gets them in the routine of regular personal hygiene. It also alleviates any fighting over boxes...yeah...I know but in our home this is a legit issue. Everyone has their own box=no fighting=happy mommy...
When deciding what to put in their boxes I knew I wanted to have all of their hygiene needs in one place. I wanted it to be organized and somewhat systematic so the process would flow smoother. Of course, deciding where to buy the products was a no-brainer. A project like this screams Dollar Tree...
So I headed out with my list and set forth on my mission...Here's what I got!
First, I picked up some shower boxes. I don't know what they're called to be honest, but this is what they look like. They have 3 compartments in varying sizes and were exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately, at the time I went, they only had 3 colors. I was hoping to give each child their own color but my coordinating dreams were crushed that day. I may go back at a later time to see if I can get another color but, until then, these will have to do!
Next, I grabbed a pack of small child-size drinking cups. Now these came in a pack of 6 and had 3 different colors in it (again with the 3 colors...argh!) Anywho, I bought these with the intent of placing them in the smallest compartment and storing their toothbrushes in it.
As you can see in the picture, I bought them each a different toothbrush. Each one came with a storage case and a different character on it.
The next piece took some planning out. I was trying to figure out a way to include flossers in their boxes but I didn't want to buy 4 packs and I didn't want them just out in the open. So, I got these little snack-sizes tupperware containers. They came in a pack of 2, so, I got 2 packs. I also grabbed 1 pack of kiddie flossers. I just divvied the flossers and stored them in these little containers. I actually really like these snack boxes because they have a nice seal to them and I don't have to worry about them popping open if they get dropped!
I also grabbed the older kids some kid-friendly mouthwash. The girls each got a pink one and my son got blue. I didn't bother getting one for our littlest one because she's just not ready for it yet.
Next, I grabbed some Q-Tips. I found some travel-sized boxes in the baby section and they came in packs of 2 so, again, I bought 2 of them. I also bought a large pack to refill these when they run out. These are obviously something I don't allow the little ones to use on their own but they do have their own stash. So, I make sure to use their own when I'm cleaning their ears. They also have baby-safe Q-Tips that you can get at Walmart I think. They're created to prevent the Q-Tip from being inserted to far into the ear. These may be a better option if that's something you're concerned about.
Then, for the girls, I grabbed each of them a pack of black hair elastics. I don't know if it's just mine but these girls lose hair ties like I lose bobby pins! Hopefully, this will help them keep track of their hair ties better...
These mini loofa sponges came in a pack of 4 (halleluyah for the exact amount!), so, I grabbed one pack!
We also found these cool little detangler brushes. I didn't actually buy them on this particular trip but I did get them at the Dollar Tree. So, I thought I would include them because, one, they're going in their boxes and, two, they're pretty neat little brushes. My girls have really curly hair and brushing through it can get pretty gnarly so I like to use brushes that makes it the least uncomfortable for them!
Lastly, I grabbed these little roll-on deodorants for the older girls. They tend to have really strong body chemistry so this helps to keep them fresh and dry as they go throughout their day. I also bought my son a little body spray so he can "smell good like daddy does!" =)
So here is the final product! You'll probably notice that I added a few things (mostly hair products) to individual boxes. This is stuff they use on a regular basis but I didn't purchase them at the Dollar Tree and they may not be necessary for all.
Also, I left out the toothpaste. Why, you may ask? Well, we are currently in the process of transitioning over to all-natural products and toothpaste is one of those things we have already transitioned. It can be pretty spendy and for whatever reason half the tube ends up down the sink when in the hands of my children so we keep it stored away until it's time to brush. Then, of course, there's the fact that the cap somehow ALWAYS gets lost, then tube gets all gunky...you get the picture...
You may have also noticed that I labeled each box and individual item. This is the label maker I use here! I'm not a labelaholic guys...well...maybe I am...BUT it was totally necessary this time! Mostly, I wanted to be sure the items weren't getting mixed up. Because some of the items are identical, I figured it would make it easier on the kids when it came to replacing their items to their individual boxes. No confusion, and again, no fighting! I like to work smarter not harder! =)
So, all-in-all, I spent a total of $25 to put together these 4 shower boxes. That averages out at $6.25 per box. Not to bad considering all they got in them! Not to mention, the benefit they get from learning the importance of personal hygiene and taking responsibility for their own things!
We have been using these shower boxes in our home for about a month now, and let me tell you, it has made a world of difference! Not just in our older kids ability to care for themselves but our little ones are beginning to understand personal hygiene and the importance of self-care. Not only that, but the morning wash-up process has been 100x more organized. Even bath times are running more smoothly because every thing is in it's place. The kids know where their boxes are and where to return them when their done. It's been Uh-mazing!
So what about you? Do you have any tips for teaching kiddos about personal hygiene? I'd love to hear them! Just share in the comments below!
Until next time, Shalom!
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