Color Coding

A frequently asked question in my circles is, “How do you do it?” That’s funny to me because I know a lot of people with a lot bigger families that handle it a lot more gracefully than I do. Nonetheless, I do have some strategies that came in really handy when we went from a family of four to a family of seven in the blink of an eye.

Our Littles were 10 months, 1-1/2 years, and almost 3 years when they came. From the time they came in, they had a color. One has green, one has pink, and one has orange. This, frankly, was based on the colors in the toddler plates and cups I buy from the discount store! Because back then, their food was all cut differently and they had different needs, it helped my helpers to help me. If Tinker always gets the pink plate, you know which plate is hers. It also helped so much if there was a meal interruption or I needed to know who didn’t eat much of anything.

This color scheme worked so well, they now have coordinated towels in their color. They love their colored towels, and they love knowing something “belongs” to them. I think this is extra-important because there are three of them, and all their toys are shared. Not too long after they arrived, our then-three-year-old became enamored with the color orange. I immediately switched his plate, cup, etc from blue to orange. Finding the orange towel was a bit of a challenge but I succeeded. He is so in love with orange, his bedspread is now orange too!

When my second daughter was young, she loved the color pink. She refused to wear any other color. I quickly learned that this worked for me. Since all her clothes were pink, they all matched. I used this as a springboard for our three little ones. Their clothes aren’t only one shade, but most of the clothes I buy the boys are lime green or orange (plus denim, of course), so they all match each other. Our little daughter gets mostly lime green and pink, which also go together nicely. This saves a lot of time putting outfits together because any two pieces are an outfit.

I should mention that I have never told the kids that a certain color is theirs, but they began to recognize it over time. Our 2-year-old now knows a lot of colors, and he learned them on his own, starting with (of course) orange, green, and pink.