In Sight – In Mind

We’ve all heard the adage “out of sight- out of mind”.  I use this theory with treats and it works pretty well. I keep all the kids candy from Easter, Valentines, Halloween, etc. in a basket (no surprise there) in a cupboard on a top shelf.  Because the treats aren’t easy to see or reach, they often forget about the candy and so do I.

I also keep baked goodies like cookies, breads, and rolls in the microwave. That way I can’t see them and am not tempted to eat them all day. I often forget they are there until I open the microwave to steam some broccoli.

Since the “out of sight-out of mind” concept works so well, I decided to test out the opposite idea–

“in sight–in mind”.

If the kids were bored or had some downtime, I wanted them to turn towards arts and crafts instead of the TV or video games. So I moved the TV out of the main room, and I put all the kids art supplies out in the open where they could see them.

I have the coloring books, learning books, and blank paper in 3 baskets right on a sofa table out in the open.

And I have all the art supplies- crayons, markers, paints, chalk, etc. in glass jars on a bookshelf right by the kitchen table as well.

I think my theory is working.  It really does seem like my kids color and craft more and watch TV less.

The “in-sight” idea could work for anything you want to encourage with your children: books, crafts, games, puzzles, music, writing, fruit, exercise, etc.

I know many of us want to keep everything neatly tucked away in a cupboard to avoid clutter and mess, but the benefit of having it out in the open might just be worth it.


14 thoughts on “In Sight – In Mind”

  1. Love your blog! This is a great idea. Where did you get your glass jars? They look really great. Thanks for all your work on this blog.

    1. Misti- Thank you! The quick answer to your question is Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart. The longer answer (if you care) I would recommend getting as many from Hobby Lobby as you can. Their glass regularly goes 50% off and then the jars are only like $2-$4. I used some I already had on hand so I had to go to Wal-Mart to get the matching ones, but they never go on sale. Also, I used mason jars as well. They worked great for colored pencils and smaller sets that I had.

  2. Be still my heart! Art supplies in lovely glass jars?! How did I never think of that! We have custom bookcases in our playroom (thanks to my husband and father) and I think I’m going to have to kick my books off the upper shelves so I can copy this! (sincerest form of flattery right?)

    I found your blog via pinterest when someone I follow pinned your Confidence FHE lesson. Which I greatly appreciate because my oldest, 5, lacks confindence in many things, and I lack the ability to make good FHE lessons!

    You are my hero of the day!

    1. We have a few different kinds of markers- little ones, regular ones, do-a-dot, dry erase, Color Wonder and sharpies so they all get their own jar. I also have some tall skinny jars that hold colored pencils, skinny markers and paint brushes. You could put craft supplies like pompoms, pipecleaners, ribbons, craft sticks, etc. in jars as well.

  3. Pingback: 5 Ways to Encourage Open-Ended Play | Imagine Toys Blog

  4. Wow! This is amazing! How clever!! I love an organized home 😉 I’m your newest follower!
    Jamie @

    1. Wal-Mart has the cookie jars with the glass lids. And then I got the jars with the silver lids at Hobby Lobby. I also used a lot of mason / canning jars I already had on hand.

  5. I LOVE the idea of displaying both the art supplies and the crafts. Have you ever had an issue using glass with the kids. I would just worry that the kids would break the jars.

    1. Bree, Thanks for your comment. My youngest son has broken the lid of the chalk jar because he tried to carry it outside. But I have had the jars out for 2 years and only 1 break – not too bad. My kids are slightly older though (4-11). I don’t know that I would use glass if I had really young kids. There are some cute plastic containers available out there that you could go with if you need to. Even reusing the plastic containers that some common foods come in could work to. I think the main point is to put the art supplies out so they can see them and will want to use them. Good luck!

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