I finally settled on mounting a pocket organizer in the laundry room where everyone could access it. Every time I did laundry for the next few days, I patted myself on the back for finally solving my problem.
Everything was in plain sight and easily accessible.This was a positive, but I also saw how it could cause some issues too. It hadn't occurred to me until this moment that so many supplies looked so similar. I saw an opportunity for a practical life lesson.
I placed all the topical application items on the table. I called each child individually to study the items more closely. I had each of them read the words on the label (great for expanding the vocabulary). We discussed what each of the words meant (i.e. antiseptic, antibiotic, etc). We discussed the proper use of each item - for cuts, burns, stings, washing small wounds, etc.)
We used a rendition of the "three-period" lesson method. I pointed to each of the item and they told me the use of each item. I mixed the arrangement of the items and then asked the use of each item again. I then posed questions to my children, "if I am stung by a bee, which would I use", "if my nose is stuffy, which would I use", etc.
I also reiterated and stressed very firmly that they are not to use any of the items without informing me first. We discussed that although these items are in our first aid kit to help us, they can still be dangerous if not used properly. We flipped each of the tubes over and looked at the warning signs and also discussed how misuse could be dangerous.
I have to admit that these type of lessons are my favorites - they are practical, require no preparation, and I know that they are gaining knowledge that they will use throughout their adulthood.