The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.
We’re approaching the end of school and that means a lot of art papers have been sent home throughout the year. Today I’ll share with you how I’ve been managing this year’s preschool papers in our house.
2013-14 was my daughter’s first year of school and it wasn’t nearly what I expected. It was fun, it was exciting to watch her grown, and it was filled with a tremendous amount of take-home papers & crafts. A pile of preschool treasures, just what every mother wants… and, at the same time, doesn’t want.
I finally understand why so many others have asked, “what can I do with all my child’s art?” Children’s art is either a keeper or a tosser. First, there are those pieces worthy of displaying in a frame, photographing for a memory book, or storing for long term keepsake if you have the space. It melts my heart to watch my big girl learn to draw, cut, and color within the lines.
The second art category is the not-so-precious pieces of scribbles and scraps. If I frame every piece of art or learning project she brings home, the walls would literally be papered in a rainbow of color. However, I still want her to be able to see the pieces she considers a treasure. So, I came up with a solution for organizing artwork… her very own art book.
I took an old 3-ring binder and added a special cover page. I even created a colorful space at the bottom for her to add name ownership.
Next, I added page protectors to the binder and let her fill them with her favorite crafts throughout the school year. You may wonder why I use page protectors rather than directly hole punching the artwork. Some of the treasures she wants to keep are odd-shaped pieces, small sized, or even circular like the lion she made from a paper plate. Not everything that comes home is able to be hole punched and I find those items are better to slip inside a plastic sleeve.
The art she brings home that captures my attention for keepsakes I tuck away elsewhere, it doesn’t go here. This is a book designed to organize special papers & crafts but not necessarily the things I want to keep for future reflection.
This is her book to flip through, add to, and show off to the Grandparents. She’s proud of this book filled with accomplishments. In all honestly, she “reads” through it on a regular basis. Every time she decides to add to the collection, we go through the past pages again and talk about how special each one is or how much her skills have improved.
I simply don’t have enough storage space to keep each and every paper brought home from school. On the other hand, I don’t want to send her beloved memories to the trash before she’s had a chance to enjoy them. This works for both of us.
The beauty is it’s self-containing. Once the book is full, we can eliminate the pages that no longer matter to her. Almost everything from this past year has fit inside one binder. Things will rotate out as next year’s treasures begin to fill the pages once again.
My sweet girl will keep every single scrap of paper until it begins to decay. She’s a mini me when it comes to sentimental items. For that reason, we also use this binder to collect little friend’s notes and drawings given her.
It’s about time for me to share another free printable, so if you’d like a copy for yourself, just click the link below to print and organize your own child’s art collection.
In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughter. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours! Learn more about me HERE or visit me at UsefulBeautifulHome.com.
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