Four good ideas from my house to yours … I’ll share mine if you share yours!
Who-does-he-look-like Picture Display
When decorating the nursery of our third baby, I found two frames that coordinated nicely. At which point, I started wondering what I should use these frames for? Rather than wait for pictures of our new baby, I thought it would be fun to display pictures of our two older children at the age that the new baby would be. So I pulled out newborn pictures of Jack and Cora. Knowing that I needed to work ahead, I also hunted for and selected 6 month, 12 month, and 18 month pictures as well.
The frames are 8×10, so I did have to make one picture order, but I actually had many pictures already, buried a few pictures back, no longer forefront in a frame. The unintended benefits of this display are that I’m getting to re-enjoy these old pictures, and I also get to easily see who new baby Luke resembles at different points in time.
The Recycled Paper Box
We have two prolific artists at my house, and from talks with other moms, I know this isn’t an uncommon thing. A few years back at work, I was emptying some old binders and couldn’t stand the thought of dumping all that crisp paper into the recycling, so I brought it home and stuck it in a basket in my closet. On one side is a bunch of work-related data, but on the back of each sheet is a blank canvas. And those are the canvases I send my kids to.
You want to draw ten pictures a day? Go for it! I don’t feel like we are wasting paper or need to curb the artist’s enthusiasm in any way. They always have a paper source. And I feel like the environment is benefiting!
**Side note – we also pull from this basket when we are printing anything informal.**
The Artist’s Envelope
So what do you do with all your children’s art work? My mom must have noticed my quandary. One quarter of my fridge is magnetic and we have a small display board near our door. Other than that, I wasn’t sure what to do with those ten new drawings every day.
Enter Lakeshore’s Keepsake Portfolio. My mom gave me two of these as Christmas presents, and they are now labeled with each of my children’s names. There are eight files within, so I labeled each with a span of months. Now, when a stack of artwork comes my way, I pull out the keepers and file them in our box. It makes it easier to part with some, knowing that I am keeping so much.
And it makes for a fun way to show off art to visiting grandparents. I hope that it will also mean we occasionally go through the folders and purge a few pieces to make room for the future, but that has yet to happen.
The Maker Box
This one I didn’t think of myself but happened upon on a blog. Do you have little makers? You know, the ones who always want to borrow your tape and color random things? If so, here’s a maker box in three easy steps.
- Designate the largest container you have. For us, it was an empty 32-lb laundry powder bucket.
- Anytime you are about to throw away or recycle an interesting item, throw it (clean) in the maker box instead. Our maker box has seen cleaned out ketchup bottles, toilet paper rolls, empty bottles, pieces of ribbon, etc.
- Empower your little makers by helping them decorate their maker box. Make sure they know they can come dig inside at any point to build new creations.