When you’re cleaning out your kids’ backpacks and inevitably find a mound of artwork and papers, what do you do with all of it?
A friend and I were chatting about this recently, and I realized that I’d subconsciously created a pretty good little system for our family that’s worked really well the last couple of years regarding the paper load our girls come home with. I’m the type of person that likes for everything in our house to have a “home base” so that I can find things easily, and if it doesn’t have a home, I’m bound to ditch it way too quickly. Considering this fact about me, it’s not so surprising that I tend to deal with the paper load as soon as it comes out of the backpack.
5 Things I Do With My Kids’ Schoolwork and Artwork
Here are five things I do with the school projects and artwork our daughters come home with. I’d love to hear if you have another system for managing all of their precious little creations. 😉
Put it on display.
I found this artwork display board last year and put it up in our kitchen. If the girls make something exceptionally well or it brings a load of smiles, I usually hang it up for a while. Hadley especially loves to see her work on full display. Here are a ton of adorable artwork display boards, if you’re interested.
Send it to relatives.
If something is relatively small and can be folded to fit inside an envelope, I’ll often stick it in the mail to a grandparent with a note saying who did it and when. They always (!) love it, and it makes Hadley feel super proud to see her relatives squealing over what she made them. I keep envelopes of different sizes and a booklet of stamps in a bill holder on our kitchen counter, so spontaneously slipping artwork inside an envelope and dropping them in the mailbox takes me two seconds.
Put it in a holiday decor bin.
If the girls make something that’s intended to be or could be considered “decor”, I’ll stick it in a holiday decoration box.
For example, Hadley made this little Halloween spiderweb “wreath” last year in her Childs Day Out class that I immediately hung up at home. I pulled it out again this year to “decorate” with, and not only did it bring a smile to my face, but she remembered it and was very proud to see it again. Decor like this makes me way happier than anything I’ve ever purchased at Pier 1 or Hobby Lobby anyway. 🙂
File it away.
Any pieces that I want to hold onto for a while get filed away in the plastic file bin pictured here. We keep this box in our basement, and what usually ends up happening is a pile collects on top of the bin until I decide to take two minutes and file away each piece. Pictured below is the pile of schoolwork I found on top of the bin this week when I went downstairs to take these pictures. 🙂
Pieces like the one pictured below are so precious to me, so I want to make sure they’re filed away neatly so that they never get misplaced or thrown away down the road.
Hadley has a file folder for each year she’s been in school so far, and this year I added a file for Sadie as well. In the next couple of years, I’ll buy Sadie her own bin so that the girls have their own unique bin with their work in it. Then when they get married many many many moons from now, Jamie and I will pull out the few pieces we want to keep and then hand off the bins of work for them to do what they please. 😉
Throw it away.
I have zero shame in my game that I ditch about 25% of what the girls come home with. Earlier this week Sadie came home with a piece of paper that had one crayon line across it and two stickers. Surely she enjoyed placing those two stickers and picking up the crayon for a split second, but neither she nor I will miss that artwork. It was also far beyond “display or send worthy” simply because there wasn’t much to it. The same day she also came home with a piece of paper that she’d painted all over, and you better believe I filed that one away quickly. That one was much more precious to me because it showed her true “artistic” skills as a one year old. 🙂 Does this make sense?
Do you have another system that you subconsciously follow when it comes to dealing with the paper load?