Pencil Pot and Box: Here's a fun way to end the desktop clutter at home—make a pencil pot. Take any empty canister that has a reusable plastic lid (like a can of nuts, powdered juice mix, and so on), wrap a piece of construction paper (cut to size) around the can, and tape the edges together. Invite your kids to draw designs or glue magazine pictures on the paper. Next, cut out several X-shaped openings in the plastic lid with scissors or a craft knife (adult supervision may be necessary). Now your children can tidy up their school supplies with this handy pencil pot.
Invite the kids to make their own personal pencil box. Download clip art on to your computer and print the artwork out on regular printer paper (you can find uncolored line drawings in many clip art archives that your kids can then color in themselves). Cut out each drawing. To decoupage, use store-bought Mod Podge or make your own using one cup of white school glue mixed with one-half cup water. Brush a layer of decoupage paste on a wood or paper box (like a cigar box) and arrange your pictures on top of the glue. Continue brushing on a couple layers of the decoupage glue to seal the pictures (let each layer dry before brushing on the next). When the box is finished and completely dry, fill it with pencils, crayons, erasers, and other school supplies. (For a variation, collect pictures from old books, coloring books, magazines, old stamps, old photographs, or anything that's paper and can be used for decoupage.)
Personal Lucky Charm: A child who feels anxious about starting school may love this small lucky charm that can be slipped into a pocket or book bag and bring much comfort.
Choose a family photo or a color photo copy, and write a few words of encouragement for your child on the back, such as "We love you" or "See you soon." Laminate the photo with transparent contact paper and then cut the image and message into a favorite shape. You child can pop this into his/her pocket and it'll be there for him whenever he needs it.
Summer Time Capsule Notebook: Preserve your memories of summer in a notebook. Transform a blank three-ring binder into a time capsule by decorating pages with pictures or writing. Add to the notebook a record of what summer was like and include your hopes and thoughts regarding the upcoming school year. Here's a list of topic pages to include in your book:
- The best thing that happened this summer
- What I like to collect
- Vacation photos
- Best summer movies
- My favorite sports
- My favorite books
- Pressed flowers or leaves
- Sand from the beach (glued on to paper)
- My favorite school subjects (and ones I like least)
- What I like about my school (or don't like)
- My proudest moments
- My fears
- My self-portrait