Crafts · School

How to Preserve your Kids’ School Memories

Now that the school year is about to end (how fast was that!), I always prepare to save and preserve my kids’ school work, pictures, and reports. I might be going a bit overboard, but I have no school memories (maybe a random report card and 2 class photos), and I still lecture my mom about it. Even my yearbooks have been scribbled on. One has stamps on all the kids faces, either a smiley face or a sad face. My picture, at least, got 2 smiley face stamps on it. So I’m happy to be doing this for my kids (I also love pictures and crafts). Hopefully, they will thank me for it one day.

So this is what I do:

1)      Scrapbook:

I use a scrapbook to put in all their pictures (1st day of school, class photo, last day of school .. ), some of their work, and any certificates or notes they got from their teachers. I put the pictures in chronological order from the beginning of the year till the end ( I take lots of pictures, especially at drop off and pick up), making sure to note any significant event they had along with the date.

I use K&Company scrapbook album size 12×12 and so far I love it! The pages are safe in a top loading page protector. It also has screws to unbind the album and add as many more pages as you want. Here are examples of some of my kids’ pages last year.

 

2)      Art work:

I also love to keep my kids artwork. I use ALEX my portfolio. It conveniently has dividers in it which I sue to divide the art work by class years.

 

3)      Picture wall:

I put up my kids class photos on the wall, side by side for each child to see the changes over the years. I also put my son’s picture under my DD’s according to the same class (our school has a two-year kindergarten program).

(And if you’ll ask where am I going to put DD’s grade 3 pic, we will be moving homes after this summer hopefully and have plenty of room till their senior year).

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4)      Report cards:

Each child has their own file to hold their report cards. This is just a normal folder with page protectors in side. This usually stays in my room and I don’t let the kids flip through it.

 

5)      Rest of things:

The rest of the things that I would like to save like books and other papers, I put in a gift box, the largest size I can get. Don’t really know if this method will work the more books they have. Hopefully I can use these gift boxes for a couple of more years.

 

And that’s it! Those are all my kids school memories preserved for me and my kids, easily accessible to them now, and protected for many years to come.

 

Happy end of school year everyone!

Crafts

DIY Play Dough

2nd grade class project: make your own toy at home and present it in class.

I swear sometimes the school thinks moms have nothing else to do with their time.

It goes on specifying the rubric cube for grading the presentation (isn’t rubric a funny word):

  1. Answers the assigned questions
  2. Speaks with a loud, clear voice
  3. Does not fidget
  4. Does not go off topic
  5. Holds the audiences eye contact

Oh come onnn!! You are talking about a bunch of 7 year olds. Based on the above rubric, I will fail miserably if I was assessed in public speaking.

But my daughter, bless her soul, was actually excited about this project.

Me: So honey what do you want to do?

DD: I want to do play dough. I saw the video on YouTube and its sooo cooool. (everything is so cool to her these days.)

Me: I don’t think that’s what they had in mind honey. Look at the picture on top of the paper. I think they want us to make a doll or a robot or anything like that. You know build it with egg cartoon or with foam balls and stuff.

DD: No mom, they said toy and play dough is one of the best toys in the world. So we are making play dough. I already made up my mind.

Me: Ok ok boss, come on show me the video and lets start.

So she showed me a very cool video made by Nicko’s Kids DIY channel on YouTube. Here’s how we did it:

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Gloves (unless u want rainbow hands for a week)
Steps:
  1. Mix all the ingredients (except food coloring and gloves of course) over a low heat.20161022_165537_LI.jpg
  2. Keep on mixing until it thickens and forms a “clump of dough”20161022_165732_LI.jpg
  3. Place the clump of dough on a cookie sheet (or anything you’d like to use so you won’t get your tabletop dirty).20161022_170325_LI.jpg
  4. Section dough into pieces, add food color to each piece and knead it through. (use gloves for easy cleanup)

DD: Mom I saw in another video that this play dough is edible, is it?

Me: Yeah it means if your baby sister plays with the play dough and has a taste of it by mistake, it won’t harm her because it’s all natural, no chemicals or stuff like that.

DD: So can I eat it?

Me: No, why would you want to eat play dough?!

DD: But pleeeaaassseeee mmooooom they said it’s edible.

Me: You won’t eat a tomato but you’re whining to eat play dough??

DD: Yes! Can I at least taste?

Me: Trying to ignore. Let’s put it in zip lock bags and practice the presentation.

 So we got a B+ on the project. I’m not sure if my DD fidgeted, didn’t hold and keep eye contact, or play dough is not considered a ‘toy’, but I am so proud of her for sticking to her guns and making the thing she wanted.

DD: I told you mom! Everyone in the class loved it and they all wanted to play with a piece of my play dough, no one wanted to play with any of the other toys. My toy is the best. Thank youuu mom!! You are soooo cooool!

Crafts

Preserving Memories

My baby girl just turned one yesterday!

How fast time flies by! I can’t believe one year has passed since I went to the hospital that morning. It feels like it was just yesterday. Actually it feels like I just went to the hospital having my 7 year old girl. Where does the time go?

 I love keeping and preserving memories of my family. They grow up so fast and you just want to remember every detail. I kick myself now for not jotting down my kids first words, or the funny things they said. At that time, my sleep deprived mommy brain never thought of it. But now, I miss the days when my eldest two were babies.

 But I did one thing right. I took lots and lots of pictures. Living in a digital age all our pictures are either in our camera, phones, or computers. And I wanted to have something tangible I can hold and flip through. I found www.mixbook.com and absolutely loved it. It prints photobooks, calendars, cards, and more.

(Please note: I was not commissioned by Mixbook to write about them, actually they don’t even know I am writing this. I am just sharing a product I love out of personal experience).

mixbook1

I chose to do a family yearbook type of thing. First I categorized all my pictures into years, then in each year I put them into monthly files. Then I went to Mixbook and chose the ‘year in review’ photobooks. You can change the book shape if you like and add as many pages as you want. I usually choose the portrait size because my kids’ school yearbooks are of that size and they fit neatly together on our shelf. There are 12 themes to choose from, and you can even change the themes anytime you like and use as many as you want simultaneously.

mixbook2

 

The editing program they have is also very easy to use. I am not very tech savvy (maybe you can tell by the minimalistic look of my blog lol) but I found Mixbook very easy to use. You first upload the pictures, then choose a page layout, and drag the pictures you like the spaces for them. You can also edit the picture itself, zoom in and out, fix the brightness and many other things.

It took me a long time to finish one yearbook as I wanted to do it month by month. But there is an option for Mixbook to organize all of your pictures in one book themselves in a click of a button “Autofill”.

I loved it. My kids love to flip through it. And I can’t wait to start another one. Here is a glimpse of the final product. (obviously the nose and glasses are not from the album.)

 

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I know it says 2014. I have a lot of catching up to do. But hopefully I will get all our memories and yearbooks together. Because a day that past can never be relived again, only through carefully kept memories.