One of the biggest differences between kindergarten and grade one, so far, is that Beege has been bringing home work to do. It's actually voluntary, but she likes to do it, and I think it's a good idea for her to get used to homework as an idea as soon as possible.
Personally, I'm all for homework. It gives your child a chance to reinforce the new skills being learned at school, while also providing an opportunity for parents to be involved and see if there's anything that needs some extra encouragement or enrichment.
The crap thing about all this work she's doing though, is that it ends up meaning a lot of loose papers floating around my living room. I have, perhaps, not been the most stellar example of organisation.
Anyway. We needed to find a way to organise this influx of easy-to-lose paper, and keep it all in one place.
Without making a trip to Staples; I always end up buying stuff I don't need at that place. And Ikea. And Michaels. I really shouldn't go into stores at all.
So, here's what I came up with:
Materials: Empty cereal box*, ruler, craft knife, pen/pencil, paintbrush, glue, pretty paper**.
Carefully open out the cereal box, trying not to rip it. When it's flat, measure up the side of the box about 6 1/2 inches. On the side flap, draw a straight line across at 6 1/2 inches. Draw another cutting line diagonally from this mark up to the top of the middle section of the box. Do the same for the other side.
Spread glue on the brown side of the box. Try to spread it evenly and wait a minute for it to get tacky before putting the paper on to prevent puckering***. Press the paper on well. Flip the box over and cut to fit; I cut a tab to fold over the top. You can also cover the cereal box design with plain paper on the inside if you like. I'm too lazy for that.
Once you've got your box covered, fold it up and glue the seams closed so it resembles a box again - or, if you're impatient like me, use packing tape. I used packing tape on the ones I glued as well, for extra support.
This would also be a good project for kids to do themselves; forget the paper, let them decorate with crayon and stickers. Super easy project for a rainy day.
*You're smarter than me, so you'll measure the length of the box to make sure it's big enough to hold what you want it to hold so that you don't have to cut half an inch off of everything you want to stick in there.
**2 sheets of 12 X 12" scrapbooking paper worked perfectly. I covered one side and the spine with patterned paper, and the other with a complementary plain paper so that I could write a list of the contents if I felt like it. Wrapping paper would also work well.
***Notice the puckering on the pink one? Apparently, waiting for the glue to get tacky is a really important step if you want it to look nice.