Just a few simple paper things we've been enjoying lately-
I got the idea to keep a small book of new or interesting words we come across in our reading or elsewhere. I am frequently encountering new words, and sometimes even after I look them up I can't remember what they mean (I'm old). Anyone can add a word to the book along with a brief definition. (You know how we love having books to write in.)
I thought it would be fun to have a book to look through over and over again not only for vocabulary building but also the delight of recalling where the words were encountered.
My original thought was to have a word for each day, but most days end up having several words.
Adding related words is natural as well, as the dictionary can be so interesting.
This is indeed proving to be fun and everyone enjoys flipping through it from time to time to see what's new in there. I used a ready made set of tiny cards on a ring that I had on hand, but it's easy enough to make your own. I made a couple of similar books with a pack of index cards and an inexpensive scrapbooker's hole punching tool, like so:
Kateri found them irresistible and asked if she could have one and of course I said yes. She then proceeded to draw pictures and write lists of characters and scenes from Siegfried which we recently watched.
Which brings me to my next point about little paper things- Having neat little blank books and cut papers and things ready to use and easily available is very enticing for young writers and artists. Just like we try to keep fresh ATC's on the art table, it's nice to have materials ready for writing. I have this pretty glass tray that I keep stocked with little books like the ringed cards. I also made up some booklets just by folding a stack of colored paper scraps and machine stitching down the center to fasten them. Little people love making tiny books like this - pictured is one of Kateri's that she's filling with wild flowers out of the field guide. In addition I keep a stack of paper scraps cut to approximately the same small size, handy for lists or memos or love notes and the like. I like to hack off any clean useable paper before tossing stuff into the recycle bin and the resulting scraps go into this attractive little dish.
Encouraging note writing is always a good thing.
And finally, since it goes along with the paper theme I'll show you my latest method of managing chores. With both boys in college I needed to re-do my chore assignments, so I typed the chores all out on colored paper - one color for each of us womenfolk. Then I punched them all out with a scalloped puncher. (Hint - if you need templates for making punches or stickers or anything this site has a ton of blank templates in multitudinous sizes.) Each person has their own little stack of scallop tags (kind of like a scrapbooker's combination of PEGS and Chorepacks)
The advantage of the tags is that I can take out tags that don't need to be done on a certain day - like if it's raining I just take out the laundry tags, or if we're very busy I can take out anything that's not essential. The little ones like it because they can carry the tags around and know what to do next. I can easily look in the bowl and see what's done and what's not. If I need to re-assign who does what or add a new chore it's as easy as making a new tag, not a whole new chart of some sort. And I like that I don't have to print out new charts every week and you don't have to find a pen to check something off. So for now it's working very nicely for us in its simplicity. I freely admit I have some girls who use the tags, some who won't touch them, and I might be the one who likes them best. I find it very encouraging to put my little tags in the bowl as I work through my daily tasks and watch my little pile shrink. I'm simple like that.