Do you get projects and papers every few days? What should you do with kids’ projects when they come home from school? We have a few ideas.
Multiple kids means multiple school projects on everything from the solar system to Johnny Appleseed to the American Revolutionary War. You name it, there has been a picture, diorama, poster, or three-dimensional artwork created for it here in our house.
And while almost all of those projects have been fun for the kids and they’ve learned a lot, there’s that problem about what happens to the project when it comes home: where do you keep it?
As much as I love their artwork and creations, I can’t keep them all – there is nowhere to display everyone’s projects all year long. It would take up a full room, I think. 🙂
So, figuring out what to do with kids’ projects when they come home from school has been my mission! Here are some of the tactics that we’ve tried, so that you too can save your home from being overtaken by foam recreations of the planets.
What to Do With Kids’ Projects
Step 1: A Day or Two for Display
When projects come back home after they’ve been submitted and graded, we make a fuss and leave them out for display. The top of a table in our living room is reserved for those special creations to shine. It’s a chance for the project’s creator to share his success and for the rest of us to make a fuss about the great job that was done in on the project’s assembly.
Since most projects usually come home on Friday afternoons, they get to stay in their place of honor until Monday morning. If they come home during the week, we might only give them a day before we move on to step two.
Step 2: Snap a Picture
After the project has been on display for a few days, we make sure to snap a few pictures of it with the child who created it. I learned the hard way that taking a picture of a project is great, but if the child who made it isn’t in the photo, it’s often difficult to remember who actually made it. So, now I have the kids stand proudly next to their creations.
Step 3: You Decide
The kids know that after their project has been on display and we’ve taken pictures, that it’s up to them to decide what to do with it. I used to make the decision on my own, but what I discovered is that they became a lot more attached to them when it was me who mentioned their project’s fate.
With them in charge, their perspective often changes.
I give them three options: 1- put the project in their room. 2- donate it 3- recycle/trash it.
A lot of times they choose the first option and their projects go back in their bedrooms. They can also choose the second option – to donate it.
I have a friend who works in a nursing home that features a display of children’s artwork in their activity room, so if the kids choose to donate their projects, I drop them off with her. I’m not sure how many of them actually end up on display, but the kids like knowing that they at least tried to donate them.
The third option is really where everything winds up in the end anyway. The pieces we can recycle and use again, we save. The parts that won’t last through another project get put in the recycle can or thrown away. We try to save as much as possible, but more often than not there’s a lot that can’t be saved.
Once the kids have the power to choose the fate of their projects, they usually become a lot less enthusiastic about keeping the ones that they’re not ecstatic about and that’s okay. Figuring out what to do with kids’ projects long before they start bringing them home is key to making sure the project removal process goes smoothly and without tears.