Combine a reading of Dr. Seuss’s ABC with a conversation about alphabetical order and how that system helps make things easy to organize and find. Then get ready to get organized as you and your child work together to create decorative file boxes to keep track of important papers, homework assignments, and school activities, or to hold all the supplies that might be needed at homework time.
What You’ll Need:
- Large-sized empty paperboard boxes (cereal, cracker, or other cartons that are at least 11 to 12 inches tall)
- craft paper, wrapping paper, or scrapbook paper
- scissors, craft knife, ruler, and pen
- labels or letter stickers
- packing tape and/or glue
- colored or patterned duct tape, or colored adhesive tape (optional)
- assorted stickers, notions and trims, and sequins (optional)
As you gather boxes, think about how the organizer will be used. What kind of space do you have for it? Do you need it to corral artwork, homework assignments and forms to be signed, or to keep track of the school directory, school calendar, and lunch menu?
Take a look at how the boxes might fit together. Encourage your child to try different configurations and be imaginative! Some options to spark ideas:
- Orient boxes horizontally, cutting open the long sides to create space for holding file folders.
- Create flat horizontal compartments by stacking two to three boxes of the same size on top of each other. Cut open either the box tops or front sides for inserting papers.
- Use several boxes to create a tiered vertical sorter by cutting open box tops at various heights.
Once you have a design in mind, cut the boxes where you want the openings. Reinforce box seams and closures with glue and/or packing tape both on the outside and inside of the box.
Secure your boxes together using glue and tape. You may want to individually cover each box before securing them, especially if you want to distinguish the different compartments using different colors or designs. Or, if the boxes are very similar in size and shape, it may be easier to secure them all first and wrap the boxes together. To get nice finished edges, fold paper over your box cuts and secure inside each box.
To finish, use colored tapes or other trims to make decorative borders. Give your child the opportunity to further decorate with stickers or other embellishments. Finally, create labels for your boxes and/or files to put and keep everything in ABC order!