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KONMARI WITH KIDS: PAPER-Part 1 Kids Artwork


Welcome to my new series: 'KonMari With Kids'. 

If you have just joined me - WELCOME - I recently completed the KonMari method with my OWN belongings, read 'My KonMari Journey' to see how I did. Now, it's time to get stuck into my kid's stuff - I have two children: Miss B, 12 years old and Master M, 3 years old.

Previously on the blog,  I shared how I KonMari'd my kids clothes (Baby, Toddler and Tween) and their books. Now I am ready to tackle the PAPER. If you have been following my blog for a while, then you will know PAPER was a HUGE category for me, and going through the kids paper is going to be a bit of a mission - there is a lot of paper to get through. So for the benefit of this series and the category of PAPER - I will be breaking it into two parts: KIDS ARTWORK and SCHOOL MEMORABILIA. Some of you will probably be thinking that they should really be in the Sentimental category, and I do agree - Kids Artwork and School Memorabilia are very sentimental, however - it's paper and it needs to be dealt with, sooner rather than later - otherwise it will forever be in the 'too hard' basket. Am I right? So are you with me? Let's Do This!

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- KONMARI WITH KIDS -

Marie suggests children as young as three years old can decide what gives them joy and the key principle is that each person should be making the decisions for themselves. Before you tackle your kids items, she does recommend you KonMari your own belongings first.

In a nutshell, Marie Kondo has four rules she recommends people follow when doing the KonMari Method:

1. Tidy in one shot, as quickly and completely as possible
2. Sort by category, not by location
3. Selection Criterion: Does it 'spark joy?'
4. Order of tidying: Clothes, Books, Documents (Paper), Miscellaneous items (Komono), and Mementos (Sentimental)

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Today I am sharing: PAPER: KIDS ARTWORK


Over the years I have been swimming in what feels like a pool of artwork. My kids love doing art - painting, collage, cut and paste, colouring...plus much more. For many years,  I have held onto almost every piece of artwork my daughter (now 12) has done. I had them stored in boxes and DIY art folders, and now, FINALLY, I am going to go through the lot and sort them into piles of KEEP & DISCARD. 

My son is 3 and already has a collection, so I really need to get it sorted once and for all, only keeping the pieces that spark joy to me and my kids (most importantly, my kids) - because one day, everything we decide to keep, will eventually be returned to them. 

In Marie Kondo's second book, Spark Joy,  she briefly talks about the various ways of approaching your children's creations. For example: "taking a photo of your children's art before throwing it away" or "deciding how many [pieces] you will keep and sticking to that number". 

She goes on to say "if there are items you cannot bring yourself to part with now, there is no need to force yourself to discard them". Simply take care of them. Dedicate a spot in your home to display the art so everyone can enjoy them. "Once you have enjoyed the works to the full, you can thank them for helping your child grow and discard them guilt-free". 

Reading this definitely helped take the pressure off and it inspired me to start the process. 

BEFORE 

Before I started, I gathered up all of the kids artwork and put them in the living room where I was going to sort them. I spent a little while just staring at the volume of the artwork I had collected and kept over the years - carting it all from house to house. (My daughter and I moved a couple of times in her first 7 years). 

It was daunting but alas I started...
My plan was to sort everything into sub-categories first - KIDS + YEARS and then get stuck into the purging.


I started with the most recent items, which were stored in a 'My Art Portfolio', that I purchased from KMart earlier last year. One portfolio contained a few items from my daughters last year of primary and the other was full of artwork from my son - a combination of Playcentre art and art he did at home-based care.

I pulled everything out, and made a pile for my son and a pile for my daughter. I continued working through the boxes and started adding items to the two piles. They got bigger and bigger and I wasn't sure if I could actually go through with this.



DURING

Once I had all of the kids artwork out of the boxes and portfolios, I began putting them into piles according to the year they were completed. I blitzed through my son's as it was only 2 years worth of art - there was quite a lot, nonetheless. I discarded any artwork that wasn't named or dated, especially if it only had a few strokes of paint on - I had several of these that were named and dated, so the excess was definitely not going to be missed. 

Master M saw his 'plate art' and picked it up. His face lit up, so I immediately took a photo. He was very proud of his 'plate art', so I knew it was a keeper and even though I took this photo, I have actually kept the plate in his keepsakes box too.  


Moving along...I had the same process for my daughters artwork - 11 years worth. It was like taking a trip down memory lane, looking back at art she did when she first started school. During the initial purge, we (my daughter and I), discarded anything that was not dated, unless it was something she created at school and wanted to keep, if this happened we would think about who her teacher was at the time and pin point the year that way. (Alternatively, you could look back at their Year books). I put the year on the back of each piece of artwork, just in case they got muddled up. 

At this moment in time, you could not see my living room floor - there was art EVERYWHERE, however it was organised chaos - and the piles were starting to grow. 


  
Once I had the art in piles, according to year (from 2006-2017) we started from the oldest pile (2006) and picked out the favourites, the items that sparked joy for me and my daughter. As we were going through each year, the piles got smaller and smaller. Miss B loved looking back at her art, some sparked joy, some made her laugh out loud because she couldn't believe she created it and others were a definite NO. There were a few pieces we had to negotiate over, but that's okay - it's all apart of the process. 



SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE PIECES

DISCARD PILE

The process from start to finish probably took less than two hours to complete.  The great thing about the KonMari method, is that you only have to do it once! Now I can put my new systems in place and keep on top of the art clutter. 

I am pretty proud of what we discarded, we thanked the art for helping the kids grow and put it in the rubbish/recycling.  After 11 years of holding on to it, I was glad to see it go, no longer taking up space in my home. 


AFTER

And THIS is what we are left with! This is our current system. 

Each child has: 1 x A3 clear file folder (for larger pieces of artwork); 1 x A4 clear file folder  (for up to A4 sized artwork) and 'My Art Portfolio' (which holds the current artwork from care and playcentre).





WHERE TO FROM HERE...

Before the art goes into the clear file folders, it is put on display in the playroom (pegged up on a string), for a couple of weeks. When new art comes in, the older pieces are placed into the 'My Art Portfolio', and at the end of the term, we select our favourite pieces and add these to the clear file folders, and discard the others. 

For my son, some of his art is pasted into his Playcentre portfolio or slipped in the back of his home-based child care portfolio. I also add a few items from my daughter's art collection into her school memorabilia folders (more on that another day). 

Speaking of my daughter's art folders - they are nearly full, well it does have 10-11 years worth of artwork in them. I am currently looking at my options of what to do next. I recently heard about Jimmy Halfpenny, an Australian company who collects your kids artwork and turns it into a photobook, similar to ArtKive (USA). Leanne from Organising The Four of Us shared a timeline video about her experience with Jimmy Halfpenny and it got me really excited. I will keep you posted if I do choose this option. (Check out their Facebook page)

I have also looked at Project Life (using the Project Life App) & ChatBooks (using Instagram or Facebook) - which are both great ideas. Oh the decisions!

If you ARE wanting to take photos of your kids artwork, be sure to check out Becky Higgin's Tips for Photographing Children's Artwork.

There are so many ways we can store and organise our kids artwork - do what works for YOUR family. However, the first thing I recommend you do is cull and choose your favourites.

Thanks for reading,
Charlene

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your Kids Artwork? 
How do you currently store/organise your kids artwork? 


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Coming Up Next: KonMari With Kids: PAPER - School Memorabilia

Sorting through all of the school memorabilia sounds like a big task, and it probably will be - however I know it's going to be worth it. Watch this space.


I am super excited about this new series 'KonMari With Kids' and would love for you to follow along in this process, better yet, join me - Subscribe to my Blog, so you don't miss a post and together we CAN 'KonMari With Kids'. I will also be sharing my journey on my Facebook page, and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there too.


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KIDS PARTIES: DINOSAUR PARTY

ROAR!
 There's a 'THREE-REX' in the house! 

When my partner asked Master M what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday - he said "DINOSAUR" straight away, followed by a huge ROAR! Therefore, it was decided that the theme for his 3rd birthday was going to be 'DINOSAURS'. 

I do love planning and organising events, especially birthdays on a budget. Previous birthday themes were A Little Golden Book for his first birthday, and a Construction theme for his 2nd (which I only shared on the blog last month, oops). 

This year I wanted to keep things simple, yet effective. So today I am sharing with you, all the details of our son's 3rd Birthday - DINOSAUR PARTY! 

Enjoy!

- THE INVITATION - 

I made the invitations this year. I designed it in PicMonkey, using one of their templates for inspiration. I simply changed the watermark images to dinosaurs and also changed the colours to match the theme of the party. 

I went to Harvey Norman Photo Centre and printed the invitations onto 6x4 photo paper. They turned out really good. (Invitations cost less than 20c each). I ended up using these invitations for party favours instead (see below), and just created a Facebook event for his birthday, so I could keep track of who was coming and used this invitation as the cover photo. 

- DECORATIONS - 

Keeping it simple, yet effective, I found this cute idea (via Instagram user @makaylalambertof hanging the words 'THREE REX" above the table - it was the perfect backdrop. I found a number '3' Heidi Swapp Marquee light for $10 on clearance at Spotlight last year, which looked really cool all lit up. 

I put a photo of Master M in an orange frame we already had in his bedroom and put his green soft toy dinosaur next to it. 

As soon as I knew we were going to have a dinosaur themed birthday for Master M, I went straight to Mel's blog Flicker and Flock and downloaded her awesome Dinosaur Balloon templates. These are so cool and easy to put together, as she has included a 'how to' tutorial. They looked awesome in the living room and playroom, setting the scene for the theme.

I also used Master M's dinosaur mobile, he made at care, as a focal decoration hanging from the living room lights. (more details about that below)
Dinosaur Balloons were a HIT! 

The KMart light box is always a great item to use as a decoration - I put 'YOU ARE RAWRSOME. ROAR!  as the message. I also used the dinosaur cookie cutters as decorations too. 

Dinosaur balloons
I was stoked to find these cute Dinosaur Prints on Etsy for less than $3. I printed and laminated them and displayed them on a string in the playroom (which is also where I displayed Master M's birthday cards). These prints are now in his bedroom, I just need to get some frames for them. 

A week before the party, we visited our local public library and found some Dinosaur themed books to put on display. Master M loves reading books so it was a nice to add books as decorations, the kids loved reading them too. 


- FOOD & DRINK - 

My son's amazing home-based carer made us some vanilla cupcakes & dinosaur shaped shortbread cookies, so all we needed to do was decorate them.  For the cupcakes, we added Flake, Chocolate speckled eggs and Dinosaur confectionery lollies. I also found these cute cupcake toppers from Place of my Taste

We iced the dinosaurs in the theme colours: green, blue, orange and yellow. Not the greatest icing, but they still looked cute and were very delicious. 

I love the dinosaur jelly cups. I used lime jelly and popped a dinosaur lolly in each of them - 'Dig for Dinosaurs'. We also had 'Dino Eggs' - just green grapes in a bowl. Our friends brought a plate too, so we had green marshmallow, popcorn, sausage rolls, pizza bread, lamingtons, chips and mini toffee pops. 

For the drinks, I supplied: water, soft drinks, orange juice (in a flexi tub of ice) & hot drinks too. 

Because I moved our furniture around a bit, we had a massive floor area to put blankets down for the kids to eat on. It worked out perfect - picnic in the lounge. 

Dinosaur Cupcakes 

T-Rex and Triceratop Cookies

Dinosaur Jelly Cups
Dino Eggs

Dinosaur eggs

- PARTY FAVOURS -

I like to give our friends a little something to say thanks for coming to the party. Party favour included: an invitation/thanks for coming, Dinosaur Confectionary lolly, a few 'dinosaur eggs' (grapes), a mini dinosaur and a 'Capsule Creature'. 

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
Before I handed out the favours, I told the parents to take the 'invitation' out because the capsule was taped to the back. The kids got to play with their dinosaur and eat their little treats, then once they got home, (with adult supervision) they were able to watch their dinosaur grow in water.  I photocopied the back of the 'Capsule Creature', so the kids could find out which dinosaur they got. 





- THE CAKE - 


A scrumptious double-layered chocolate mud cake (made with Kumara), with white and milk chocolate icing (requested) by my friend, Nicci at Delights.

I decorated it in the morning of the party, using a T-Rex & Triceratops (from KMart), Flakes, Malt balls, chocolate speckled eggs and a few items from his dinosaur adventure play set. Bunting was   also from KMart for $2 - I just added a couple of stickers and the RAWR@! Simple, yet effective. I love how it turned out.

(Note: Delights is dairy free, refined sugar free, & gluten free)


Chocolate Mud Cake (made with Kumara)  *DELIGHTS*

- ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS -  

We got Master M this 125-piece Dinosaur  Adventure Play set  for his birthday. Purchased from KMart. The kids loved playing with the dinosaurs and making little enclosures for them. 

DINOSAUR ADVENTURE PLAYSET

I bought a bag of playground sand from Bunnings for under $12 and put it in an under-the-bed storage container (it's great because the lid keeps the stray cats out).  This sand is a lot grainier than normal sand, which I actually prefer as it comes off a lot easier. I added a pack of 30 dinosaurs  ($3 from KMart) to the sand a few gardening tools, so the kids could dig them up. They loved it.

DINOSAUR HUNT

One activity I had planned, but completely forgot to pull out when everyone was here, were these super easy ICE AGE Dinosaur Fossils 

HOW TO:
Carefully place a dinosaur in a balloon and fill it with some water (about 1 1/2 cups) and place into the freezer overnight. After a couple of hours, when the balloons are starting to harden,  turn the balloons over to try and get the dinosaur to move more to the centre. Once frozen, cut the balloons and it exposes these really cool ICE AGE Dinosaur Fossils. 

I gave one each to the kids (Master M, Miss B and my niece & nephew, who were staying with us). Master M used the hammer to crack the ice (alternatively you could give your child a spoon) until he could get the dinosaur out. He thought it was pretty cool, and it was a nice activity to do on a hot day. It's a shame our friends missed it. 

ICE AGE DINOSAUR FOSSILS



- HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY MASTER M - 

Master M wore his RAWRsome DINOSAUR t-shirt he got from his Great Grandmother for Christmas, denim shorts and his 'trucker' hat. One of his friends also wore the same shirt, it was so cute. 

I can't believe my baby boy is 3! Happy Birthday son!


- BIRTHDAY KEEPSAKE - 

The week before the party, Master M had been working on a little project with his home-based carer. He made a dinosaur mobile! He painted it and decorated it with embellishments. There are four dinosaurs (T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Pterodactyl) and now it is proudly hanging in his bedroom above his bed. It is his keepsake for his 3rd birthday. 

For Master M's birthday - he got a mini bedroom makeover, using the presents he got from us to decorate his room. I love how it turned out and he loves it too. 



I hope you found some inspiration from this post! Here are the details again:

PARTY SUPPLIES & DETAILS

Invitation: designed and created in PicMonkey
Lightbox: KMart
Marquee Light '3' (Heidi Swapp): Spotlight
Dinosaur ballons: Flicker & Flock
Cake: Delights 
Happy Birthday Cake Topper & Dino Eggs Printable: Place of my Taste
Dinosaur Prints (T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, & Pterodactyl): Prints and Princess Art 
Dinosaur duvet: KMart 
Dinosaur Hoody: Inkee Finkee

My friend Karen from Mummy Do It shares 10 Fun Dinosaur Party Ideas if you are looking for more Dinosaur party inspiration. 

Thanks for stopping by,
Charlene 




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TAKING STOCK - FEBRUARY 2017



Welcome to the another 'Taking Stock' post for 2017. You can read all of my 'Taking Stock' posts HERE. Pip from Meet Me At Mike is the mastermind behind this series, so be sure to check out her blog. This is something I have done since I started blogging and will continue to do this year - I love looking back at previous months. In a nutshell, it's simply taking a step back and 'taking stock' of what's currently happening in your life. 

Here's what's been happening in the month of FEBRUARY..


Making: decorations for Master M's birthday. These are going to be Dinosaur Balloons! Free template download from Mel at Flicker & Flock.


Reading: junk mail - it's a guilty pleasure

Wanting & Needing: to get a haircut this week! It's been way to long eek.

Enjoying: my new job, teaching in a Bi-lingual unit. I'm also teaching whole school Te Reo Māori. 

Looking: forward to the kids birthdays!

Eating
: 'Snickerlicious' treats my friend made using Chelsea Winter's recipe - from your book 'Scrumptious'.


Wishing: everyone who celebrated a birthday this month, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU ALL! 

Liking: getting in the picture with my kids.


Buying: hair dye tomorrow. Self care - Colour & Cut in a week. 

Loving: Zone Cleaning! Have you tried it?

ZONE CLEANING: Kitchen

ZONE CLEANING: Master Bedroom

ZONE CLEANING: Bathroom

ZONE CLEANING: Kids Bedrooms 

ZONE CLEANING: Lounge and Dining

ZONE CLEANING: Office

ZONE CLEANING: Playroom 
Playing: in the sandpit at Playcentre - volcanoes, pools and moats! I love Playcentre. 

Hoping: everything goes to plan this weekend - we have a lot happening: Birthdays, family day, school trip and a trip to the Zoo! 

Marvelling: at my son's spunky new hair. So handsome. I can't believe he's going to be 3 on Sunday, and my daughter is going to be 12, three days later. Eek. 

Admiring: Our Learning Story wall at Playcentre. Now we have special place to display our kids art and learning stories.

 

Feeling: so much lighter since I KonMari'd the kids clothes & books! Paper, Komono and Sentimental to go! Check out my new series: KonMari With Kids.




Watching: Season 7 of Gilmore Girls! I'm on the home stretch. I have loved watching all the episodes from the beginning. 

Celebrating: International Correspondence month thanks to my Insta gal-pal Kim for sending me the gorgeous card at the top of this post! I love #happymail.

Sharing: Master M's Construction Party details on the blog. It was such a fun party. See it HERE



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Now it's YOUR turn...

Tell me, what's been happening in YOUR world? How was FEBRUARY for you?
Choose three (or more) words from the list and 'take stock' in the comments below.


Have a wonderful week
Charlene



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