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Which school projects should you keep or throw away?

Over the school year your child will be involved in many projects, some large and some small, but all created by your wonderful offspring! How do you decide which ones will stand the test of time in a keepsake box? Read on for some ideas.

What to do with your kids’ projects
Art project

Who really did the project?

Parents are wonderful helpers, especially when it comes to working on school projects. In fact, they are often such great helpers that it’s easy for that grade school project to become more about the parent than the child. If this is the case, then perhaps it’s one that can be thrown away, since the point of keeping a project is to have an accurate representation of what your child accomplished at that age and not what you were able to accomplish as an adult!

Does it have sentimental value?

A child can add a sentimental touch to a project in a lot of ways. It could be a project that was made for a special occasion, such as Mother’s Day. Or they may have chosen a project with Mom’s or Dad’s interests in mind. Or perhaps they worked especially hard on it, as they loved the subject matter. If there is something about the school activity that pulls on your heartstrings, consider it a keeper.

How practical is it?

Practicality can take on many forms, including the size of the project, what the project is made of and if it can be used or showcased in some way. Large-scale projects are hard to store and have a tendency to break or become damaged over time, so they aren’t very practical. School activities that require the use of something that will decompose or die, such as fruits or insects, aren’t practical. And if the project doesn’t work as it should or can’t be used or recycled into the next project, it really isn’t practical. Use your best judgment when deciding how practical keeping the project is before designating it to the keepsake box or recycle bin.

Other suggestions

  • Ask for your child’s input. After all, they made the project! Your child may have his or her own reasons for keeping something specific, and this way you won’t throw away something that’s important to them.
  • Instead of keeping every project your child has worked on over the years, create a scrapbook of project memories. Whenever possible, take a few photos of your child as they work on their project, and of course, at least one photo when it has been completed. Add them to a memory book with a few notes about the project and any special memories, such as comments from the teacher.
  • If the project is something interactive or has working parts, such as a Goldberg machine, take a video of it as a way to secure the memory of it.
  • When opting to keep a project, be sure to label it with your child’s name, the date and grade, the teacher’s name and any other pertinent information you might want recorded for the future. Years from now, as your child reflects on it, they will thank you for it!

More on kids’ activities

Take your child on a school-inspired field trip
Fun activites to do with another family
Family gardening fun

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