Our whole family has had vacation brain since we started back to school and work last week. Honestly, feels like we can't remember a thing! Ian forgot to wear his glasses to school the other day, someone forgot their coat (hello!? didn't it feel a little chilly?- There was an extra one in the car thankfully.) School is too far away to drive back a forgotten lunch (which, turns out, was in the backpack the whole time, put there that morning, even more disturbing that we didn't remember that).
I was thinking about all this last night and wanted to come up with a way to trigger the kids and I to make sure we have everything when we leave the house. I came up with something to hang on the door, that I think may work and thought I'd share it in case anyone else is having these issues. I used a set of letter punches I picked up at Hobby Lobby over a year ago (nice to finally be using them). You could also type up and print out thick letters onto cardstock and cut them out with a craft knife. Another thing to consider, these reminders work well for kids who are reading, but you could also use pictures instead of words for pre-readers.
(so sorry about the photos, it is incredibly dark and rainy here in Seattle today, but hopefully you'll get the idea)
a piece of wool felt approximately 11 1/2" x 8" for background
a piece of wool felt at least 8" wide x 3" long for bottom pocket (same color, or different color, your choice)
strips/scraps of fabric or wool in bright colors (the more contrast to the background, the more they'll show up)- iron these flat
1 sheet of white cardstock
spray adhesive (use in a well-ventilated area)
Set of alphabet craft punches OR type the words in Microsoft Word or a similar application on your computer in the size you want, reverse the image, then print out onto card stock (reversing the image will ensure that the black of the letters doesn't show on the front of the image.
craft or xacto knife
pinking sheers (for option C, see step 2 below)
chopstick or straight stick to hang from
mounting squares to secure it to the wall
1. Sew the bottom pocket to the background fabric. The wool piece to be used for the pocket will go across the bottom of the background (the background will hangs "portrait"), lining up the side and bottom edges. Use embroidery floss and a hand sewing needle and sew a simple running stitch around the sides and bottom to create a pocket (see photo).
2. Create the reminder words on the white cardstock. There are several ways you could do this:
a) Use alphabet hole punch letters to spell out words.
b) Type the words and cut out with a craft knife as explained in supplies.
c) Simply write the words on to the card stock with a black sharpie (or in a way that you can see them easily).
3. Prepare to glue the cardstock onto the strips of fabric. (I took this part outside to the porch, with spray adhesive, and it really was quick and easy.) Line up your fabric strips, all right side up on a sheet of scrap paper. Line up your cardstock words the same way, but right side down, on another sheet of scrap paper (see above). Spray the backs of the words with the spray adhesive, then one by one, glue each word to the fabric you've chosen for that word, wrong side of word to right side of fabric (it you are doing option C, and have simply written your letters, make sure your fabric strips have about 1/2" or more of fabric beyond the card stock on all 4 sides). Allow to dry.
5. Create hanger. Fold 1/2" toward the back at the top of the background fabric, handstitch with a running stitch. Thread chopstick or twig through and hang (I cut slits in mine so that the chopstick showed a little more).
The fabric backing will "stick" temporarily to the felt background think of those felt boards at preschool, or a flannel quilt wall. Same idea. Keep all the reminder words in the pocket, and take out what you need each evening before the morning chaos begins.
This, and a little ginko in our smoothies, should help us out (I hope!).