Writing, Coloring and Craft Tools
I use baby wipes containers to house pencils, pens, crayons, colored pencils, markers, scissors & hole punches, and miscellaneous (tape, glue, erasers, etc). These are the perfect size for the job, easily stackable, and have a uniform, orderly look about them. I label each container using a plain white sticker. For the sake of the younger, non-reading children who use the supplies, I decorate each label in such a way to indicate the contents of each box. For example, I wrote the word “crayons” using crayons. For scissors, I cut the label in half before applying the sticker. For pens, I wrote in cursive with a pen. For pencils, I wrote in print using a pencil.
One of our bookshelves is used for paper related to arts and crafts (construction paper, drawing paper, and coloring books. To separate the colors of construction paper, and to house the coloring books, I use a large magazine holder with multiple slots, and store the paper vertically. This eliminates the mess that can come from digging through a stack of paper searching for a particular color.
I also have a container filled with paper that the children are not allowed to get out by themselves. Included are cardstock, colored computer paper, and notebook dividers. I will get out cardstock for the children to make a card or do a special craft, but they may not go into it without permission. I use an expandable filing box to keep the paper orderly.
My children each have their own school desks, the old-fashioned kind where the desk lid lifts up. Inside, the children keep all their school books. These desks were a gift to us from my mother, and they are very special to us as well as practical. However, I don’t think that they are a necessity. If your children do not have desks, they can very easily do their schoolwork at the kitchen table. Children could keep their schoolbooks, pencils and such in a plastic bin or in a backpack. I have also heard that dishpans are a good size to contain schoolbooks. Any of these would be easy to carry to the table at school time, and easy to clean up at lunch time.
Most other books are kept in a large set of bookshelves, but I have baskets in the home to use for certain books as well. Books that I am reading aloud to the children are kept in a basket in our living room, along with library books and the Bible. I like the convenience of having the books in the living room, because this is where we typically read together. Having the library books in a convenient and consistent spot, separated from our own books, helps to reduce the risk of a book getting lost.