When most people think of binding, they picture bound reports and proposals designed for business applications, but binding also has many uses within the home environment. Below are five ways for parents to use binding to stay organized, share important information, and even provide fun activities for their children.
- Babysitter’s Guide – Whether you’re working with a new babysitter for the first time or have been using the same sitter for years, a bound babysitter guide keeps all of your important information in one convenient location. Using a word processing program, create sheets that list emergency contacts, helpful hints (such as favorite games, nighttime routines, etc.), special needs (dietary restrictions, allergies, medications, etc.), and even your favorite local pizza shops. Bind the sheets together using your preferred binding method for an easy-to-use booklet. To involve your children in the process, allow them to create the cover by giving them a blank sheet of cardstock and their favorite art supplies.
- Personalized Yearbooks – Have you been looking for a way to organize your child’s homework and art projects? Try creating a custom yearbook! At the end of each school year, gather their best tests, reports, artwork, and other assignments and bind them together using your binding machine. Place a copy of that year’s school picture onto the cover along with a label listing the name of the school, the grade, and the school year, and you’ll have a keepsake you’ll treasure for many years to come.
- Medical Records – Staying on top of immunizations and other medical records can be difficult, especially when you have multiple children. Try using your binding machine to make your own bound medical record books to keep all of their medical information organized. Begin by designing a few basic templates (with columns for date, doctor’s name, and other notes) for immunization records, prescribed medications, and surgeries using your preferred word processing or graphic design program. Print out a few copies of each template and bind a book for each of your children. Add an entry onto the appropriate sheet following each doctor’s visit, and you’ll find that keeping your medical records organized is easier than ever.
- Original Storybooks – Creating original, one-of-a-kind storybooks for your children will make reading extra special. Whether you choose to involve your child by letting them help you write the story and provide illustrations, or write your own story that features your child as the lead character as a surprise gift, you’ll find that making your own professional-looking bound storybook is easy. Just prepare the pages using a word processing program or graphic design program (or a combination of the two), and then bind them together using your favorite binding style. You can even leave some pages blank to allow your child to illustrate the story as they go.
- Vacation Activity Book – Traveling with small children can sometimes be stressful, but planning ahead and creating a vacation activity book will help provide entertainment during long car rides or flights. Print sheets featuring their favorite paper-based games, such as tic-tac-toe, mazes, word searches, or coloring book images (either create your own or find them online), and bind them together using your binding machine. These simple and inexpensive vacation activity books make traveling a breeze!