If dad can't remember that he's on for the Tuesday soccer car pool or your super-social teen keeps forgetting that she needs to stay home on Thursdays for family dinner, a communication bulletin board can solve your scheduling dilemmas. Posting a decorative board in a central location -- such as the kitchen -- provides a noticeable way to keep on top of family needs and to help everyone with family communication.
Unless you want a hodge-podge of postings or a mess of papers overlapping each other, simplifying your family communication bulletin board is key. Create a mailbox board that includes separate spaces for each family member's notes, reminders and other essential items. Tack up heavy-duty envelopes, glue on lightweight plastic pouches or affix clear containers onto your bulletin board. Label each "mailbox" with the family member's name. Slip scheduling reminders, chore lists or sweetly encouraging personal notes into the boxes on a daily basis.
Between after-school sports, school events, playdates, pediatrician's appointments and all of the other scheduling needs that you family has, creating a communication calendar is a must for busy parents and children. Draw your own calendar onto a dry erase board, make a poster board version to tack onto a cork board or transform your traditional bulletin board into a grid by gluing thin ribbons or strips of paper onto the surface. Use adhesive-backed notes or index cards and thumbtacks to add each day's schedule to the day and date. Color code the calendar, giving family members their own hue.
Before you spend yet another morning scouring the house for your fourth-grader's math homework or your middle-schooler's research report, try creating a homework helper board to organize all things academic. You can add office-type mail slots or folders to your board for each child's school work or use an oversized document envelope. Add a homework calendar -- keeping it separate from your family's schedule -- that includes due dates, special projects, days for studying and test dates.
Shopping Needs Board
Instead of running out to the grocery store every day for your child's special requests or forgotten items, design a shopping needs bulletin board. Tack up a few different sheets of paper, labeling each one with a category topic such as food, drinks, toiletries, clothing or school supplies. Leave a basket of markers near the board or tie a ribbon around one and attach with a thumbtack to your communication center. Ask each family member to write down what they need and the date that they need it by on the corresponding piece of paper. If your kids are too young to write legibly on the board or can't spell yet, provide them with stickers to add on to the shopping needs lists. For example, your 4-year-old can add an apple sticker to the food category to show you what he wants.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images