Happy Back to School! Kids in our area are starting back at school, and others are following close behind. Each year, kids fill out “About Me” paperwork, create fun back-to-school signs for their first and last days of school. We have done this, but I never know where to store it all and it ends up lost and forgotten! We’ve discovered a solution. This “Every-Year Book” lets you create a fun school years memory book for kids where you can keep it all in one place and reminisce over it for years to come.
We are excited to partner with The Pencil Grip, Inc to share our DIY “Every-Year Book” with you! This post contains affiliate links; by purchasing through these links, you help support the family behind Arts & Crackers at no added cost to you!
Rather than individual printable sheets for the kids to fill in about themselves, we decided to make a yearly book that the kids can fill out each year on the first and the last days of school. To create ours, we used a 7×10″ mixed media art journal with heavy paper, Kwik Stix solid tempura paint, and a printable set that I will offer to you a little later in this post.
We love Kwik Stix for projects because they are so easy to use, mess-free, they dry within 90 seconds, and they have a wide variety of awesome colors! My kids were able to get creative with them, and I’m so proud of the self portraits they made for their “Every-Year Books”!
DIY About Me “Every-Year Book” School Years Memory Book for Kids
For each book, let your child decorate the front cover, especially if it has brand information all over it. You can add a piece of construction paper or scrapbook paper as a base layer if desired. We just added color right on the books using Kwik Stix.
Glue the printable cover page on the front. You can use decoupage glue for this, school glue, double-sided tape, or rubber cement. Rubber cement is great for attaching the pages, and it is pretty easy to use. Double-sided tape is easy, but it may not stick as well as some of the other options. School glue will also work, but it will take longer to dry and may cause some wrinkles in the paper due to wetness. We used decoupage glue (mostly because I had it readily available) and applied it to the back of the cover paper with a paintbrush. We may add one more layer over the top later for extra protection, but it is holding up great right now!
Just cut the cover page out, add your child’s name (or have them add it), and stick it onto the front of the journal!
Next, you can create a title page. I added the words “All about…” and the kids each wrote their names. This is a great way to record how they write their names at the very start.
My favorite part of our “Every-Year Book” Keepsake is the portrait section! This part was my mom’s idea. She said it would be neat if the kids would make self portraits every year so you could see how their view of themself (and their skills) change over the years. Right now, both of my boys are into art, but their portraits would have looked a lot differently even a year ago.
I placed a two-sided mirror between my two boys so they could see themselves for their portraits.
My oldest chose to do a “realistic” drawing, and started his by outlining it in pencil.
My youngest went straight for his Kwik Stix!
My youngest was so excited to use his Kwik Stix that he decided to continue adding more and more. He loves to ride his scooter, so he added that to his picture.
Kwik Stix tempura paint sticks come in a wide variety of colors. Our pack has 24 different colors, including neon colors and metallic colors, so your child can create anything they want and let their personalities shine through their self portraits. They also offer other size packs, even Thin Stix if your child wants to add finer details.
The questions are different for the first day of school and the last day of school. The first day of school questions are questions that look forward, where the last day of school questions mostly look back over the school year. This offers you the opportunity to go back and compare answers each year, to compare handwriting and spelling, and just to overall see the growth in your children over the years and their changes in taste.
Once your child has completed his or her self portrait, cut out and glue on the printable label with the grade they are currently in. You are welcome to print multiples of the sheets, since you will need two of the grade labels a year and multiple questionnaires over the years. Again, you can find the printables below.
Both of my boys filled out the same questions. My younger boy only filled out a small amount then had me write the bigger answers, and my older boy filled it all out on his own. We used a tape measure to check their heights the day we filled it out. I’m excited to see how it all changes over the years (and I wish we had started this sooner!)
Before you glue the “About Me” page to your journal, let the kids add some wonderful colors around the edges where the paper will not cover. They can add stripes, polkadots, a solid color, or random splashes of color!
We did the pages so the portrait would be on the front and the back would have the questionnaire. This way each first day and last day of school has a page to itself.
The boys were so happy with their self portraits!
Make these at home or at school! Set a time to make them together with the kids around the first day of school and the last day of school! You don’t have to do them on the exact day (we didn’t!) but they are a great way to mark the years and watch your littles grow into amazing young adults. Look back at your yearbooks for years to come and find joy in the memories.