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Pinboard puts the family on notice

  • Chicago Tribune
  • Published Thursday, August 15, 2013, at 12:27 p.m.

If you want to be dead-sure you don’t forget that field trip permission slip/ticket to the play/map of the bike paths, stick it directly in your line of sight – in other words, on the wall.

Enter the trusty pin board. Put one up, dress it up a little bit, and embrace the fact that life comes with reminders, sometimes of the paper sort.

The board: Go for one that covers the wall space you can devote to it – the bigger the better. Look like you mean it, not like you’re hiding your pin board.

The covering: That said, why not hide your pin board? Though natural cork or sleek white or black metal (should you prefer a magnet board) have their appeal, a classic corkboard can easily be dressed up with patterned paper (try wallpaper) or fabric to give it a look that suits you.

The pins: Treat your kids to some novelty pins – you can find them in office supply stores, gift stores, craft stores. Our latest favorites look like paper airplanes stuck into the board, but giant colorful ones run a close second. One warning: Big pins make big holes in your board and may not stay up as well as the standard sizes.

The extras: Using picture-hanging strips, we added a small chalkboard for each child, creating a custom message-leaving spot. Chalk, tied up with twine, was stuck into the board nearby using pushpins.

Another option: attaching a pocket for each person to serve as an in-box for stuff that doesn’t need pinning.

The red alert: It isn’t actually red, but each child now is the proud owner of a paper arrow that reads, “LOOK MOM!” It could point to their new artwork, or to a permission slip that needs a signature.

The fun: Anything that needs a prominent, but not a permanent, home can go on the board. A snapshot from the class party, a postcard, a blue ribbon, a piece of artwork – all can serve to make the board an ever-changing portrait of what’s going on in your house, and a fun place to look. (Which means you might see that field trip note in the nick of time.)

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