These tips for using printables with kids will help you learn how to re-use printables year over year, and how to store them for future use.
We love using free printables for kids in our house. There are three main tips for using printables with kids that I have. These will allow you to re-use printables, save on ink and paper costs, and keep your printables organized to use these year over year.
Best Tips for Using Printables with Kids
When you first hear about a printable, you might think a couple of things:
- that seems like a giant waste of resources, namely ink and paper
- oh this is a great way to save on kids activities! they are free!
While number 1 can be true, number 2 is definitely true. So, how can we turn using printables into a savings without destroying the environment by printing and throwing away over and over again? Here are a couple of tips for using printables with kids that will help do just that.
Save money on ink
This has been one of my favorite little tips and tricks. If you haven’t yet heard about Hp Instant Ink, it will change your printable life.
This is a cartridge replacement service that connects to your HP printer. It knows when your ink is low and ships new cartridges right to your door for a monthly fee depending on your usage. I pay $2.99 a month for this service and haven’t needed to go buy more ink from a store in years, and I end up saving money in the long run for sure.
Plus, I don’t even need to think about it!
Ways to re-use your printables for years
Depending on what you are printing, we have two ways to keep your printables lasting over time so that you can re-use them, a large savings in ink and paper if you are re-printing each time to use instead.
- laminating printables
- using dry erase pouches
Laminating is a more permanent solution, whereas the dry erase pockets allow for you to place a printable inside, keep it for a season, then swap it out. Both can be used with dry erase markers (which kids always find fun to use anyway!).
We choose laminating for printable board games primarily so that we can play them over and over. Drinks spill and wipe off, they can be disinfected, and game pieces stand up much better.
We use dry erase pouches for printables that kids can write on, for example for I spy games, scavenger hunts, pattern worksheets etc. This allows multiple children to use the same printable, and for children to use the printables for years.
Simply place the printed sheet inside the dry erase pouch for use, then take it out when finished and place it in one of the organization storage ideas below for future use!
Printable Organization and Storage
Using printables over and over, or for multiple years requires good storage and organization. Imagine if every Fall you could reach into your Fall folder, find what you need, and place it in a dry erase pouch?
It actually takes the planning out of it and turns printables into easy boredom busters for kids.
To organize printables, opt for an expandable file folder or a filing system organized by theme, season, holiday etc. This will make it easy to re-use printables year over year, cutting down on the cost of buying new games and workbooks and using the printables found here over and over again.
I have a filing system that includes multiple expandable file folders. These include one for printable games, one for holiday content, and one for seasonal content. Then within these I have tabs for different types of printables or broken down by season/holiday.
Once you start using all of these tips for using printables with kids, you will be on your way to not only saving money and time, but will keep your kids learning and busy while having fun!
Printables for Kids to Check Out
- Printable Camping Games for Kids
- Free Printable Board Games for Kids
- Printable Bookmarks for Kids
- Fall Printables for Kids
- Spring-Themed Printable Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Summer Bingo Printable Game for Kids
- Printable Winter Games for Toddlers
- Christmas Printables for Kids
- Space Activities for Kids: Sensory, Art & Printables!
- Summer Writing Prompts Printable Sheets for Kids
HP instant ink