9 Ways A Printer Makes Family Life More Fun

My son came home from school the other day with a photo frame he’d painted all purple; Max has been obsessed with the color for a few years now. (Kind of like Picasso’s blue period, but purple.)

He couldn’t wait to get a photo in there. “You want to put a picture of Mommy?” I asked. Nope. He wanted a picture of Max. And so, I ran upstairs to my office, printed out a recent picture of him downing ice-cream at a Ben & Jerry’s factory during our recent Vermont vacation, cut it out and slid it into his frame.

It took all of three minutes, and made Max super-happy.

This is just one of the many times our printer, an HP Officejet 6500 Wireless, has come to my rescue (and brought on bliss). So when I was asked to share my love for all things printing, I jumped on it.

Other ways our printer keeps it fun for our family:

• Halloween decorations. The kids and I print out pictures of ghosts and scary creatures to tape up around the house and on the windows and, for the big day itself, a “TRICK OR TREAT?” sign we hang on our front porch. Tip Junkie has a great list of free Halloween printables; ditto for the Halloween Signs Pinterest board and the 150 Best Halloween Ideas list on Craftionary. If you happen to be a super-creative mom, like this girl’s is, you could pretty much put together any sort of design and print it out. (“Happy Glam-o-ween”—how cute is that?!) But if you’re like me, “BOO!” will do.

• Car games. Before we go on road trips, I’ll print out free board games to play in the car or the hotel room. Keeps the kids amused and prevents “Are we there yet?” whining. Education.com has a cool selection.

• Handprint memories. Every once in a while, since the kids were little, I’ve placed their hands on the printer and made copies. They get a kick out of doing it, and our collection of handprints shows how much they’ve grown as much as photos do.

• Name plaques. Try this and you will seriously increase your mom cool factor: Place small paper clips on the printer glass so they form a mirror image of your child’s name. Carefully close cover so you don’t mess up the design and hit “Copy.” Hang result on his bedroom door.

Nature prints. In the fall, the kids collect leaves, acorns and pine cones, we make copies of them, and hang them in the playroom for some fab fall decor.

• Gift tags. My little girl and I like to troll Pinterest for gift tags we can print out; we’re both obsessed with the board Printable Tags and Labels.

Presents! Come December, the kids and I will be making a few personalized calendars t0 give as gifts; there are a bunch of free calendar templates out there, like the ones on MyCalendar. We’ll add photos and captions, type in family birthdays, print it out on thick paper stock, staple, and we’ve got Grandma’s gift good to go.

• Card designs. The kids usually like to create their own holiday cards. We make a couple of designs, then color copy a bunch. Typically, the cards are more of a hit with relatives than the gifts are!

A big thanks to HP for partnering with us on this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion. 

Image: Halloween, Anders Ruff Custom Designs; Gift tags; Flickr/heatherknitz

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