Solution for Your Kiddo's Ever-growing Collection of School Art Creations + Halloween Tips

Our local supermarket has Halloween candy and scary witches on display, so that can mean only one thing in New Jersey—school is about to open. Annually, each and every elementary school student produces, on average, 331* metric tons of precious artwork; add another 11* tons if they attend summer camp. Some of the items are small enough to fit on the refrigerator door, and all of them are worth keeping forever. Short of renting offsite storage space to house and curate their youngsters' souvenirs of academia, how do sentimental parents cope?

[ *Author's estimate based on absolutely nothing. ]

We'll get to the aforementioned solution in a minute. It's called Scribble and you're going to like it. First, however, we talk supermarkets.

Halloween at the Supermarket
I don't fault grocers for getting a 60+ day head start on All Hallows' Eve or any holiday for that matter. They have only a few weeks to push out several tons of cavity makers. Once November 1st arrives, leftover holiday-themed candy is as unwanted as an unwrapped Tootsie Pop.

Black-and-orange candy and ghost caricatures abound where I shop. Thankfully, most of the scary witches have been replaced by self-checkout scanning stations, but there are still a couple who appear out of nowhere when the scanner squawks, "Unexpected item found in bagging area."

After a quick pat down and a severe dose of stink eye, the witches fade back into the bread aisle.

Old Bags
I see dozens of old bags at the grocery every week. In New Jersey, retailers are forbidden from providing bags for their customers; shoppers must bring their own. Consequently, you see old bags everywhere. Ostensibly the law was enacted to protect the environment. If they really want to have an impact, the state should issue every citizen a war surplus canteen and totally eliminate plastic water bottles.

This is happening in a state where by law we are not allowed to dispense gasoline into our own cars. Don't ask me why.

Who Wants in On This?
I'm vaguely considering opening a chain of supermarkets called "Singles," stores where everything is sold in portion sizes suitable for one person. We'll sell solo-size packages of frozen fish sticks and Dove bars and Kraft Singles Cheese Slices, and all the rest, and have a combination martini and latte bar, where single people buying single portions can meet and mingle and work on becoming a couple, after which they are no longer allowed to shop therein. Want in? Message me on our Facebook page.

The Solution for Your Kiddo's School Art Collection
Instead of 437 Rubbermaid Clearvestore plastic tubs with lids and a few dozen miscellaneous containers, trailers and boxcars filled with priceless child art, use Scribble to create a stunning hardcover photo book that you'll treasure forever.

It's easy because Scribble takes all the work out of it.

1. Start by snapping a picture of said artwork. Include 3D items like decorated coffee cans and clay figurines. The images don't have to be perfect. In fact, you might want to have your child do the photography. Scribble will straighten the images and remove unwanted backgrounds.

2. Upload the images to Scribble.

3. Scribble uses proprietary "Automagic Book Creation" algorithms to enhance the pics. Then it creates a photo book. Books are printed on 100# premium matte paper.

4. Several collaborators can work on a Scribble book, so its benefits are fully available to those who are coparenting.

You must publish at least 24 images, but you don't have to upload them all at the same time; you can handle the inflow as it arrives. And of course you can add more pages. Each page displays one piece of artwork. You can add captions and descriptions if you want.

Price for a 24-page 8.5 x 8.5 inch book is $39.99. For a book that's 8.5 x 11, it's $49.99. Optionally you may add additional pages at 30¢ per page; that means you can enjoy a 50-page book for just an additional $7.20. Maximum page count is 200 per book. Shipping to the lower 48 states is free.

Cost includes a FREE digital version you can share with grandparents, teachers and jealous cousins.

Imagine how wonderful it could be to revisit your child's collection of Scribble books when your kids are suddenly 20-somethings. Everyone tells you how fast your offspring grow up. Scribble won't slow the experience down but it does provide something to cherish in a timeless fashion.

Off topic again. On a very serious note, reduce your speed in School Zones. If you live in New Jersey, reduce your speed period. And watch out for kids because they seldom watch out for cars.

…and On Halloween
Don't let children under 30 trick-or-treat alone. When someone leaves a full bowl of candy on their porch, don't assume it's all for you. Never buy the kind of candy you like for Halloween—and take all the surplus sweets to work the next day so everyone can fatten up equally. If you wear dentures or have fillings, avoid Tootsie Rolls and Kraft Caramels (don't say I didn't warn you). Never try to chew a Jolly Rancher. If you want to skip the holiday hoopla but not be a spoilsport, turn off all your lights on October 31st and instead mail a $100 check to the American Cancer Society or St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Halloween candy is expensive but children are priceless.

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