As our children head back to school we can be certain of one thing:
Their artwork is coming home.
Brace yourselves, because in a few weeks time you’ll have anything from painted rice glued onto colorful paper to the first drafts of great essays. So what are you going to keep and where are you going to store it?
I love my children’s artwork. I love the crinkled up notes with secret messages and the large canvases that they splash paint on. I don’t, however, love a crowded storage area which is what I end up with if I don’t send a lot of their art right back out the door. It wasn’t easy at first, but once you have a system in place that your kiddos understand and agree with, maybe you’ll find some of that peace that I did.
First off, it’s important that your kids agree on where the arts and crafts go. Have you ever worked hard on a project just to have it trashed, lost, or unappreciated? It hurts- and for children it could put a halt to their creativity. Make sure that you all agree on where their work goes.
With that being said I have a few ideas for what to do with those masterpieces:
Take a picture –This is great for chalk and whiteboard art; also for those playdoh sculptures. You can take pictures and make a photobook for each grade, season or calendar year. Coffee table book anyone? Scan all the photos and upload them where you can easily post online or email to loved ones. Bonus- do this with all your paperwork! We just got rid of a filing cabinet and our office area is now paperfree after a night spent scanning.
Gift it– Send some goodies to your family and friends. Fill frames, make ornaments, or laminate the art and turn it into bookmarks. You can also take your favorite drawing and turn it into jewelry or wood decor.
Use it– That’s right, you can use their art! With their help you can turn paint and colorings into greeting cards, gift tags and bunting. If they paint on a roll of paper, you can use that as wrapping paper.
Yearly memory box or binder –If you completely can’t throw anything away, (hey I was once you!) then try to limit yourself to one box or binder. The limit will have you examining everything carefully before you throw it in. The boxes will stack up, and especially if you have more than one child, but for some it could help.
Display it– We use the Ikea curtain wire to hang paper art the twins make. If you can’t make it to Ikea, there are lots of diy hanging ideas on Pinterest. I used this frame from Target for my letters my niece would send to me when she was younger and it did the job. If one frame won’t cut it, (it won’t for us anymore) then try a wall of frames. Have a mock art gallery showing and invite family or just put on the fridge with magnets.
I didn’t start the art work clean up until they turned four because that’s when it seemed our house turned into a small studio. I also understand that eventually the finger paints and air dry clay will be things of the past. Children grow and it happens almost in the blink of an eye. We won’t always have piles of art so make sure that whatever you do with it all of it, that you appreciate the work and creativity put into everything. Let’s keep the creativity alive and see where it takes them!
Let’s see your child’s artwork! Tag us- #sdmomsblog