Have you ever been knee-high in your kids' artworks? Does your little one constantly bring home masterpieces from daycare, preschool or school? Do you love their art, want to foster creativity but not know what to do with all their creations? It's all a bit overwhelming, isn't it? I'm sure Kirsty from Project Sort would have an option on this (read her blog post here), but for today's post, it's just going to be little old me (read about me here) sharing what I do with my own children's works plus a few extra ideas I've come across in my journey as both a teacher and a mum.
Sentimental people find letting go of things like their children's artworks very very difficult. After all, they have been lovingly and thoughtfully created by their offspring and that specific moment of creation will never happen again. That period of your child's life will never happen again. Never again will they be 4 years 3 months and 12 days old. The fear of letting go of an artwork I'm sure is associated with the fear of your child growing up! And the act of keeping each and every painting is really an act of holding on to the now and savoring the current stage - your child's, your family's, your motherhood. However, as Marie Kondo preaches, memories don't actually live in objects. They live in your mind. And we can't literally hang on to years and years of paintings!
So here are my top tips:
Continue to encourage your child artistically. Art and creativity is absolutely invaluable to the development and wellbeing of a child. If you're after a fun way to keep your little one artistically engaged, check out my Mini Artiste Club.
Choose the best artworks and deal with the rest. Yeah, fat chance, say many of you and I relate! This feels like a daunting task for many. Start by sorting into "absolute keepers" and "other." Absolute keepers might be ones that spark joy or remind you of a great day you had together or a milestone of some sort.
For the artworks that you do keep, consider how you store them. A clear sleeve display folder kept in darkness is ideal. Your little one may be the next Picasso and how amazing would it be if you kept their first artwork in prime condition!
Leave it a week or so and look again at the "other" pile. Sort it into "keepers" and "repurpose" and "discard" pile. Scan the "keepers" then add them physically to the "repurpose" pile. Keep the scanned files digitally on a device or in the cloud or print them out as little albums. Secretly discard the discard pile. This hurts. Do it fast.
Talk to your child about the "repurpose" collection. Discuss that people would love their artworks as gifts, wrapping, cards or that your child could even create a new artwork from existing ones in a collage.
Use the bigger "repurpose" ones as wrapping paper. I just love this idea as I love gift wrapping, art and sentimentality so it's the perfect combo.
Oh and if you want to create a sophisticated art display wall for your kids' latest works, check out another of my blog posts - click here..
I hope you've found these tips helpful. Share below your own art storage solutions!