Rare is the home without this first-world problem: What do we do with all of these projects, artwork, and other creations our kids are making at school/camp/daycare?
A few parents who have somehow overcome their American-sentimentality-tendencies manage to sneak a good portion of the macaroni paintings into the trash unnoticed. But even the most cold-hearted of parents may find themselves confronted by these piercing words from a kindergarten angel with a furrowed brow, “Mommy? Where are my turkey hands from school?” And maybe it’s February and you threw away the turkey hands when the cotton-ball snow collage came in in December. Or, maybe you have a box full of artwork and the turkey
hands are mangled under 3 months’ worth of more recent masterpieces. Either way, you are BUSTED! How can this be avoided? How can you keep all of that artwork organized?
My very favorite solution is to take a photo of the art project. If you have an iPhone, get the kidzibit app to organize art from each young artist in your life into their own galleries. You can even use kidzibit to keep track of awards and certificates they earn. You can save photos of 3-D projects as well.
I love this solution because it doesn’t take up physical space, and you can do this as you go. We always have our phones handy, right? So as soon as we are presented with the artwork, we can use this organizing tool right away. This will cut down, or eliminate the piles and build up of artwork and awards waiting to be displayed or filed.
Once you have a picture in your kidzibit gallery, you can use one of the following organizing strategies:
Make a physical gallery
Dedicate one wall to hangable art and one surface of your home to display 3-D projects.The key with this solution is to keep the pieces rotating.
Might I suggest being extremely selective about what goes into the portfolio. Have one portfolio for every 1-2 years, not every 1-2 months! When you went off to college or moved out of your parents’ house, did you want to take a few hundred pounds of childhood artwork? No. Remember that. You are saving this artwork mostly for you. Not for your children.
Play “pick your favorite”
Consider how long it took your child to create the artwork. Let that give you some perspective on how long you need to keep it. The fridge is a nice, very visible space to put this stuff. When your pumpkin makes a new pumpkin picture, ask him which one he likes better and wants to keep up on the fridge for this week.
Share the love
Mailing a piece of kid-art to your parents or other relatives is a great way to keep the piles moving without any guilt. In fact, you actually earn brownie points!
Whatever you chose to do with the art in your life, don’t let it bog you down with guilt. Do what feels right for you. If your mom threw all of your stuff away you are going to be more of a saver and that is fine.
Kids’ art is amazing. Breathe it in and move on.
What other ways do you organize your child’s creations? I wanna know.