Elliott comes home with artwork almost every day and then there’s the artwork he does when he’s at home. Apart from the paper with a little bit of scribble, I’ve kept quite a lot of it. I’ve come to the realization that I simply cannot maintain the keeping of every single piece of artwork. For a long time I wanted to think that I’d keep almost everything and couldn’t understand why parents seemed so keen to throw artwork away. Now I understand.
So I’ve been looking into some ideas that are going to hopefully help me with the process of deciding what to keep and what to throw and then what to do with them once I’ve done the cull. I still haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do yet, probably a selection of these great ideas.
14 Things to do with childrens’ artwork
1. Your child’s favourite artwork
Have your child choose their favourite artwork of the day/week/month/year so you aren’t the one throwing the artwork away. Pick one and frame it. Frame a new piece each month. How proud will they be!?
2. Box it
Create a box that you fill with the best of your children’s artwork. Before putting the artwork into the box, write their name on it and the date. When it’s full, go through the box and throw away the ones not good enough to keep. But how do you know which ones are good enough to keep?
3. It’s gotta have meaning
Always opt to keep artwork with meaning, artwork that shows imagination and experiences or that includes handwriting. If your child has drawn a picture of the family with legs coming out of their heads, a picture of a camping trip, or has written their own name for the first time, these are the pieces to keep and are much better than keeping a worksheet or a colouring in page.
4. Take a photograph
Take a picture of your child/ren with their artwork so you can see them growing along with their artistic skills and then throw the artwork away (minus the few good enough to keep).
5. Collage it
At the end of each year, cut down the artwork into ones that have some substance and make a collage, frame it and hang it.
6. Use an App
Use the Artkive app to take photos of your children’s artwork which will then be saved to your Smartphone. You can then tag names, dates and descriptions using the app. The app even allows you to select images and print out a book. No need to keep heaps of bulky artwork with this app.
7. Same type of artwork? Pick one.
If you see the same type of artwork in one week or month, pick the best and turf the rest.
8. None of the bulky stuff
Avoid keeping anything that’s bulky and hard to store. Consider taking a photo of it instead.
9. Photobook it
Take photos of the artwork instead and create a photo book using one of the many photo book companies.
10. Screensaver it
Take photos of the best artwork and use as a screensaver.
11. Expanda file it
Use an expanda file and allocate each section for a year. Once it becomes too full, sort it and cull.
12. Make a calendar
Make a calendar with a company like Vistaprint, using a piece of artwork for each month’s images.
13. Create an art gallery
Allocate a wall in your home as an art gallery. Use frames, string or wire to hang your children’s favourite artwork for the month. Any artwork that doesn’t make the gallery goes to the bin.
14. Frame it
Buy a frame that will hold multiple pieces of paper. Frame the artwork and as your child creates new artwork for the frame, add it to the front. When there are several pieces in there, hole punch them and put them in a folder labeled with the year.
How do you decide what to keep or toss? What do you do with the artwork you do keep?
Today I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT