My kid is a great artist! And by great, I mean prolific – every single day he brings home from the gym with new pages meticulously colored. Then there’s the library crafts he does on a weekly basis. And his Sunday school designs. Plus, the creative projects he makes with his Oma a couple of days a week when she’s watching him. He’s only four and hasn’t even begun VPK yet, let alone full-day school, so I can only imagine his artwork output in the future.
As you can see, he makes his creations with the help of many people, not usually me, because I am NOT a great artist. I am, however, an art lover who wants to help my boys love the art world as much as I do. One way I try to make this happen is through books, and we have a good selection of ones about art and art museums. I highly recommend Andy Warhol’s Colors, The Day the Crayons Quit, and the Mini Masters series, since they are favorites of my kids.
My art-storing plan (I’m an attorney, I need plans and rules to thrive) is to save the best pieces of art as well as his favorites and totally toss out the rest when he’s not looking. I can imagine you are thinking – what if he’s the next Picasso and I will regret not saving each and every single creation by the Hen?! Well, I don’t have the time or the space for that so our budding artist will need to settle for only a few pieces saved.
My Artwork Storage Rules
Rule 1: When in doubt, throw it out. Show no mercy, but do it in the evenings after bedtime and then take the garbage outside so he can’t see his “precious” (we’ve been reading The Hobbit) in the next morning when he’s clearing the table.
Rule 2a: If unsure about whether to keep it or not, I take a picture of the art and put it in a stack with other possible keepers. After a week or so, if he hasn’t asked about it or I haven’t thought about it, then I throw it away (but at least we have a digital copy of its coolness).
Rule 2b: Some projects are functional – like his bug goggles – so he plays with them until they irreparably break. Others, like his many coloring pages, are collected and will form a book once he declares it is ready. At that point, I will staple them and he can admire his artwork in book form.
Rule 3: Finally, the best ones (judged by any of us to be our favorites) are first hung in a designated picture frame for everyone to view and are later put into his keepsake box once a new artwork needs to be displayed.
This process has whittled down our art project clutter from hundreds of designs to a handful of creatively lovely pictures. And we can always go through his keepsake box later if we decide it has become too full.
Or Just Pinterest It
This works for our family, but if you are looking for other ideas, you can jump down the Pinterest wormhole and find five billion and seven more ways to showcase and save your child’s artwork. Here are three to get you started:
- Storing Kid Artwork by Laura Radniecki
- Making an Art Book like Creative Green Living
- 9 Creative Ideas for Storing and Preserving Your Kids’ Schoolwork by Life As Mama