From early on in a child’s life, every parent is faced with the situation where their child proudly presents them with copious amounts of ‘artwork’ (by which I mean random scribbles on a page or paint splattered across cardboard) for them to admire and cherish.
You have a few options with the way you handle this artwork:
- You can admire it and place it on the fridge with all the other ‘artwork’ you have received, which leaves to you having to timidly open and close your fridge to avoid dislodging the masterpieces.
- You can file it away somewhere safe, such as an archive box for keepsakes. You just have to make sure you have enough storage room for at least 10 years of artwork.
- You can frame and display the best work and then file the rest in that special round file (aka the bin).
- You can photograph it and then eventually print a book of your child’s artwork. This leaves you free to share the love, by passing on the original artwork to those nice garbage men who come visit each week.
- You can use the artwork as personally designed cards and wrapping for family gifts.
- You can give them to proud grandparents, aunts and uncles so that if they choose to throw it away, at least it is on their conscience and not yours!
With my first born, I was so proud of her first attempts at artwork that I kept every little drawing, finger painting and craft item she made at home, pre-school, playgroup etc. My plan was to give her this box of keepsakes once she left home. After several years and several boxes of artwork, we moved house. Prior to the move I opened up the boxes to review the artwork and came to realization that she was no Picasso and that neither of us was ever going to do anything with the boxes other than let them sit on a shelf collecting dust. I made the executive decision to throw them away to de-clutter. The important thing was the excitement at the time and the attention I gave her for her achievement – not the actual physical ‘artworks’.
We are lucky that our children’s school does a lovely portfolio of their work throughout the year, so at the end of the year we get a sample of their work stored in a handy folder that the kids can keep and review in years to come. That frees us up to dispose of other artwork, unless it of a particularly high standard.
What do you do with your children’s artwork? Feel free to share, so I can let other parents know strategies for dealing with their budding artist’s catalogue of work.
(Image courtesy of hinnamsaisuy, freedigitalphotos.net)