It seems that as soon as my daughter learned how to put crayon to paper, a little artist was born. From blobs to hearts to people, her skills have grown as she has. As delighted as I am to watch my child draw and create, I also feel burdened by the piles and piles and piles of drawings scattered around my home.
I’m not a sentimental person by nature, and I do live as a bit of a minimalist, but even this heart struggles to toss away these beautiful memories. I do it anyway, but, whenever, possible, I follow one of these awesome tips for preserving my little one’s creations:
Turn Your Child’s Artwork in Wrapping Paper or Cards
What a great way to reduce, reuse and recycle! Take those colourful paintings, the ones splattered with bright hues and some creatively placed hand-prints and finger-swirls, and wrap up small gifts with them. If you think about it, wrapping paper is such a waste – where does it usually end up after the gift is opened? Yup, the garbage. Maybe your little one’s art will end up there too, but at least it has served a dual purpose in its lifetime.
If you are looking for a solution with a bit more longevity, turn your child’s art into a card. Simply cut out shapes from those swirly paintings, or figures from more still-life focused drawings, and glue them to card stock. One meaningful message written on the inside later and you have the perfect personal card to give to a friend or family member.
Rotate a Wall Display
Set up a frame, bulletin board or picture clothesline to display your little one’s artwork. As new art arrives, switch out the pieces you display. Try to keep each piece on the frame, board or line for a few days so your child can enjoy having their creations on display.
Once their artwork comes down from the wall, here are some ideas as to what to do with it:
Make a Scrapbook or Memory Box
You can begin taking some of their more exceptional pieces and gluing them into a scrapbook. This is a great way to preserve their art and is a perfect way for them to revisit their childhood imagination as they grow older.
If scrapbooking is not your thing (it certainly isn’t mine), decorate a box and store their creations there. Someday, your child will delight in opening the box and looking through their wonderful drawings and paintings.
Give it to Grandma and Grandpa
There’s only so much a box or scrapbook can hold, so why not give some artwork to your little one’s grandparents or other special family members? We all now how most grandparents love to gush over everything their grandchildren do – and artwork is the perfect way for them to display their bragging rights!
Plus, this puts the responsibility on them whether or not to follow my final tip:
(Hee, hee, hee.)
Let It Go!
You can’t keep everything from your little one’s childhood. At some point you have to decide which onesies, toys, books, locks of hair, baby teeth and artwork you are going to keep and which you are going to turf. As I mentioned, I am a bit of a minimalist, so to toss some of my daughter’s drawings into the recycle bin is not that difficult for me – but I understand how difficult it can be for some parents.
I allow myself to keep the “firsts”: first scribbles, first happy face, first self-portrait, first Paw Patrol or Dora drawn from memory. From there, anything that is a repeat gets tossed. Think of the progression of your child’s artistic skills in terms of “firsts”, much like a first lost tooth or first haircut. Hang on to those magical moments.
Turf the rest.