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Land of Nod

Originally I wasn’t going to post this under the Collecting Style heading, but the truth is most of us parents end up with a collection of our children’s artwork whether we intend to or not.

I mean, who can just toss those colorful painted, crayon-ed, macaroni-ed glimpses of your child’s development? Maybe you more lionhearted folks, but not me.  And what makes those pieces a collection is their emotional value to you as a parent. No, they’re not high-brow antiques, but they are special mementos of happy times. I’d say that qualifies them to hold a spot under the collection umbrella.

So, how to deal with the loads you’ve got? Here are a few tips.

1- Organize your child’s artwork as soon as she brings it home from school. Letting it pile up with the rest of the school papers will result in wrinkles and tears and probably bits of broken up macaroni in your to-do pile.

2- Buy a storage bin or file. When artwork comes home, discuss with your child whether he’d like to display the artwork or put it in the “art box.” Help him choose the pieces you both like best for display. Then, file the rest.

3- Clean out the art box after each school year, each semester if your child is younger (he’ll be bringing home more artwork in second grade than in fifth, for example). Have him help you decide which pieces to keep and which to toss. My son is usually more than willing to give up some of the crumpled up pieces with falling-off yarn and fuzzy balls when he knows we can fit other, better pieces in his art box.

That’s another thing–determine that you’ll only keep the things that fit in the art box. That will help you and your child weed out worksheets he colored in preschool in favor of his egg carton caterpillar and laminated paper weavings.

4- Label each piece of artwork (if it’s not already labeled by her or her teacher) with your child’s name, grade, teacher’s name, and the date. You’ll both be delighted to look at the projects together from time to time and recall the fun she had creating that particular piece. Plus, you’ll have a sampling of work from each school year to display at her high school graduation (clever, no?).

5- Display your child’s artwork! From actual framing to a clothesline of rotating pieces, there are endless creative ways to show off your little artist’s talents.

Here are a few ideas:

clockwise from top left: photo collage, curtain rod and rings, memory binders, yardstick mobile, wall of pictures, clipboards, frame wall decals

Share your ideas/tips in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo, S