Aug 25, 2008

Oodles of Artwork

Now that school has started does the front of your refrigerator look like mine? I already have six or seven pieces of artwork my two younger children made during the first week of school. They rush home, excited to show it to me and then we give it a place of honor on the front of the refrigerator. Unfortunately, the pieces start to pile up and soon there isn't any room left and everytime my ten year old slams the refrigerator door, half of them go flying. I've been researching some solutions and I'd like to share some ideas with you.

One of my favorite ways to keep the memory of every piece of wonderful artwork is to use a camera. Take a picture of your child with his or her art whether it is a painting, a drawing, or a 3-D project. Now, not only do you have a great visual of the art, but you also have a great memory of what your child looked like when they made that special project.

Grandpa and Grandma would like nothing more than to receive original artwork from your child. You could even frame the best pieces so they can display them on their wall. Another fun idea is to use larger pieces as gift wrapping.

Throughout the school year, scan your childs artwork into the computer. At the end of the year, create a slideshow with the artwork from an entire school year. Also include pictures throughout the year and put it to music. My son watches his preschool video over and over. It's a fun way to compile a years' worth of memories in a small storage space.

It would be practically impossible to keep every piece of artwork your child creates. Yes, I admit it, I throw some of it away! I buy a large 3 or 4 inch binder for each of my children. I fill it with plastic sheet protectors and throughout the school year as they bring home art projects, writing assignments, 100% spelling tests--really whatever they think they want to keep--I put it in their binder. At the end of the school year, each child gets a 1 inch binder they can decorate and then they have to go through the larger binder and narrow their projects down to whatever will fit in the smaller one. This ensures that you only keep the most important items and helps to minimize the storage space required, and your child has a binder full of memories for each year of school.

Buy a portable file box from an office supply store then help your child create their very own filing system. Keep it simple--perhaps a folder for 1st grade artwork, 1st grade writing, 2nd grade artwork, etc. All the artwork will be organized and accessible and you'll teach your child valuable organization and filing skills.

Each of my children have a memory box. It is a large plastic storage container that is flat enough to slide under their bed. They use it to put anything they want in it. (I even had a daughter who went through a stage of keeping all the tags she got off her new clothing.) They can fill it to their hearts' content. There's only one rule once the box is full. In order to put something new in, they have to take something old out and throw it away, donate it--you get the picture. This would be an option for saving the artwork that is most meaningful to them.

I hope some of these ideas have sparked your imagination and given you some storage solutions for all the precious artwork your little ones' bring home. If you have other ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Return to the Neighborhood.


Cathy Witbeck said...

Great ideas, Kim. You can get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that kids bring home, but you don't want to throw out their hard work either. You have come up with some great alternatives. Thanks for sharing.

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