N.A. asks from Independence, OH on January 30, 2008
What to Do with "Art" from Preschool?!
My son comes home with plenty of "artwork" from preschool. What should I do with it??? Im starting to get quite the collection. Any ideas mommys??
2 moms found this helpful
C.C. answers from Columbus on February 16, 2008
S.B. answers from Louisville on February 01, 2008
N.H. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
M.W. answers from Toledo on February 01, 2008
T.S. answers from Lexington on January 31, 2008
Theres a couple of things you can do with your childs artwork. I have actually seen kitchens literally wallpapered in kids artwork. It really looked terific. Another thing you can do is frame it in those inexpensive plastic box time frames. They can all be put in your childs room or spread thoughout the house. When you get so many, you can just slide a new one on top of the one in there so theres always something new!
A.U. answers from Dayton on January 31, 2008
M.N. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
1. Get a large mat and frame and choose pictures with like colors and arrange them on some kind of back board... Hang it up for all to see. You can even make it so they can be switched out.
2. Use clear contact paper (like what you used to cover school books with) and cover them and use tham as placemats at the table or as messy mats for home coloring.
3. Mail them with a special messgae to Grandparents or special people in your child's life. You can even frame them for special gifts.
Best of luck to you and your growing collection.
M.G. answers from Cleveland on February 21, 2008
It doesn't stop with preschool, it will be for the next 7 years or so....lol
I save the seriously precious things, and my son and I created a 'ritual' for sending his hard work to "God" (the universe)
Monthly, I take a bin of all of his artwork/schoolwork that we agreed upon and respectfully send it off in our fire pit...
He sees that his work was not in vain, and he allows things to be 'let go'
It is something that we look forward to, sharing his efforts with the Divine......
J.M. answers from Columbus on February 08, 2008
I had a bolt of plain white fabric from the fabric store...
What I did was cut a piece about 5 feet x 5 feet and I sewed about 9 mini black binder clips to it (the kind you use in the office) and we hung it up on a dedicated space on the living room wall. Whenever my daughter would bring home art or if she made some at home, we would "clip" it up for display. After a while, we'd decide which ones could go and which ones to keep. We'd rotate them and sometimes certain pieces would remain in the "permanent collection". The ones we decided to keep we stored in a large scrapbook. The ones that she didn't want to keep got pitched and I didn't feel guilty about it because she decided what to get rid of.
It was like having her very own "art show", not to mention it pepped up the living room.
Now that she's older, the amount of artwork that comes home has dwindled, so has the guilt of throwing so much away. And the trees are happy as well!! :)
M.N. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
R.R. answers from Stationed Overseas on January 30, 2008
My favorite idea came from Family Fun magazine(from another parent.) They said to take digital pictures of the most special artwork, and print them as photos, and then put them in magnetic frames, or just stick a piece of magnet on the back of the actual photo. I did this by laying each piece of artwork on a posterboard in natural daylight (works best)taking the photo, and cropping it on the computer. The grandparents loved getting copies of the artwork photos. Some of the more detailed art projects my children did with different materials were not made to last, so this was a great way to save them forever. It's hard to save everything, but this makes it easier to keepsake some of it.
S.E. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
D.H. answers from Dayton on January 31, 2008
I pitch the "crappy" stuff when they aren't looking:) The neat stuff, or the things they seems to be proud of when they show you, I tape it on their bedroom walls. Free decorating! Also, the laundry/mud room. This way, they see it often! i also hear of taking pictures of the art work
L.M. answers from Columbus on January 30, 2008
As the mother of 4 children, the oldest being 8, I can tell you that the paperwork doesn't get any lighter. My best advice....don't feel guilty!
Here is what I do:
- the kids leave their papers on the counter each day
- I look through them and we talk about them together
- the best ones, prized possessions (according to either my choice or theirs) get hung up immediately. At the same time, something usually has to be taken down to make room.
- we talk about which ones to keep and which ones to not keep. I have a file box in the kitchen and the keepers go in there. so the kids have an idea of how much they are accumulating and I have bargaining power to say 'the box is filling up'.
- at year end, we go through the box together and decide what to keep and what to throw out.
- I try to put dates in the corner of most things to show progress.
- I try to keep a sampling of each of the subject areas - math, etc. In preschool, that is typically just a progression of how well they are writing their name, the cutest, most durable projects, and ones they tell me great stories about which I in turn write on the front or the back of the paper. For instance - that's you, mommy, with a green dinosaur by your head.
- the stuff I keep that will fit, I put in plastic sheets in a 3 ring binder. I have one 3 ring binder per child per every 3 years of school. (and that's still going to be way too much to keep!)
- the bigger artwork I photograph and throw away
- some of the masterpieces we mat and frame and hang to decorate their room or the toyroom.
- and finally, I create a digital scrapbook for each child for every couple years of school. In this digital scrapbook I record my journalings about their accomplishments, teachers, friends, events, etc. I scan in samplings of all their work and special projects and sprinkle it with photos of them at school stuff throughout the year. I do this with my own company PictureYourLife.com (now you see why I'm such a nut and have such a system cracked for this :)
Bottom line.....choose together with the kids what to keep and don't be guilty! What are you realistically going to do with a library of 3 ring binders and old artwork from all the kids when they're 18? That's why the books are so nice too. It condenses everything into a hard bound book and in the end, you'll have 3 or 4 per child by the time they graduate. That is truly manageable.
I think I have such a stringent routine so I don't become my mother with box after box of our old school papers just collecting dust in their attic :)
Hope this helps!
Heritage Makers Independent Consultant and Director
Mom of 4 with a full time job LOVING LIFE! See how I do it at......www.HowWeCanHaveItAll.com
S.P. answers from Cleveland on January 30, 2008
M.S. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
J.A. answers from Norfolk on January 31, 2008
I have made a lot of his 'art' into the art we decorate our house with. I bought a few of those easy to use certificate frames - they just pop apart - and I replace the 'art' in those every few weeks. I have them all over the house.
Obviously the fridge is covered with it. I've even tacked one that has those little puff balls on it on the wall in the guest bathroom - the colors matched!
The rest, and after they are displayed, I put in a folder labeled with his age. The truth - some of them I toss. The puff balls are hard to store and one one can only take so much glitter!
J.M. answers from Lexington on January 31, 2008
M.E. answers from Lexington on January 31, 2008
how about framing a few of his favorites and hanging them in his room...you can change them out periodically as he brings nre ones home and putting the rest into a photo album. when he wants to look at his work all he has to is get out the album...also a great way for him to show off his talents to visitors like garndma and gramdpa...with out taking up all your fridge/ wall space.
C. answers from Cleveland on January 30, 2008
J.V. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
Good question! I had the same one a few years ago and a friend offered the solution that works great for us... I have a short rubbermaid under-the-bed tote that I put everything from that school year inside. Towards the end of the school year, we sit down, go through the tote and pick out the 'best' or the favorites. I mark that stack for the school year and just put it back in. When she graduates, I will have some of her best work to display at her graduation party! It is also a great place for grade cards, pictures of school plays and anything else school related! Hope this helps!
J.C. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
J.Z. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
Get some clear page protectors and a binder. You can use permanent markers to jazz up the front of it by saying "Sons Name Artwork!! and let him color the front of it. Then just put the artwork in the protectors and clip into the binder. We do this with our son since I don't want to throw them away but I would like to keep them nice and also, he can flip the pages like he is reading a book, but now it is him who created the book.
A.D. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
Start a file. At first you can have a folder for every month, then when you have 6 months worth, go through it (involve your son if you think he'd like to) and pick out 2 or 3 to keep. Keep doing this until you have just a few per year to keep as a reminder of how fast they grow. :D
You can send the extras to family and friends as handmade note paper or use them to wrap packages. Or just recycle.
J.K. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
My kids have been bringing soooo much artwork from chruch and school for a few years now. I have to admitt I do throw away some! AHHHHH! But most of the stuff I have taped to the inside of their walk in closets and mine. If you do not have the big closets, tape them to the inside of pantry doors or cabinets. Play room walls,up and down the walls going to the basement, and even bedroom walls. My best friend who have 5 children actually frames a lot of their artwork and hangs them that way.( All neatly, of course) Hope this helps!
B.M. answers from Louisville on February 23, 2008
Hi, N.. This is my first time on Mamasource, and your question about your son's artwork popped up. I know you asked for advice a while ago, and I didn't read the responses, so someone may have already suggested this. I have 3 kids, ages 11 to 2. I could never keep all of their artwork, so I know how you feel! I keep favorites that I can tell they have put a lot of effort into, or important "firsts". I file those away. Once the fridge is too cluttered with the other artwork, I take pictures of each child surrounded by their work, or holding it if possible. Hope that helps with your son's work! I got the idea from a magazine a long time ago. :)
A.M. answers from Louisville on January 31, 2008
M.B. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
K.W. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
Check out www.mylittleauthor.com. For about $40 you can send in your child's artwork and they will scan it and turn it into either a soft or hard cover book. This was the best idea EVER! Especially for those of us who have every intention of scrapbooking and never have the time. The site walks you through the process. I created a keepsake book of my 2 year old's art in under an hour! By the way, they also send your originals back to you.
N.H. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
J.O. answers from Cleveland on January 30, 2008
Save a few of the nicer ones "my neice's husband's grandparents" (whewww)
save some special pictures that he had drawn as a little guy, (two stick people) and then had them framed and gave them to him as a wedding gift, just save the better ones i personally have a box with a lid that i save all my son things in. It is nice to look back on them at the end of the year and then some of them i use as a background page for one of his scrapbooking pages.
M.D. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
I have 2 kids ages 12 and 21. I learned to be picky about what to keep. Find a large envelope (10 x 17) if you can get one and put the year on it. Then pick through the art that truly has meaning. Usually projects that looked generic I tossed. Stuff that had handprints or actual art my kid made I kept. Then store the envelopes annually. My 21 year old is facinated by his ola art work. Also as they get older, you will want to save things they have written. Good Luck!
E.M. answers from Louisville on January 30, 2008
C.N. answers from Louisville on January 31, 2008
Along the lines of taking a digital picture - this goes in a slightly different direction with today's technology. Scan the artwork on a color scanner and then the 'actual' art is on your computer for systematic organization, not just a digital picture of the art. After you have scanned the art, use the art to make placemats for the dinner table.
J.D. answers from Columbus on January 30, 2008
I began to get overwhelmed with stuff after I had two in school and with the next one up on coming I might pull my hair out. What I did was get a large plastic tote for each child and I put their names on each. Then I take the really neat and cute ones and I keep those. Especially when they get into kindergarten and 1st grade they bring home things they write which I personally think is much cuter and I keep all of that stuff. Its hard to keep everything or it will end up taking up your whole house. However I have a friend that acutally takes pictures of each one of the pieces of art and puts them on a CD. She has a CD for each school year and each child! Now thats organized. I think thats a great idea if your up for it.
M.G. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
C.C. answers from Columbus on February 16, 2008
M.W. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
K.B. answers from Cincinnati on January 30, 2008
I baught a 3 inch binder, put some page covers in it, and each week I write a little note about my son, what the class is doing, what he has said or learned or what he really struggled with. I put his art work and school work in it also. He is so proud of it! He shows everyone that comes over and takes it to my parents house to show them when he goes to spend the night. We put a picture from the beginning of the year in it and plan on putting one from the end of the year.
M.M. answers from Cincinnati on January 30, 2008
I am all about memories. They are really proud of that artwork right now, but of course you can't keep collecting that artwork! So, you may want to select some of those real special artpieces and make a photo with those pieces and your child in the photo. Then you have a memory of the art piece and the child. The fridge has more room for photos, then for drawings. You may even consider having a special board for those photos over the year. that way, you will ot have a huge box of drawings collecting. But you also will not have a drama with your child, about what happened to his/her drawings.
M. answers from Columbus on January 30, 2008
We hang up the seasonal stuff and change it when they get new stuff. I store the special ones in a clear plastic bucket w/ lid for when they get older. And the obvious trash gets put the circular file after they go to bed.
Here are a few other ideas ideas I have heard regarding storing and keeping:
1) Hang them in the stairwell to the basement or on a wall in the garage. The kids can have their own art gallery.
2) Take photos of the artwork and put them in an album or have one of those photo books made.
Mom to 5 year old B/G twins
K.E. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
I suggest a cork board to display them. When new ones come in, change them. Keep a few of the ones you really like so that you can see how his art work changes over the years. I especially like to look back at some of the creative spelling that occurs when the kids are in 1st and 2nd grade.
S.J. answers from Columbus on February 03, 2008
Try getting a large under the bed storage box and storing your child's masterpieces in there. After a year, you can sort through it and determine which pieces you would like to keep, and you can purge the rest (when he's not around). The under the bed box makes it nice for large or strange sized pieces.
Hope this helps!
T.W. answers from Dayton on January 31, 2008
My kids aren't young anymore, but I still have alot of their artwork from when they were younger. You have gotten alot of great ideas from the other Mommy's on here. Sooo my suggestion would be to save them in boxes with thier name on the box, to use later in a scrapbook. You could scan and save the smaller ones to the computer and put them on a CD to show them when they are older.
You could also (as I did) Pick and choose your favorites (without them knowing of course)and put themin a cedar chest or another storage area.
My cedar chest has lots of different thing from each child, and I have 4 so I have alot still. I still have all their certificates that they've earned throughout the years, as well as newspaper parts where their names are listed for Honour Roll. Seems like alot, but I look through them now, and its makes me smile at how small they were.
Good Luck! I know how hard it it to let go of somethings.
S.B. answers from Louisville on February 01, 2008
M.W. answers from Dayton on January 31, 2008
What I did was display it for a week, then put it in a "memory" box and sort it out at the end of the year. Be sure to put the date on the back of the artwork if you use this!
Or, some people have used it as wrapping paper for birthday presents or some appropriate occasion.
I have also heard of people displaying it in their garage as most garages are rather dull, this livens it up.
Hope one of these helps.
Julie W (a long-time mom)
P.Z. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
i take everything i can and scan it into my computer, then load it onto a CD. this way i can give it back to her as she wants to play with it. then i can use it as the background on my computer, or for a scrapbooking page. i've downloaded them into my picture program and then made collages with pictures with the art as a background for gifts, or even on the fridge.
K.P. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
Hello N., the preschool my little were in actually put together a 3 ring binder for each of the kids, they poked holes in the art and added it with dates so the parents could see. Now my son is in Kindergarten, I bought an art portfolio from a craft supply house and just keep adding his work to it! He loves it, it is easy for him to carry it around to show other family members.
K.M. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
You could invest in a larger binder and some clear page protectors. That way, you would have an album showing his progression as an "artist." I hang the work on the fridge for 1-2 weeks and then catalog it or throw it away. I saw one collection like this from preschool up to her collegiate years. fope this works for you!
E. answers from Dayton on January 30, 2008
At my house we have a wall of my son's bedroom set aside for his projects. He can hang them there and change them out when we run out of space. There are some extra special ones that live on the fridge too. There are some that are really just drawings he made that don't matter so much to him. SO I put them on my desk and secretly put them in the trash on trash day as I take out the trash. I always leave one so he doesn't catch on. ;)
M.F. answers from Dayton on February 01, 2008
F.F. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
M.N. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
You have received some wonderful idea for display and storage. My girls are older and very artistic, so I could not and would not save it all! There have always been favorites hanging on the fridge or in their rooms. Right now, you have flat peices, not much that is 3-dimensional. It gets more challenging as they get older. I started with a flat storage tote for each girl and we weeded it out several times a year. With specialty art day camps, we purchased a large plastic portfolio and did more weeding out. When their work was chosen for an art show, we took photos of them with the artwork. The paper mache sculptures and clay pieces decorate the tops of dining room furniture,as well as shelves and curio cabinets in their rooms. Scanning in artwork (if your scanner is large enough)and putting favorites on CD is a great first step. One mom suggested playing them on the computer, which is a great idea - I can tell you more about ways to do that. My mom-owned business offers digital storybooks too, and ways to organize photos (print and/or digital)and preserve the memories. Years ago, I started putting dates on the back of original art and getting it temporarily put into page protectors in three ring binders. Now each daughter has an archival quality scrapbook which shows their school photos, class photos, awards, activities and more. I chose to create a smaller scrapbook for their preschool experiences. Their summer camps have been so various and themed, that they each have a separate scrapbook for camp. My daughters are now 11 and 17 yrs. old and the oldest is starting to think about a college portfolio. It won't include any preschool drawings, but she will be able to showcase her talents from a young age [if she wants]as it relates to design school, architecture, theatre set design or costuming. Just continue to nurture their artistic endeavors - you never know where it may lead or whose day it may brighten. P.S. I also offer design assistance for custom framing artwork you plan to preserve. Check out my website at www.mycmsite.com/mindynemoff If you want to learn more about scrapbooking, photo preservation, digital photography or custom framing or organizing your photos please send me an email through my website. Thanks.
A.H. answers from Louisville on January 31, 2008
Great question! i faced the same thing about a year ago...What i did was got a 3 ring binder and a BUNCH of those plastic sleeve thignies with the holes in the side and that way, the 'art' stays protected and its easy to view without being taped to painted walls, thumbtacked to your walls (holes) and you can still open your fridge at that too! Whoo hoo!! you can get 2 pages in one sleeve too!
SO! Good Luck!
S.A. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
F.R. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
All are great ideas! I did the "take a photo of my son holding his work of art" thing for school project etc. But my kiddo has gone past school art, and joined a art class. So for the ones you absolutely can't let go of, I have found a portfolio from Cord Camera works great for large scale items. Have fun!
M.R. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
Each school year I buy a 3in 3 ring binder and PLENTY of sheet protectors for each child. I put all their art work, class pictures, year books, notes from teachers, programs..etc. in the binders. If the art work does not fit in the sheet protector and it can be trimmed to fit then I do that, if not then it goes into one of the pockets of the binder. I have also had my children get involved in picking what art work they would like to keep. This gets rid of some of the art work. I love doing this because the children can go back and look at their art work from the past years. They find it funny seeing their handwritting from the past compaired to now. Some of the paintings that my children have done are our art work displays in our kitchen and the entrance hallway. They love seeing their artwork replace framed pictures!!!
B.H. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
First off, I'm a SAHM of 5 kids, 4 boys and 1 girl. They are ages 10,8,6,4, and 2. Poor little girl is right in the middle of 2 big brothers and 2 little brothers. She's tough :)
What we've started doing with artwork, and most other school work also, is taking digital pictures of it. Then, we burn a CD for each child. We keep the "super" special ones, and trash the rest. Of course, and important part of trashing the rest is making sure that you preschooler (or older child) isn't around for this process.
It's fun to occasionally pop in the disk and look at the past artworks with your child. And, it sure saves on space!!!
S.L. answers from Lexington on January 31, 2008
A.R. answers from Canton on February 01, 2008
J.P. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
J.R. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
You know how art work is seasonal. Well....I use to put up their art on a door in our kitchen and then at the end of fall or holiday time or spring. I would stand the child who did the artwork by the art work and take a photo. Then I would throw most of it away or let them choose 1 or 2 of their favorite pieces to save. Then start all over for the next round of art.
J.J. answers from Louisville on January 31, 2008
My son is 3 and his room is done in cars. So I got two cute little wooden cars and attached a string to the back and hung it like a clothes line on the wall of his room. Then I hang his really cute artwork from little clothes pins. He loves to look at it and tell me " I made that for you Mommy". I change them out as he makes new ones. I got the idea from a pottery barn kids catalog. Very cute.
K.P. answers from Dayton on January 31, 2008
What works for us is to keep the art for a week, then take a picture of 1-2 together. Discreetly dispose of the artwork, and keep the picture of it!
I don't know if someone else has suggested this, because I can't read responses to this question yet (I am new). If they have, please forgive the duplicate response.
K.V. answers from Cleveland on January 31, 2008
I keep the best ones in a container, that I hope to fill through all his years of school. I have a few friends that have done this and love looking back on it.
I also use some of it for wrapping paper on gifts.
You can also a string across the wall and use clothes pins to display his artwork. Then you can rotate the artwork he gets from school.
You can also send some of them to relatives in the mail. They will love getting a homemade gift from your son.
A.G. answers from Toledo on January 31, 2008
Take pictures of it. Keep the really special ones and then take pictures of the rest. I started doing this with my 3year olds art work and then I put all of the photos of his art in an album for him. It saves space and we still have a pic to remember the artwork :)
P.L. answers from Louisville on January 31, 2008
G.M. answers from Cincinnati on January 31, 2008
I have 2 older daughters (13 & 9)and I started out saving the majority of their artwork, but soon realized that just wasn't gonna work. My solution was too save it on the fridge or bulletin board for a few days. If they are especially proud of a particular piece, or if it is something so cute you don't want to part with - then keep it up longer. Then I toss (when they aren't watching) the at least 75% of it, choosing a few to keep. My kids were at least 7 before they started wondering where all that artwork was going. ;) As for the ones you decide you can't throw out, there are lots of alternatives - send some to grandparents and other relatives to spread the joy, collect a nice stack and visit a local nursing home and encourage your child to gift the residents with his masterpieces (most thoroughly enjoy visiting with children AND recieving artwork - they don't have to know it was created especially for them!). Or you can also color copy and shrink some of the one that are special to you. I saved pictures of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and barn animals that my children drew over a year or two and shrunk to fit them together creating the most adorable Christmas cards we've ever sent. You could run with that idea even further and create stationary or all kinds of thing with the help of Kinko's. The most important thing is that they know you are proud of what they put effort into. Enjoy it while it lasts - it's not often that my teenager is bringing home cute artwork anymore!
S.P. answers from Cleveland on February 12, 2008
It is so easy to want to keep everything!! i would hang them on a bare wall, until it was full and then take a picture of it!! If there was something that you can't part w/keep it and toss the rest. You have the picture. Also, for things that are cut out or shaped differently, hang them by a string, and using a straight pin, attach them to your kitchen ceiling! it will be wonderful decorations for everyone to see! My girls loved seeing their creations hanging around!! As they make more, change them and toss the old!! Enjoy those little guys and everything they do.
B.S. answers from Columbus on January 31, 2008
You have received lots of good advice. Something to think about. You're going to have 13-14 YEARS of papers unless you put a method in place now. When my stepsons were a little younger we were "saving" their papers. They filled up 2 large rubbermaid totes (like 20 gallon size). (grades K-2nd) I finally set down my husband and the kids and let them know this was out of hand. We save a few pieces of handwriting and artwork in a 3 ring binder. Each boy has their own Memory tote that has special stuffed animals, blankets/etc. They're in 3rd and 5th and the papers just keep coming. We look over the papers each day and they go in the trash. The boys had to understand the clutter issues.
So putting a week's worth up and then on Sunday "clean up" for the next week's work. Save the really exceptional, but I'd try to do only 1 per month. It piles up so fast.
Explore Mamapedia2008 calendar architecture art art college art glass artwork awards bedroom storage collection design school digital scrapbooking g string garages glass art kids art office art preschool preschool school art wrapping paper