HELP! Overwhelmed with Son's Preschool Projects

Updated on August 07, 2009
D.W. asks from Bedford, TX
27 answers

Hi, Moms.

I just wrote a long message and got booted out. Must be this router. UUGG!

So, in a nutshell, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of projects, paperwork, etc that come through the door from my son's preschool. He is proud of his work, so I dont want to trash it all. But I know I can't keep it all. Some of the things I do now are
1. Put artwork, worksheets that he wants to keep in a 3 ring binder in sheet protectors
2. Take pictures of bigger projects that he keeps for awhile, then trashes.
3. Laminate the bigger projects at Teachers Tools for the special items.

So now I need your help
1. Inexpensive laminating, especially those bigger projects that are on 8 x 13 paper I think? Also, Teachers tools wont laminate projects with foam stickers, etc
2. Once I have these special ones laminated, how can I create a book or portfolio of some type (again on a budget)
3. Hanging and being able to switch out projects. A friend suggested using picture wire or some type of string on various walls thru out the house, and letting my son display his "artwork" with something like clothespins. My hubby had suggested a corkboard but I'm not ready for my son to be using push pins. I want something where my son can proudly display his artwork, rotate it out, yet not look tacky at the same time.

6 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.C.

answers from Amarillo on

I don't know if this has been said or not. I felt overwhelmed by the papers and projects too. So, I have a 3 ring binder wtih sheet protectors. I keep the ones I like and then we've made a 3 ring binder for each of the grandparents with the others. It makes a great grandparent's day gift every September. Good Luck!!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Dallas on

You could take a digital pic of the art work...then up load them to a site like snapfish.com and make a book. They put the books on sale all the time and then you would have a digital copy and a printed copy for each year/child. Easy way to keep it all but not keep it all.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I suggest keeping a few as an example of his work at every 6 months or so. Have you tried using clear contact paper instead of laminating, you lay the paper on the sticker side then fold over sticking sticky side to sticky side. You can kep a role on hand. Pick and choose what you keep. The book sounds like a good idea, just put in examples, not everything.
J. Wright

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Dallas on

1.)What about Contact paper? We've used that a lot in Sunday School class for things we want to make really nice and last. Hobby Lobby has a repositionable contact type paper, not the brand name Contact Paper. We just used that for a schedule board to cover it so it would last and not tear up.

2.)I've seen our school punch holes at the ends and put the rings around it and then it all stays together. Not fancy, but would work. We use a really large folder that we bought from Lillian Vernon with his name on it. It holds large paper and has dividers. You could get an extra large binder and put them in that. Or make your own with a harder foam core type board and decorate it and use the rings or a special clips to hold it all together.

3.) Lillian Vernon has a cool hanging organizer for art projects. You can hang it on a door and it has frames around it, so you slide in the pictures/art work and then you can easily take them out and replace them with new ones. Check out Lillian Vernon online or they do have a catalog they can mail you. I've never seen them in the stores, only at Lillian Vernon. You may be able to make one out of material of your own and use that one as a base to go off of.

Hope this helps!

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.T.

answers from Dallas on

We use two cheap curtain rods from WalMart or Target with rings with clips. The curtain hangers were cheaper at IKEA but I forgot them and paid a little more since Target is so much closer. You got a lot of great ideas so I just wanted to add this: start putting the date on the back or some corner of the piece. By mid kindergarten I was staring to get the art timeline confused.

Those floating frames mentioned on burbmom.com look amazing.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi DW,

I can totally sympathize - 3 boys create a huge amount of art and other "priceless" treasures.

I use floating frames for the really nice stuff they do - and they can be easily rotated. I use them throughout the house because it really makes the art look contemporary and cool. I wrote about it here: http://www.burbmom.net/how-to-frame-childrens-art/

For the stuff that is not frameworthy, each boy has a box that I add the stuff to - eventually I will probably do a scrapbook or something for those things.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Dallas on

Read through your responses and I thought-these women put me to shame!

At what point did we have to become super moms and save all our children's work? I understand the emotion behind it but do you all really have the time to go to this much work to save everything your child brings home?? How on EARTH do you all manage to get this done?

My solution is very simple. I bought office cardboard boxes with lids. Each of my children got one. I wrote a name on each. We display the best on our metal outside doors with magnets. (I don't like a cluttered refridgerator because stuff gets knocked off too easily there.) Whatever is best is displayed a while and then it's moved to the child's box in the top of their closet. A few things have gotten laminated at Mardel's christian store but most of it has not.

While my husband was deployed or is away at long training sessions or drills and it was just me doing everything-sometimes whole days of papers got looked at but I just didn't find the time or sanity to display-save-perserve. LOL So whole days of paperwork or whole weeks of papers get tossed in the boxes.

Then on a day when hubby was back and I needed a project outside of ordinary housework then I would got through those boxes and cull out the items that weren't worth keeping. Awards, report cards, projects and art works plus examples of work done are all easily located this way.

With a two story house paper floats around in piles before it is carried upstairs and tossed in the boxes. So I have a laundry basket designated to catch paperwork during school times. It's easy to carry-easy for kids to locate and dump in paperwork.

You busy moms, military wives, and women with substantial medical issues may benefit from my style. LOL All others-all I can say is-your work is cut out for you. Paperwork and projects double with each extra child and each new school grade!

We've got dioramas of last year's 1st grade historical written work with oral presentation and visual aides. Those easily sit on closet shelf by the boxes for now...

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Dallas on

I can't help with everything you brought up, but I have three ideas:

1. magnetic paint and magnets. "Hang the pictures with magnets. Easy to switch pictures out and provides a place for special magnets.

2. a hanging art gallery: My friend used a curtain rod about eye level on the wall. She put curtain hangers on it (the round circle ones with the clothepin type of clasp) and hung art from them.

3. Clothesline and clothes pins above a "picket" fence. I saw this idea in a magazine. The family actually installed a picket fence (you could paint one!) and hung a clothes line above it and used clothes pins to hang the art.

Actually, I saw another idea in a magazine just a few days ago: An interior designer hung several chains from the top of the wall and hung several pictures on each chain (the chains hung vertically, not horizontally)

Good [email protected]

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Dallas on

A friend used the photos she took of her child's artwork and created a coffee table book using an online photo service, like Snapfish or Flicker. She created one for all pre-k artwork and another volume for Kindergarten. I think this is a great way to display the artwork in a small amount of space.
My own advice is to be a ruthless editor of artwork and other school papers. If it doesn't provide insight into my child's personality or current development, it goes into the recycling bin. My girls each have a magnetic board where they can hang their current artwork in their bedroom. This way they can pick what they are most proud of for display.

S. W.
www.yourhometransformed.com

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.G.

answers from Dallas on

I'm with you...too much to keep. so,i'm now scanning the work and some art, and keeping the best art (which I put in a large art portfolio for safe keeping)and some examples of classwork (which I put in their "school days" album. I was keepign WAY too much work b/c I felt obligated to. Really I just want to be able to see it if I need to (for the older child to refer to) and for them to know I kept it when they are grown. I doubt either will care that I kept the actual paper of their third grade math test....you know? but i like their art a lot and have a few favorites I keep in teh porfolio and plan to frame and then there is the art THEY like and I keep that too. the stuff that isn't...well, the best work...we scan. it has made a HUGE difference in the amount of paper I have laying around. of coures large art can't be scanned on a regular size flat bed scanner. i keep that stuff.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.V.

answers from Dallas on

We have an art display using yarn and paperclips to hold the papers. :)

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.G.

answers from Dallas on

I hang up my kids artwork on the pantry door in the kitchen. I also let them put it on their doors in their bedrooms and/or closet doors. I just put it up with masking tape. Sometimes I will take a picture of them by it. I keep it up for a while. Then take it down and recycle it unless it is really special.

2 moms found this helpful

D.D.

answers from Dallas on

Our kitchen is an "Art Gallery" of my daughters projects. I use Sticky tack to display her works of art and then rotate them out as others come in. Typically I choose one or two "projects" per season to put away with her memory book. Others I sneak into the recycling bin when she is not looking (after I have removed her name ect from the project).

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.B.

answers from Dallas on

Here's a few other ideas for you:
make a calandar with his art for Christmas presents for Grandparents- they are fairly easy to do, or have him help you make Thank you cards with his art work. Cut them down to size and glue them on cardstock. It is a fun way to recieve cards and a great way to recycle all his art work because there will be even more in Kindergarten on up!
~C.
ps- instead of lamiating- which can get expensive- I use clear contact paper- works just as well and is only about $5 per roll.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.S.

answers from Dallas on

How about buying him a large portfolio holder from Hobby Lobby's arts, paints, brushes, pens section? You can keep the larger items for awhile then take a picture and throw out the project. Buy him a plain folder of his own to put all his art in, and tell him he can bring it out to show family when they visit. When one gets full, give him another folder. Each year you can go through the folders and choose the ones that seem most meaningful and trash the rest. hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi!

You can use the laminating machines at Mardel's for 25 cents a foot which is very economical. It is very easy to do it yourself.

I do like the clothespin idea, but it wasn't available when my kids were little.

After displaying artwork or special projects on the refrigerator (with a magnet) for a few days, I used to save all of the kids work in a plastic storage box until the end of the year. Then I would go through and pick out a few samples of each type of work and keep those. I had a legal size accordion file which worked well - one folder for each grade (except for large art projects.) I keep and still have some of their original stories or papers about themselves. My kids are almost done (youngest graduates from college in Dec 09) They are fun to look at (and share with their spouses when they are grown up). I usually did not keep worksheets or spelling tests (unless it was significant). I did keep samples of their handwriting from each year so they could see their progress. I did save all the certificates they ever got (also in the accordion file--one for each child) and now i am thinking I really need to pare those down (again, keeping just a sampling)

I saved all of their Christmas lists and put them in an album which we enjoy looking at each Christmas. They get a big kick out of the year they wanted this or that and we tell funny stories about trying to find this or that gift. It is fun to look at their handwriting and spelling and priorities at different points in their lives.

There were a two pieces of artwork in elementary school that were were really good and so we framed those and they are still hanging up in our game room. I have offered to give them to the kids (for their own homes) they don't want them but they want me to keep them.

Good luck- I really didn't laminate many things, but I probably should have laminated the Christmas lists because they get looked at once a year and they are starting to show some wear.

Also, if you find you just can't bear to throw out some of his work, wait til the end of the next year. You will see how fast it accumulates and how much is duplicated and i found it was easier to pare down the pile.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I have a 4 1/2 year old boy, too. Between home projects and library projects, we get a lot of paperwork, too. I don't save much except the really sentimental stuff. We take pictures of the big stuff and store them on the computer.

What I do is let him have three magnets for the fridge. He gets to keep three things at a time on the fridge, but when he runs out of magnets, he's got to stick with what's there or trash one and keep the new. That way the choice is up to him. Not only does it make it his decision, I am teaching him good life skills. I was a hoarder, and I don't want my kids to grow up keeping everything. Also, don't spend a lot of money on a huge portfolio. Keep only the really special stuff. My MIL kept everything and all my husband did with it when she passed along his "Memory box" was chunk most of it. Keep this in mind as you plan what is worth putting in a portfolio.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Dallas on

Have you thought about picking up some of that magnetic paint and painting a wall somewhere in your home that can then be used to rotate the artwork. That would eliminate the need for pushpins.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.F.

answers from Dallas on

While we don't have a lot of artwork it was overwhelming me too! So I went to Walmart and got two curtain rods with alligator clips. Each rod holds 4 to 5 papers and I can easily rotate them out. When I take one off I scan it, then trash it. That way it gets displayed and saved with out all the bulk.

It turned out to be a nice "art wall" and I also put up pictures of relatives that are sent to us. To make it extra special I had a friend make a vinyal saying "The Gallery".

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Dallas on

I would let it be displayed for a little while, then I would take a picture of it and put it in a scrapbook. That way you still have the picture of what it looked like but not the bulkiness of the art work.

2 moms found this helpful

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I do not know if you have a Mardel close, but their laminating is CHEAP! I can do multiple full-size posters for just under $2.

It is a Christian bookstore, we have one in Arlington, I am not sure how spread out they are. www.Mardel.com

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.S.

answers from Dallas on

Use your digital camera: snap the shots, write comments, make a collage and keep on CD to print out on plain paper later. That's what we've done and it works well. Just wait until you have more than the one child and many, many more...

Ha, this is the fun part of parenting!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Dallas on

I say you "display" each project for a week in your home. Admire, talk about, etc then take a pic of it and put it in an album. You can even ask your son to tell you what his favorite part of that project was or other memories of making it and write it on a caption or on the back of each pic. Just do this on a regular basis and it will become the accepted routine.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.E.

answers from Dallas on

Maybe I'm a bad mom, but I usually don't save much of it. I have a 3 drawer organizer that I labelled with my sons' names. I only save things that are extra special like with their picture, hand print or foot print, or something they "dictated" to their teacher (or in the case of my first grade - written himself - on these, I write on the back or above it what it's "supposed" to say :), or a special drawing. I don't bother really to save the stuff that was teacher directed or the millions of worksheets my son will bring home - only the really personal stuff. I usually make a stack all week long of anything they bring home. If it's special, I put date it and put it in their drawer. If it's not and they haven't asked about it, it goes in the recycle box or the trash. Usually, they never miss it. If it's something they are extra proud of, I will tape it to the back of their bedroom door or put it on the fridge in our utility room with magnets until something new comes a long.

I also have a book that I bought called School Daysthat has pages and pockets for preK-12. On the pages, you can fill in their friends, likes / dislikes, etc. and has a place where they can write their own name and you put their school photo. In the pocket, I put any awards / certificates, the end of the year report card, sports photos we've had taken when I update with the new picture, school pictures, picture of the child with the teacher. My mom did this for us when we were growing up and we loved getting it when we graduated.

If you're a scrap booker, you could maybe use some of the art work for background paper or something? I don't scrap book, but it's just an idea.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.H.

answers from Dallas on

I also vote for scanning some and storing them on the computer. You could then set the artwork to display as your screensaver...

1 mom found this helpful

L.A.

answers from Dallas on

We only allow one or two pictures to be displayed at a time. Our son chooses which one he wants to keep. If it is a really special one, we hang onto it and put it in a frame or take a picture of it.

I do like the magnet board or clothespins ideas and will probably do those when ,y son is older as well.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches