Your child is an absolutely prolific art fanatic. They spend hours every day sitting at the kitchen table happily immersed in drawing spaceships, unicorns, monsters, spiders and goofy portraits of you. They come home from school with a backpack stuffed with Styrofoam sculptures, cardboard animals and enormous painted scrolls. Every day their oeuvre grows exponentially and there is simply no more room on the fridge to display their colorful works of genius.
Displaying and saving your child’s artwork is a very positive thing to do. It gives your child a confidence boost and shows them that you appreciate what they have made, encouraging them to continue expressing themselves creatively. They will also be happy that you saved it many years from now so that they can look back through their childhood development.
So what should you do with the fruits of your child’s creative labor? Here are some pointers for when your display space can’t keep up with your little one’s artistic urges.
Remember that You Don’t Have to Keep Everything
A lot of the time when young children are creating art, it is more about the process and what they learned from it than the finished product itself. It is the actual act of making art that is very beneficial to your child, as it helps to develop their emotional intelligence, refine problem solving skills, expand their imagination and practice their fine motor skills.
Therefore, it is not important to save every little scrap of paper that your child has ever scribbled upon. Instead, you can choose a few of the best representations of each medium, style and developmental stage to save.
Think Beyond the Fridge
Brainstorm a few other ways that you can showcase the artwork that your child creates. For example, with a bit of display paper you could create a large bulletin board in their bedroom or in a corridor that could display more of their drawings and paintings. Some of your very favorite works of art can be framed and put on display in different rooms of the house.
A quick, easy and stylish way to hang art is with a clothespin display. Simply attach a piece of yarn or string horizontally across a wall and pin the artwork to it. This way, you can easily rotate a piece out when your child creates a new one.
You can also turn some of the artwork into greeting cards for family and friends, wrapping paper for gifts or give it to grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Save in it a Scrapbook
When you run out of space on the walls, you can save some of the most precious artwork in a scrapbook. You can purchase a book or a binder cheaply at any office supply or stationery store. Your child can decorate the cover and you can place some of your very favorite artworks inside.
This will be a wonderful treat for you and your child to look back through when they have grown up, so that you can reminisce about when they were little.
Archive it Digitally
These days, you can store an entire lifetime of artwork on a memory stick that can fit in your hand, so why not create a digital archive of your child’s artwork instead of storing it in physical form? Take photos with a digital camera of your child’s work and make sure to back it up in at least two locations. This also makes it easier to email to family and friends.
These are just a few ideas for parents of prolific artists who produce a constant stream of masterpieces that spill off the fridge and beyond.
Gem Wilson is a writer who believes that it is important for parents to save their child’s artwork; however space is often an issue if your child loves to draw and make. She suggests being creative in how you display their work by using display paper rolls and cardboard frames.