I used to know all the answers.
In fact, before I had kids, I was the best parent around. There wasn’t a problem I couldn’t find a solution to. A tantrum I couldn’t have turned around with a combination of patience, psychology and tickling. I was confident in my parenting abilities.
But then, you know, I actually became a parent.
I used to think that those parents who keep all their children’s
artworks masterpieces were a bit demented. Who the hell wants to keep Peanut’s scribbles?!
Sure, keep one, but really? All of them?
Then Isla started bringing home artwork from pre-school.
“These are for you, Mummy. I made them special.”
Oh…right. Now I see.
Suddenly I understood the desire to honour our little one’s creativity. Measure how far she has come in six months. Sit back and think, “Well, obviously she’s a prodigy. Honey, call MENSA!”
Actually, I still don’t think it’s wise (or helpful) to keep every drawing your kids produce. By the time they reach high school, you will quite literally have boxes and boxes of the stuff. And, honestly, do you think Junior will want them? Will he take them to Uni? When he moves out? Gets married?
I don’t think so.
So What Can You Do? You Can’t Just Throw Them Away.
Well, you could… But I don’t.
We use a combination of a revolving art gallery, a memory box and framing and hanging some artworks permanently. This is our way of keeping on top of the constant stream of artwork that Isla produces.
I’ll give her that – the kid’s prolific.
How to Create a Revolving Gallery to Display Kids Art
- Select a space on the wall – in the playroom, a hallway, wherever works in your home.
- Make this the designated gallery space for the kids art.
- Create a way of showcasing the art. There are some awesome ideas to be found here on Pinterest.
- When the kids complete an artwork, it can go up in the gallery.
- At the end of school term, or the change of seasons, or simply when it’s full, take all the art down.
- The gallery is now ready for the new masterpieces.
- Once the artwork is down, get each of your kids to choose one or two pieces – their favourites or ones they are most proud of.
- These are the ones to keep.
- They can go into the memory box, or, if you want to, frame one of them to display in the house. (I have a post later in the week that shows you how to display kids art tastefully.)
What’s a Memory Box?
For each of our kids I have a large plastic tub with a lid that is their memory box. In it go special birthday cards, one or two keepsakes from when they were babies (literally, one or two) and their artworks.
The beauty of a memory box is that it is finite. There will only ever be one memory box per child, so it’s necessary to keep the crap to a minimum.
And for the time in the future when that box does get full, then we know it’s time to sort through it.
But, I Feel Mean…
While I do see the value in keeping our kids creations, you have to ask yourself,
“Why am I really doing this?”
Is it out of guilt? Fear that you will regret not keeping them? Fear that the kids will be upset when they’re older?
What I do know is I don’t want to be the person to burden our kids with unnecessary clutter when they are grown. And I certainly don’t want them to feel any kind of guilt or expectation, after I had held on to these things for so long.
What do you do with your kids artworks?