F rom the first time your first child scribbled a mark on a piece of paper, you’ve probably been enthralled with their artwork. However, when you feel compelled to save every little piece of your child’s handiwork, it’s easy to become buried under an avalanche of papers. You’ve probably wondered how to display kids art in your home.
So what do you do with all those masterpieces without feeling guilty or hurting your artist’s feelings?
1. Make a calendar. Scan the pictures that your children have drawn. Then, use a photo-printing site to make calendars with the pictures. These would make great Christmas gifts for relatives.
2. Laminate it. Laminate your child’s larger pieces of art and use them for placemats. It will give your child a sense of pride and grace your dinner table with nostalgia in years to come.
3. Make cards. Use kid-art to make greeting cards for grandparents, aunts, and uncles or brighten the day of a nursing home resident, shut-in, or sick neighbor or friend.
4. Make puzzles. With your child’s permission (because it could be a disaster without it), glue their artwork onto heavy cardboard or cardstock. Then, cut it apart to make homemade, personalize puzzles.
5. Frame it. The Canada goose drawing that won Brianna 1st place in the National Junior Duck Stamp contest 6 or 7 years ago still graces our workout room wall. There was a drawing I did when I was in 6th grade that hung on my parents’ den wall for decades.
It doesn’t even have to be the really spectacular stuff. Kid art is whimsical, colorful, and wall-worthy in all its imperfection. Don’t hesitate to frame it and use it to add a special, creative touch to your walls.
6. Take photos of it. Since it’s not feasible to keep every piece of art our kids ever draw, taking photos can be a great space-saving solution. Have your child pose with his work and a card showing the date and/or his age. What a fun keepsake to look back on when they’re older!
7. Cull it. When my kids were younger, I used to save all their creations in a copy paper box. Whenever it got full, I’d go through and cull it – saving my favorites or the pieces that had some special memory attached. It worked well and I’ve got some great artifacts to sift through in years to come…but not enough to land me on an episode of Hoarders.
8. Bind it. If you’ve got many pieces of similar size, consider having them comb- or spiral-bound. If they’re sturdy, you can bind them as is. If not, laminate them first. You can let your kids make their own art book cover. Be sure to include their name and age.
9. Turn it into bookmarks. If you’re anything like us, you’re always using bookmarks. I think it might be a universal homeschooling thing. Choose some of the narrower pieces to turn into bookmarks. Gluing the art to cardstock and laminating will make a great, sturdy bookmark – and another great gift idea for relatives, nursing home residents, or shut-ins.
10. Share it. If you sponsor a child through an organization such as Compassion International or you pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, encourage your child to share her artwork with a child oversees.
I hope these ideas help you come up with some creative ways to preserve your children’s art. What suggestions do you have to add?
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