Friday, 8 March 2019

What to Do with Your Children’s Artworks

Blog 10, March 8, 2019

Last week, I gave you some ideas for March Break projects that were easy to create at home. I hope that they inspired you to spend some creative time with your children, whether doing crafts together, painting, making music, or creating a new dish together. These special moments of time will stay with both of you throughout the years.

If you have children who love to create artworks, I am sure that you will proudly put up some of the creations on your refrigerator door and maybe even frame some special pieces. At some point, however, you will ask yourself what you shall do with all the masterpieces.

At the beginning of their life, every artwork seems to be a masterpiece, even if your children hardly participated in the creation. If you look back at these artworks a couple of years later, you wonder why you even bothered to hang on to them, because they cannot compare to your children’s latest art projects. However, it is interesting to keep some of the earlier works because they show your child’s progress. I am not talking about your child’s first scribbles but about their first expression through art. I am always amazed to see the progression in expression and skills when I have the pleasure of seeing some of my students evolve over the years.

Here are some suggestions that helped me to decide what to do with my children’s artwork:

  • When we recently considered selling our house, I went through all of my children’s artworks that I had collected over the years and decided what should be kept and what should either be recycled or reused for another purpose. If I could do it all over again, I would keep the artworks for a year before sorting through them. In the end, I kept pieces that had a special meaning to me, either because they marked a certain milestone or because I loved the image. 2D artworks can be kept in a portfolio book where they are easily accessible and protected. Some drawings or paintings can be reused for greeting cards, gift wrap, or within a new art piece.

  • If you feel there are still be too many masterpieces that you cannot part with, consider scanning them before you throw them out. Sometimes, the materials that were used would not stand the test of time anyway.

  • When my son was three years old, he created huge structures from recycled containers. At some point, the structures threatened to take over my son’s room and we threw them out. In hindsight, I wish that we would have taken some photos before we disassembled them for the recycling bin. Photos are definitely a good option for bigger pieces or 3D structures.

What do you do with your children’s artworks? Do you feel guilty when you think of throwing them out? Do you get your children involved in the process of deciding what stays and what will be thrown out?

I feel lucky that my parents saved some of the artworks from my childhood. I find it fascinating to see what I was able to do at a young age and the progression over the years. I am sure your children will feel the same way one day. Do you still have some of your artworks from your childhood? How do you feel about them today?

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