With the kids back in school, now is the perfect time to get a handle on the copious papers that come home with them, especially your child’s creative artwork! Learning art is much more than a fun project to break up the school day; creating art provides many benefits for kids. Art promotes creativity, problem-solving, patience, attention to detail, focus and decision making. Creating art also helps boost self-confidence. You can reward your child’s efforts by proudly displaying and safely storing their handiwork, which will also give you a beautiful record of their creative development over the years, something you can enjoy looking back at together when they’re older.
We love these simple ideas for how to store kids’ artwork for safekeeping and keep things organized:
Create a Gallery Wall
Creating a space dedicated to your child’s art is a great way to show how proud you are of their work. Choose some affordable picture frames and display them as you would any other treasured work of art. You can rotate your child’s favorite pieces throughout the year to keep things current. Having your child help choose which pieces should be hung in the “gallery” will foster decision-making skills too.
Frames aren’t your thing? Create an easy art gallery with a length of thin wire and decorative clips or use corkboard squares and colorful pushpins!
Use a Dedicated Storage Container
Under the bed plastic storage containers or other wide, flat bins make great artwork storage spaces that can handle oversized and 3-dimensional pieces your child may bring home. Use this to store any art not currently displayed in your gallery. At the end of the year, you and your kid can look through the collection and decide which pieces to keep or toss. Or just label the box with the school year and store it. It’s an easy way to keep art organized by child and year without the size limitations of binders or art portfolios.
Archive Your Favorites
For the most important artwork your child brings home, the pieces you’ll want to treasure forever, consider archiving them either digitally or in archive-quality storage to prevent damage over long periods of time. With every phone and tablet featuring a digital camera, it’s easier than ever to create a digital gallery of your child’s best works to share with grandparents and family via email and social media. Alternatively, use one of the many online photo companies to create a bound book, calendar or other sharable collection of keepsake art. Makes a great holiday gift for far-away family!
Recycle and Upcycle
Let’s be honest, not every piece of paper with crayon on it is something you’ll want to save forever. At the end of the school year or perhaps midway, depending on how abundant you child’s work is, take some time to sit with your child and decide which pieces to recycle. Not only will this help with storage space, but this type of decision making can help your child learn that it’s okay to let things go. Keep only what reflects your child’s talent and creativity and get rid of the scribbled coloring book pages. Giving them a say in what stays and goes ensures you don’t accidentally recycle one of your child’s favorite pieces.
For pieces that don’t quite make the gallery or archival cut, consider using them as greeting cards for grandparents or wrapping paper for special presents. Your child will be proud of their art is part of a gift!