April 27, 2013

Parent and Child: Cherish Your Child's Art Work

Parent and Child:
Cherish Your Child's Art Work

      (photo taken in 1978)

Cherish all your child’s artwork!  

That is the philosophy I had when my son was little and all his artwork fit into one small box.  As he grew his pile of artwork grew too. By the time he was seven years old we had three boxes stuffed with every piece of art he had ever made.  

I ended up storing the boxes in the garage where they were out-of-sight and out-of-mind.  Unfortunately, we seldom took the boxes down to look through them.  That was when I decided it's really okay to 'recycle' artwork after it has been displayed and loved on.  If you're like me and you can't bear to loose the memories, try taking photos and putting them in a special album.  It makes a nice keepsake and takes up a lot less room.  

With that said, it's equally important to save some very special pieces.  Be sure to label them with your child's age and grade.  Someday the two of you can open the box and enjoy the memories.  

Here are a few ideas about cherishing artwork.

Ideas on how to enjoy your child's art right after it's created:

  • Ask questions about the art: Tell me about your picture.
  • Make comments about the art: I love all the blue circles you put over here.  I see that some are big and others are little.
  • Display it on the wall or the fridge or a bulletin board
  • Make copies and send to relatives
  • Take some to work and display it there
  • Frame some.  Use easy open frames like Li'l Davinci and change the art often.  
  • Create a mini-art museum in your child's room.  Hang a clothesline and display current artwork with clothespins.  As new art work arrives, use it to replace the older pieces.
  • Designate a special drawer in your child's room as his/her art drawer.  Every now and again ask your child to remove the older pieces to make room for the new.

Ideas on how to recycle your child's art work:

  • Send some to grandparents and relatives
  • Cut old paintings and drawings into small pieces and reuse them in collages
  • Glue some on the front of DIY greeting cards
  • Create a new painting on top of an old painting
  • Use some as wrapping paper
  • Laminate and use as placemats

How to preserve those special pieces of artwork:

  • Save artwork in mailing tubes or binders, organized according to age
  • Invest in a portfolio for each child.  Red Wallet Portfolios from Dick Blick are sturdy, inexpensive, and can be stored on a closet shelf or under the bed.
  • Have a few pieces professionally framed and display them with pride
  • KiDoodles will turn your child's art work into jewelry 
  • Shutterfly has templates you can use to make photo books filled with your child's artwork.

Cherishing your child's artwork will be well worth the effort.  Children feel special when they know their creative efforts are valued.    

Do you have a comment or suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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