Children come with lots of stuff and a lot of that stuff - particularly when they start going to school - is art. From paper drawings to clay creations and larger mixed media sculptures, the number of art projects that come home in a day can be staggering. So for parents that are wondering what to do with all of this art, we have a few tips and tricks for trying to manage the flow.
Create a Display Zone: Establish a display/drop spot for paper art and larger sculpture projects that come in each day. We typically recommend a shelf with limited space for the larger art and sculptures and a paper tray for the smaller pieces so that it doesn't take too long to fill up. Then, once the space is full, either on your own or together with your child you can review the pieces and make decisions about what can be discarded. This process can help teach your children that how to make choices about what to keep and what to get rid of on a regular basis. If horizontal space is a challenge for your configuration, go vertical. The same concept can be implemented on a cork board hanging on a wall.
Let it Go: If you or your child have issues letting go of some of the art projects, try taking a photo of each piece that you are planning to discard. The process of photographing the art and looking at the photos afterwards can provide them with a sense of closure and can make letting go a little easier. It is simple to create an album on your smartphone or tablet which your child can reference later on.
Archive the Highlights: For the pieces that you want to keep long term, put a label on the back with the year it was created and place it in a large portfolio like this one for paper art or a sentimental box like this one for larger, sculptural pieces.
Preserve the Memory: If you want to take it a step further, you can even make a book at the end of the year with the photos that you took throughout the year - a beautiful visual reference of their creations - using services like Plum Print or Artkive. We have used personally Plum Print in the past with great results and have found that these books are actually referenced quite often when it's time to walk down memory lane.