Parenting Questions Answered - Saving Artwork

Now that Evan is in preschool, he brings home several art projects each week. I am having such a hard time throwing any of it away, even those letter activity sheets. I'm not sure what to do with all of it.


I read somewhere that a mom keeps a postal box(About the size of a piece of paper and 2ish inches wide) and puts all of their art for a school year in that. At the end of the year, she seals the box and puts it in the top of her kids' closets.

I've also thought about saving some of my favorites and then taking pictures of everything else before trashing it.  I have a fun project that I'm making with some of my kids' artwork and will share it with you in the next week or so.

What do you do with your kids' artwork?

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21 comments:

Jennifer Leigh said...

When Johnny was little I was like that ad had to keep it all. I had a HUGE tub filled with it all. I never could have fit it into a small one like you described. Half it comes home on poster sized construction paper.

When we had the fire I lost it all. Now each kid has a drawer in my lingerie chest. If it can't fit, I don't keep it. It helps me keep down on the amount and just keep the really special items.

Jenny said...

I keep a box on top of the pantry and put art work in it. When it gets full, I take it downstairs and put it in a rubbermaid container. This works for now.

Lisa said...

i started a box and kept everything from the year and then tossed everything but the BEST pieces at the end of the year but once they got to school school and TWO kids it wasn't realistic the pile is TOO big. So I've switched to only keeping the good stuff off the bat and even then I only keep it as refrig art for awhile, then I take a photo of it and toss it. we have a tiny house so even one postal box for each kid for each year doesn't have a place. our school is also not very green as we much get 50+ papers home each week. I keep the really creative writing and the great art. the other work i look over so i know what they've been doing, what they're struggling with etc and then it goes out each day. i know there are some great pieces that i've kept because they just aren't captured in a photo but most of them are just as great in digital form as they are in 'real life' and it takes up so much less space.

Molly said...

I'm a mom of five, and I was exactly this way with my first few kids. As time went by, I realized that it would never be practical to keep everything.

So, I started keeping ONLY the best, or my favorites, and limiting that to only a few. With the other pieces, I take pics of the piece itself or my kids holding it. Then, at the end of the school year, I upload them to a site like Shutterfly and make "Art" photo books with them. I've also used some the pics of the art pieces for Christmas ornaments, and a few other products.

Penelope said...

My son doesn't create art yet, but my dad has saved everything I ever made him…and it made me feel very loved.

Vanessa said...

My mom is a "Mentor Mom" for a group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and for a craft one day they made art "portfolios" which she gave to me. You need 2 poster boards and decorative duct tape, and 2 pieces of ribbon. You tape 3 sides of the poster boards together then hole punch 2 holes in each poster board & then use the ribbons to create handles. Then I had my daughter decorate the outside. It's perfect size for all projects my preschooler brings home. And I just hang the handles around a hanger and it's hanging in the downstairs coat closet for easy access. I figure we'll just make new "portfolios" every schoolyear and they are flat so don't take up as much space as boxes!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I just came up with a great idea for all JDaniel's artwork. I am going to use it to create cards for a few people a week that appear on our church prayer list. They will love to getting cards and I can "share" his work.

Giveaways 4 Mommy said...

This is a VERY tough question! I have always hung artwork on the fridge until my kids bring me something new. Then I exchange it out. The old, depending on what it is, goes into the garbage (beneath something else in the garbage) where my kids can't see that I threw it away. Some things, though, I keep. Like my oldest made this acronym for MOM for Mother's Day May 2006. I saved it and I'm SO glad I did. In June, he was killed in a car accident. Oh how I wish I'd have kept more. Now with my other 2 children, I save it if it's special to me. My middle son drew a picture when he was 6 of him and his brother (after the accident). That was special to me so it still hangs on the fridge. I probably save more than I should but, to me, it's worth the extra clutter if something were to happen. Sorry...this kinda turned into a book. I apologize! :) Have a wonderful week!

S Club Mama said...

I take pictures and then throw away...until now all we've done is coloring and painting. Now that he's bringing cute crafts home, I'm having a hard time throwing it all away. I like the idea of keeping it all for the year and then picking out 2-5 pieces to save. :S My husband won't let me be a pack rat about it either lol

~ Noelle said...

I love jdaniels moms idea...
Love her too, she is awesome!
i think what i will do is scan it..
keep some, share others with family...
but scan it all :)

Marvelous Mommy said...

KEEP IT ALL!!! Just kidding! I'm kind of a hoarder! Good thing the hubby is the complete opposite!

My mom used to keep all my school work in bins and at the end of the year go through the papers a keep the ones that had special memories. Then we'd create a book and title it "First Grade", "Second Grade" and so on.

I plan to do something similar with my little one!

Jet'set said...

My eldest son is in preschool now too... so this is a timely post. I've been photographing each piece * I try to get it done as it comes home * Then I put up the current things- either on the fridge or as decorations around the house. Then I'd like to throw it out. I say I'd 'like to' because my husband has saved them all & they're sitting around our office. I think I'd like to keep the favoritest pieces & I'm going to make a photobook at the end of the year out of all the photographs.

Brandy said...

With my first born and at this time, only child in school, I did the same thing .. saved it ALL and now I simply save the most important stuff and use a file box, so each child will have their own "file" where I keep things.

Emily - faliLV said...

Hagler Happening had a great idea - I will be for sure doing it for my children.
Binder/Books for each school year. When they are young the put art in it - and older papers and tests :)

Nolie said...

I keep 1 or 2that I like or that he likes. The rest I give the grandparents a choice then the rest are thrown out. I love them, I get it, but we have a small house and I hate clutter. It stresses me out and puts me in a bad mood.

Me Too said...

I recently read a suggestion from a Mommy that would take one/two pieces a month to keep for herself (put in a file or box somewhere). Then once a month she would take the rest, put one or two per envelope and mail to all the aunts/uncles/grandparents that don't get to spend time with him and see this artwork all the time. That way it was appreciated by others, and you don't have to be the one to throw it away!

jmerenberg said...

I have a hard time with this as well. Preschool has the most art etc... My oldest son who is now in Kindergarten has much less artwork coming home. I bought my boys each one of these and I have been trying to keep only the best in here:

http://www.lillianvernon.com/catalog/product_display.jsp?pdId=7775&name=Expandable%20Memories%20&%20Keepsakes%20Portfolio%20&origin=crosssell

I like the idea of mailing them to relatives too!

ewffan said...

I started easing into my spring cleaning 2 weeks ago. Found alot of art projects, report cards, awards. When I showed it to my son, he didn't seem impressed of his art skills back when he was in kindergarten....LOL I will be keeping some art projects, getting rid of quarterly reports but keeping the year end ones. But I am definately keeping all his awards. After 3 kids keeping it all is not happening. Now I have grandkids that are starting it up. That art work has a place on my fridge now. I would say just keep key pieces that will remind you of the time.

Mighty M said...

I bought one of those big artwork keepers that holds quite a bit...but I still can't keep all of it. I just pick favorites or ones I think she will enjoy looking back on. It sure does pile up FAST! :)

corey said...

My wife does some pretty creative stuff with our kids schoolwork and art. For schoolwork she has one large pouch for each child for wach year - whtever doesn'tfit, nust be weeded through. Those are nicely lined under the bar. The other thing she does is with all the kids' art , doodles, special awards, crafts, she works together with my daughter to create a type of scrapbook, all the things glued in just a newsprint scrapbook with titles and bubbles outlining the event and what it meant to them. Even what they colour she adds in there - it's pretty neat and my daughter LOVES working on it with her - they just finished adding all my daughter's special Valentines! coreybrennan26@hotmail.com

Jessica W said...

This is a great question b/c I'm always torn on what to do with all of their school work & art work! Of course, they always want me to keep everything but I try to explain that I just wouldn't have anywhere to store that mant papers. So, we always pur their best school work on the fridge & I hand(with tacks)my most favorite artwork on the wall by my desk. I do also keep some of their work and progress reports & report cards in a folder in my file cabinet(I have a folder for each one of them) and I have the schhol memory books that start from Kindergarten & go through 12th grade. I always pur their school pictures and some of their work in those as well :)

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