Kids create so much art at school, and as a parent, you want to treasure it all. But how can you do that? Should you keep every drawing, or should you pick and choose?
Usually, when your child brings home a particularly nice piece of art, you’ll want to hang it up on the refrigerator, the wall or in a bedroom. As your child brings home new creations, you can rotate out the old ones and store them with these tips:
Consider getting an art portfolio for your child. This is basically a large envelope especially designed to keep art safe and in good condition. You and your child can take it out now and then and have a look at what he or she has created over the years.
While you may end up recycling a lot of your child’s art later, it is possible to keep most or all of their work saved digitally. The easiest way is to scan, or take a photo of each piece of art, and to store it with a cloud service. Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and others all work great.
If you want more functionality, consider getting an app made to store your kid’s art. These include Artkive, Art My Kid Made, and Keepy. Look for features like the ability to organize images into galleries, to share with family, to organize the art by which child made it, and the ability for your child and others to post comments.
Digital Picture Frame
Would you like to keep your children’s art on display, even when it’s tucked in a portfolio or you’ve recycled it? Digital picture frames are great for this. You can mount one on a wall, keep it on your desk, or have it on a shelf, and set it to show a slideshow of artwork. You can expand most with an SD card, micro-SD card, or USB drive to display a staggering number of images.
Make an Album
Consider getting a photo book printed with select pieces of artwork. Some art programs provide this, but you can also use Shutterfly, Costco Photo Center, Lulu, Mixbook, and other sites. Upload the images you want in a photo book, interactively create the book on the related site, and order your album.
Make a Scrapbook
Scrapbooking is a major hobby, and true scrapbooking artisans create stunning, one-of-a-kind items for themselves and loved ones. Small, original pieces will go well in a scrapbook, as will small prints of larger drawings and paintings.
At some point, it’s important for kids to learn that part of what makes life enjoyable is simplifying, keeping the most important things, and giving away, selling, or recycling the rest.
An alternative to just throwing drawings into the recycling bin is to use some pieces of art as wrapping paper. If your child brought home a bunch of sketches they don’t really want or need, consider taping them together and letting them wrap presents with them for birthdays or other holidays.
After those suggestions, we come to this simple one. If you still haven’t decided how to store your child’s art, and you’re not quite ready to go through it to decide what to scan, what to put up, and what you and your child are all right with recycling, you can put it all in an airtight bin or two and put it in your self storage unit.
In self storage, it will be out of the way, but that doesn’t have to put it out of your mind. Make a note on your calendar for a day you have free to look through the boxes with your child. Some facilities have recycling bins there where you can put any pieces you plan not to keep. Others, you can take home for scanning, photographing, or any of the other solutions we covered.
Also, we encourage you to get a unit with climate control, as the extreme heat and cold some areas are subjected to can cause significant damage to art and other belongings.
We hope these solutions help to keep your child’s, or children’s, art work for years to come.