What to Do With Children’s Art and Schoolwork
Ideas for managing your kid’s homework and artwork.
Sometimes, I dread Fridays. That’s because Friday is the day when my children, eager to show me what they’ve worked on in school that week, empty out their schoolbags, making huge piles of paperwork on the floor.
While their excitement over what they’ve learned and created in school is sweet and wonderful and I love seeing their work, I don’t look forward to figuring out what to do with the huge piles of artwork, writings and worksheets that’s usually left in my living room. In an ideal world, I’d like to save it all, but if I did, I would have boxes of the stuff before the month’s end.
I do have special boxes for each child in which I store exemplary schoolwork and artwork, but with those already filling up, I think alternate storage methods are in order. After some thinking and web surfing, these are some ideas I’ve found for what to do with children’ artwork and schoolwork for those who find themselves in a similar prediction.
1. Photograph It: Take snapshots of your child’s best artwork and then create a photo or coffee table book of his or her creations using a service like Snapfish.com. A book filled with images of your child’s artwork will most likely outlive the original, anyway.
2. Scan It: If you have a scanner or a copier with scanning capabilities, scan your child’s artwork into your computer and then save it on the hard drive, or onto a CD or DVD.
3. Frame It: I love the fall season, so when my daughters created beautiful images of multi-colored autumn leaves in art class that matched the hues in my kitchen, I framed them and hung them on either side of my kitchen’s china cabinet. Not only was the artwork free, but it has special meaning.
4. Share the Wealth: If you don’t know what to do with all of your son’s or daughter’s creations, why not send some of it to a grandparent or a special aunt or uncle? They no doubt will appreciate the thought and the special gift.
5. Create an Art Wall: No doubt your fridge isn’t big enough to hold all of your child’s best artistic creations. Neither is mine. So, along the wall that flanks the basement wall of my house, I’ve created a mini art gallery of sorts. Whenever either of my daughters creates something that I think is extra special, it gets a place of honor on the art wall. My girls look forward to hanging up their creations and like to look at the assortment of artwork there.
6. Store It: Of course, there will be some schoolwork or artwork that you’ll want to tuck away for safekeeping. I tuck my children’s away in decorative paper storage boxes (that I usually purchase at Burlington Coat Factory in East Windsor). I often wait until after a holiday to purchase the boxes, since I can get holiday-themed storage boxes at a big discount.
7. Archive It: Another option is to place especially important pieces into an archive-quality, acid-free scrapbook so theywill be protected from time and the elements. You could even go the extra mile and add special scrapbook papers and stickers to create a special keepsake for your child. Scrapbooking supplies can be purchased from any Michael’s or A.C. Moore store, and are also available at Target and Walmart. If you like, you can combine school portraits and photos with your child’s school artwork and schoolwork to track his or her progress through school. I’ve already started scrapbooks where I’ve added my daughters’ school portraits and class photos, and now I plan to add some of their schoolwork and artwork to the scrapbooks as well.