As we are coming towards the end of the school year I am looking at the pile of art that my children have brought home throughout the year. Like you, I always have good intentions for preserving my children’s art. But it seems to pile up so quickly! How do you know what you should hang on to and what you should let go? I wasn’t sure, so I took a deep dive to find ways to use and save children’s art in a way that doesn’t take up tons of space. Here are some things I found useful when it comes to how to preserve your child’s art.
Organize Your Child’s Art From the Start
We’ll dive into my top three ideas in a minute, but first, for any of these systems, a good place to start is to create a place to store children’s art as it comes out of the backpack. After all, you don’t have time to manage art every single day. Having somewhere to put it before archiving is very helpful.
I’ve been using a simple plastic filing box. I have created a folder for every year of my child’s school years. When new art comes in that I think is worthy of keeping I place it in the folder. I also place things like report cards and standardized testing results in the same folders to be organized later. This has worked well so far, but now that I have a few years of art stored I’m running out of space! So I need to find an alternative for keeping art and other school documents long term. And here’s what I’ve found: My top three ideas for how to preserve your child’s art for the long-haul:
Take Pictures on Your Phone
If you are ready to go digital, take a photo of each piece of art on your phone and organize the art into albums such as “Stella‘s 2nd Grade Art.“ This will allow you to get rid of the clutter and stay organized. The best part is you can easily use these photos in your family yearbook or you can create a book all its own of just your child’s artwork. That way you don’t have to store your child’s art physically, but you are still preserving it.
Preserve Your Child’s Art on a Private Instagram Account
This is an idea I heard about a long time ago. You can create a private Instagram account, which simply means that only you and those you invite can view it. Just like with the digital organization idea above, you’ll start by taking photos of your child’s artwork. But instead of organizing it into folders, you’ll post it to Instagram. If you have the Chatbooks app it will automatically create books of your child’s artwork after you have posted 60 images. This is really fun because a Chatbooks will just show up at your door ready to be enjoyed. (The best part is the books start at only $10!)
Another fun thing about creating a private Instagram account of all your child’s art is that you can allow grandparents, aunts and uncles, and close friends to follow your account and see your child’s artwork.
Make a Binder for Each Year
If you prefer old-school to digital, this is a great idea! Simply purchase a binder for each year and insert your child’s artwork into clear plastic sleeves so that they are contained and won’t be damaged when looked at. This will allow you to keep your child’s artwork organized and safe while still preserving it in a tangible format. You can even get creative and ask your children to design the art for the cover of each binder. (here are a few items I thought would be good for this project: Binder1, Binder2, Sleeves)
Where to Start
There you have it! My top three ideas for how to preserve your child’s art. Again, the best place to start with any of these ideas is to get a storage system in place so that your child’s artwork isn’t taking over. I highly recommend this file box or this one to start and then once you’ve chosen how you want to preserve your child’s art long-term you will know right where to find those beautiful creations. (Hint: And it won’t be all over your counter)!