Thursday, July 21, 2011

Organizing Your Child's Masterpieces!

I am looking forward to “oohing” and “ahhing” over the masterpieces my son will be creating in preschool this year.  Yes, this is my first born heading off to school and I am beginning to worry about what to do with all the art he will be bringing home.  This is a serious problem, but with some thought, I have created a plan so I am feeling a little less anxious about the wealth of work that will be coming home.
First things first, we can not keep it all so here are some ideas:
1.  take a digital photo, especially of large pieces or 3-D projects.   There are so many ways to reuse their art using companies like Shutterfly.  At the end of the year you can create an online art portfolio book, make greeting cards or mugs to give as gifts, or make “thank-you” notes.  I’ve also see having their art printed on a canvas or postage stamp.
2.  display the art in your child’s room, playroom, or garage.  Be sure to “rotate” the art per season/month and take a photo of the mural before taking it down.  Use painters tape so that it won’t damage the art or your walls or use cute ribbon and clothes pins to hang the art
3.  give, give, give.  Your children can use their art to give as cards, gifts, and wrapping paper to relatives, neighbors, babysitters, etc.
3. file the “keepers”.  These are the ones that touch your heart,  show their developmental stage, or are extra special to your child.   Use sticker address labels to place on the back of these treasures and write their name (especially if you have more that one child), date, and note any special memory or information your child wants to share.  Keep them in a legal size file folder and place in a plastic bin.  Keep one folder per school year.  If the folder gets too big, it is time to sort through it again!  At the beginning of each year have your child paint their handprints on the outside of the folder, write their name and school year
4.  frame one OR two pieces from the year
5.  toss it (descretely)  I’ve been told, this gets easier, especially when our kids get older they can help in the decision making.
    I hope this gives you some ideas or gets you thinking about what system will work for you and your family.  This is just the beginning of out little one’s school career, which means there will be hundred’s, if not thousands of items that will be coming home from school in the next 14 years.  Enjoy their creativity and happy organizing!