It‘s a precious time when your children hold a pen for the first time and create their first drawings. But soon they’ll be filling page after page with scribbles, they’ll bring backpacks full of art from school and they won’t let you throw out any of it. It’s very tempting to get rid of some of their art secretly while they’re not around, but I don’t do it. Because I have better things to do with myself when the kids are not there, but mostly because I want to teach my children to take ownership of their own lives and make their own decisions. Sometimes the decisions life throws at them won’t be easy (like which painting to keep and which one to let go of) and what better, safer place to practice than at home.
Yet, without my involvement all their beautiful creations will be everywhere and we’ll have nowhere to live! Here are some of the things we do with my kids’ arts and craft pieces to make sure they don’t take over the house.
Have clean-up days
Ask your kids to sort their artwork into piles – what they’d like to keep, what they’re happy to give away as gifts, what doesn’t matter to them anymore and they’ll be ok with putting it in the bin.
Make a gallery
My kids are allowed to hang their art on the walls. Every now and then we update the gallery pieces. We sort through the old ones and some of them we throw out – the ones that we no longer love or that show signs of wear and tear.
Have a special folder or box for your favourites
You will want to keep some of their art forever and for those pieces have a special place. Every now and then it will get full, so you’ll need to go through the artwork and make sure only the best and dearest to your heart (and your kids’ hearts) remains.
Don’t you love digital photography? You can take thousands of photos of kids’ artwork at virtually zero cost. That way you and your children get to keep the memory of the artwork, even if the artwork itself is gone.
Make cards and wrapping
We haven’t bought any birthday cards for years. The kids will use one of their art pieces to make a card every time we’re going to a birthday party. Large paintings can be reused as wrapping paper and they give your present a unique look.
Give to family and friends
Grandparents and other family members appreciate special gifts made by the children. My kids love sending handmade gifts to their grandparents overseas and my parents are equally thrilled receiving the artwork. When we visit, it’s exciting to see some of it hanging on the walls. We don’t find out what happens to the rest, but it doesn’t matter. The kids never remember to ask.
Recycle in new projects
Some of the kids’ artwork can be reused. For example, they can cut up some paintings or drawings and make a collage out of them. Or they can use them to decorate a doll house they made out of a shoe box.
You can share hours of laughs with your children creating artwork, displaying it, sorting it and repurposing it. Most importantly, you’ll show your children that you care, you’ll encourage their creativity, confidence and the ability to make decisions for themselves.
Image by Weinstock via pixabay.com
By Tatiana Apostolova