Does your kid love drawing, painting and coloring? My kids can pump out the work faster than Warhol’s Factory. And of course, I find it all beautiful, important and meaningful! The cognitive maturity it takes for a human to go from drawing tadpole people, to joyful images of their world, to detailed works of the things that interest them is fascinating.
Our kids’ art is displayed on the fridge and taped to the walls. Julien’s very sober decorating style is quite often at odds with the displays of rainbows, hearts and Zorro on his horse. When we can no longer find the refrigerator door handle, it is time to negotiate the removal of some of the art. What do you do with it all? It breaks my heart to put the kids work in the recycler and hear,
“But mommy, you told me you loved this picture.”
“I do, but there is no room, you made new picture and (fill-in with something positive)”
It is really hard to find a good argument for throwing away your kids’ work, which you loved a month ago, without sounding like some fickle crazed consumer.
Our first attempt to save ourselves from the swamp of papers was to make them each an art box where we could store their favorite pieces and ‘firsts’ to keep. When even this means of storage started to get a bit too big for our small apartment, it was time to find another solution.
The solution turned out to sitting behind my computer. Instead of storing all their original work, we scan it. The kids love this! After a picture has had some wall time, the kids put it on my desk and together we choose the pictures to be stored in the computer. These pictures are scanned, titled and dated. You can even add captions. The kids can go back and look at their work anytime they want. This year I want to try printing some of their work into the background of the photo albums for their grandparents’ Christmas presents.
I know Juliette has done a really good picture when I hear her sigh,
“This one is going into the computer Mom.”