Preserving your kids’ artworks for posterity
Chances are that you have at least one artistic kid at home. And what with school projects, summer camps and weekends with friends, like me, you must be having a mountain of art and craft projects of all shapes and sizes just stacked up in your basement or every corner of your home! We spoke to moms to figure out the most popular ways you can preserve these projects just like new for posterity without driving yourself mad
1. Scan all the artworks and make a DVD / store them in a separate folder on your computer. You can add personal details like where the project was done, time taken to complete it, and how old your kid was when the project was done.
2. Take pictures of each project, both as they are being made, and on completion. Use these pics and make a home movie on your computer. Add details of when and where the projects were made as comments, either in voice-over or as sub-titles. You can add your kid’s favorite music / song of the moment to the movie. These make for a great memory on home movie night !
3. Buy children’s artwork frames and mount the latest creations on a focus wall in your family room or your kid’s room. Keep changing the artworks every few months. For a personal touch, add a small label below each frame with details of the artwork and what it may mean to you and / or your kid.
4. Buy portfolio holders or storage bins (try the stackable variety). File the projects in there. You can arrange the projects in different portfolios or bins by age of your kid or by the grade they are in at school. Write the details of the project and when it was made on the bottom or back of each project. Add on fun facts about the project that will make you smile when you leaf through them many years later 🙂 You can even store medals, certificates, first tooth, the first pair of booties and other memorabilia in the same way.
5. String a line across your family room. (I recommend one line per child to avoid any sibling rivalry !) Get the height right so your tallest family member has a head clearance. Hang the artworks from this line or lines. There are many interesting and colorful pegs available in stores that won’t damage the artworks, which can be used to hold them in place, or simply use clothes pegs ! Keep changing the artworks every season, or whenever your kid completes a new project.
6. Set aside a table in your family room to act as a mini-museum. This works especially for 3D projects like Lego creations, sculptures, wood work projects, etc. Place a small label before each project with key details. Designate a cupboard or a stack of drawers in the basement or the garage where old projects can be put away. Label the drawers with your kid’s name and year / grade to ensure stuff doesn’t get mixed up.
7. Gift some of the projects to family or close friends. Grandparents especially love such tokens. Its even better if the artwork symbolizes a shared memory.
8. Depending on your space constraints, encourage your kid to cull out their artwork collection, say once a year. Sort out and separate what can be re-used. Put that into a scrap bin that you rummage through at next project time. Allow your kid to choose what to keep and what to toss … that’ll save you a lot of grief later. Remember to definitely put away the pieces that hold a particularly tender memory for you !
You’ll find you enjoy your kid’s creativity more once you aren’t literally tripping over it all over the place !!!