Now that the school year is in full swing, it’s the ideal time to set up systems for processing the various types of paper that you’ll begin to find in your child’s backpack on a regular basis. In a previous post, I shared my system for managing school memorabilia.
Today, we’re going to chat about some solutions for organizing kids artwork. If you’re like most parents, you’ve got a lot of it and aren’t quite sure what to do with all of it.
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ORGANIZING KIDS ARTWORK
Create an Art Gallery Wall
Your kids spend a great deal of time and effort producing these gems; creating formal displays that go beyond the front of the fridge demonstrates to them that you value their hard work and creativity!
Find a place in your home where you can prominently display your child’s best pieces of art. Switch out the pieces on a regular basis as new art comes in.
(one of the art gallery walls in our basement play room)
(how cute is THIS?)
In addition to using traditional frames to create a kids’ art gallery in your home, you can get creative! One of my favorite methods for displaying art is to use a simple wire and clip system on a long wall. I also love the Lil’ Davinci Art Cabinet, which provides another hassle-free way to frequently change out your art display.
Designate a Temporary Holding Container
For any piece that isn’t quite gallery-worthy, designate a container for each child that will serve as a temporary place for all incoming art to be stored until the end of the school year.
Make sure that the container is sufficiently large to accommodate oversized paintings and 3-dimensional pieces. I like to use under-bed storage boxes, since that’s where the holding containers live at our house.
Review Your Collection at Year’s End
At the conclusion of the school year, take some time to sort through the holding bin with your child and determine whether the collection needs to be culled down prior to “archiving” it. As you review the collection, you and your child will likely identify pieces that are not significant to either one of you (e.g., coloring pages, etc.).
Give yourself permission to toss these and keep only the pieces that reflect your child’s talent, creativity, and interests. I recommend completing this end-of-year review with your child. That way, you won’t be tossing any piece that is important to her or him.
Archive and Share This Year’s Collection
Once you’ve whittled down your collection, you can keep the original art and store it in an archival quality container. Alternatively, you can archive the collection by creating digital images of each piece of art.
I’m a huge fan of this method. Not only does it eliminate the necessity of devoting space in your home for storing tons of artwork, it opens up so many possibilities for sharing your child’s precious creations!
Organizing Kids Art: Digital Options
Artsonia enables you to upload your digital images to create an online art gallery to share with friends and family. It also serves as a “virtual museum”, in which your child can display their artwork publicly on the web. This service is available to parents, as well as school teachers.
The Artkive app is another option for creating an online art gallery that can be shared with family and friends. Artkive is a free app that boasts some great organizing features, including the ability to categorize your art by school grade, child, and child’s age. You can even name each piece of art. In addition, you have the ability to produce a photo book of your child’s art collection with a few clicks of a button.
Keepy is another app that’s designed to help you organize and save digital versions of your child’s artwork, school work and mementos. One unique feature of Keepy is the ability to record stories that coincide with the art/momento.
Over time, our memories fade, so these stories will help you and your child to recollect the special memories associated with specific momentos.
Creating digital images of your child’s art work enables you to take advantage of the dizzying array of online resources for creating digital photo books. Sites such as Shutterfly and Mixbook make it easy for anyone to create a photo book these days.
You can create a digital photo book for each school year, or create larger books that curate art across several school years. I’ve created photo books for my children’s artwork using Artkive, Shutterfly and Mixbook.
Photo books are a terrific way to enjoy your child’s artwork for years to come.
I hope that I’ve inspired you to create a system for managing artwork in your own home! Which of these options for storing and displaying your kiddos’ masterpieces will you explore?
For more tips, ideas & inspiration for organizing kids’ school papers and memorabilia, check out these posts: