Managing Monday’s: “Look what I made!”
September 19, 2011, 9:41 am
Filed under: back to school, organization, Parenting | Tags: , ,


Managing Monday’s presents: Displaying Art work

From the moment they can pick up a crayon your kids are wanting to show you what they have done! You ooh and awe over the scribbles and post it on the refrigerator for all to see. This begins the never-ending demand for all artwork to be displayed and kept forever. Kids like to be recognized, appreciated and affirmed. Displaying their art work for all to see is an excellent way to do this. Yet it often feels like to me art work is like a rabbit that reproduces exponentially. What do you do with all these wonderful, creative, pieces of art? How do you honor the child without letting it take over your home?

With four kids this has been a challenge for me. I came up with three idea’s that have made my life full of art but not overwhelmed with papers, crafts and clutter.

Buy a nice frame that has an open back to easily slip in and out the 8.5 x 11 paper most of the art will be done on. These can be found at craft stores, Pottery Barn, on-line etc. It is worth the cost because of the time and stress it saves you. This needs to be in a public place in your home, a hallway or family room,where all who come to the house can comment on it, not their bedroom where only they can see it. Display what they consider their ‘best’ artwork of the week, or month here. Change it freely and often.

Buy a plastic storage container that will fit under their bed and mark it with “things I want to save.’ After you display it either in the frame, or on the refrigerator, move it to the box. On winter break and again, at the end of the school year, go through and save the best of the best. Try to limit the # of art pieces and work or writing examples to two per month. This should give you about 25 that you save for the school year. Separate each year with a divider of some kind marking the school year. I put a mini school picture on the divider as well. When the new school year starts make it a tradition to go through last years work and see if you can winnow it down any further, while celebrating and honoring what they did and getting excited about the new things they will be creating this year.

3. Give it away, throw it away, recycle it. Make the art into cards by folding it and asking who they would want to give it to. Make sure you actually send it or give it. Create an environment of sharing and caring by nurturing your artist then bringing it to a retirement home or hospital for others who might need a pick-me-up. Take a picture of your child with the art work, post the picture on your favorite social net work or in a family photo album and then throw it away. Recycle the paper by making it the back round for a pasting or other craft project.


3 Comments so far
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Great ideas Kari! We keep an ‘art box’ for past treasures, and also allot one shelf on our wall unit in the family room for works of art – pottery and other 3D items. The kids have to decide which pieces stay on the shelf (no more than 3 or 4 per kid). Jenna’s pieces then move to a display on her bed wall while Matthew is happy to have his go into the Art Box. But I still haven’t figured out a good way to display all the school awards & certificates and the sports trophies and ribbons. Ideas? – Kelly

Comment by Anonymous

Thought I was logged in – sorry – it’s cousin Kelly if you couldn’t tell from the post!

Comment by Anonymous

well i did know it was you but thanks for making sure. not sure what to tell you about the other items, our family room is sport themed so we have their medals hanging from push pins all over the room near the ceiling, but this does not work for most decor. I have seen kids rooms with a small shelf that goes around the whole room. It can be lighted with christmas white lights and then trophys displayed and medals hung from it. I will think on it and let you know. Love you

Comment by Kari

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