Kid Art


Well, well. Another piece of art has been packed up with my child’s belongings to bring home from daycare. Awesome. No, really, I mean it. I love these little artistic expressions. Sigh. Cue the freaking Mom Guilt.

The problem is that we have tons of these creative products. And I don’t know what to do with them all. Correction: I DO know what to do with them all (circular filing cabinet, ahem), but the guilt can be pretty powerful sometimes. But seriously, I have to draw the line somewhere.

The art gallery.
The art gallery.

And I need to draw the line for a growing number of reasons:

1. As her little hands and feet grow, she is coming home with an increasing number of creations that include finger, hand, and footprints. I might as well be throwing my heart into the garbage can and then emptying the sink strainer on top of it. Plop.

2. Which leads up to the piles. The cream of the crop starts on the fridge, then gets added to random piles that are destined for the trash, ala Velveteen Rabbit. Cast aside for fancy, new popscicle stick or pipe cleaner art.

3. As her memory grows, she knows what she is bringing home and has actually pulled things out of the garbage can and inquired as to how they got there. That’s always an awkward conversation, FYI. Ultimately, I’ve either owned up to it and informed her that we needed to make room on the fridge for her newer masterpieces or completely wimped out and told her I didn’t know how it got there. Either way, I feel like a shmuck. And I’m pretty sure she knows when I’m lying to her. Three-year-olds have a pretty good bullshit detector sometimes.

I don’t for one second want her to stop bringing home these compositions. The teachers at her school are wonderful and have different lesson plans every week. CP tells me about “picnic week”, where they learn about and create projects that center on fruit and bugs. Or “camping week” where art is focused on s’mores, tents, and cookouts. I love changing out her old art and replacing it with new seasonal stuff. Ladybugs made of thumbprints, butterflies made from her tiny footprints.

I’ll hang on to the laminated Mother’s Day cards and various others that tickle my fancy. I’ve saved some others that might serve as nice background pages for big dreams of completing future scrapbooks. And I’ve even found a solution for the occasion opus:

Commissioned art prior to my daughter's "Black Period". This wall will remain unfinished until we can agree on a color scheme.
Commissioned art prior to my daughter’s “Black Period”. This wall will remain unfinished until we can agree on a color scheme.

Fridays are usually when we get the biggest haul. Talk about stress. Suggestions are welcome from those that have found creative solutions for these pieces! Suggestions are also welcome from those that have learned to chuck guilt out the window.

9 comments on “Kid Art”

  1. one of my daycare mom”s takes pictures of the art work done here and has made a scrap book out of them

  2. We have a curtain rod with clips in our kitchen and clip his art to it. When the clips are full he can choose what to do- replace one or not hang up the new art. He also has a box in his room where his extra art is stored and sometimes he goes through it during quiet time. When that box gets too full, I weed through it without his knowledge. The extra cute stuff gets put in a small box- handprints etc. Good luck

    1. Thank you, Colleen! My daughter loves going through her old projects and parading them around the house. I like the idea of keeping them in a box for her to enjoy!

  3. I feel your pain! We recently expanded our family from an only (age 6) who had art hanging ALL OVER THE HOUSE to 3 kids (who came into our house at ages 4 and 5)…I had to do something! I gave them each a dedicated wall that is their “gallery” – they know that just like in a real art gallery, the art will rotate. So when they bring something new home that we want to display, something old has to go, or at least be covered up.

    The other lesson I learned, especially with the art made from hand/feet prints, is to date it on the back AS SOON AS IT COMES HOME! If I don’t, the pieces that I would like to save lose a little something because I can’t remember how old she was when she did them.

    Also – this is the high point. My daughter’s art production dramatically diminished when she entered kindergarten…suddenly reading and math sheets replaced the art bounty in the take home folder and it is slightly easier on a mama’s heart to put those in the recycle bin. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jen! I love your ideas, especially dating the handprints / footprints! That makes so much sense, I can’t believe I never thought of it!

  4. I photograph all the art work as well, and then I only save a handful of pieces that are really special and put them into an accordion “Art Saver”, especially things made with hand or foot prints because I like to remember the sizes of their hands/feet when they were little! I’m thinking about laminating the pieces I want to save, I think the UPS store or places like Staples do laminating.

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