Preserving The Past

June 4, 2007 by Kailani  
Filed under family topics

This past Saturday, I posted a couple of recent drawings by Girlie Girl. She has surprisingly turned into quite the artist. In fact, she would rather draw than watch television. What’s wrong with her? Just kidding.

Because of this, you can probably imagine the amount of art work that’s been accumulating around here. Add to that all the projects she did at pre-school, and I’m starting to get a little overwhelmed. But what to do with them?

Grace of Sandier Pastures has kept all her daughter’s artwork since she was 1 years old! She wraps each item in cellophane and puts them into labeled envelopes. Talk about dedication!

Linda of Are We There Yet? still has her son’s drawing of a train. He’s now 26 years old!

What do you do with your child’s art projects? Any suggestions on a way to save these treasures without it taking over our home?

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About the author:
Kailani is the owner and founder of An Island Life. You'll find her sharing her daily life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


21 Responses to “Preserving The Past”
  1. rach says:

    My son is starting Nursery today. I look forward to his art works. For now, I only have a few of his art works and I’m not yet worried about them consuming too much space.

    I’m sure you are proud of your young artist. Perhaps, you can select the ones that you’d like to treasure for keeps and have them framed or placed in a special scrapbook dedicated to Girlie Girl’s art. Then those that you can part with, you may scan them if they are drawings or you may take a photo of those that are too bulky or wide to fit the scanner. Those are just some friendly suggestions before letting go of them.

  2. grace says:

    Uh-oh…not so dedicated though…I just wrap the “clearer” drawings (drawings when she turned 2). The random line drawings when she was 1 are kept unwrapped in the envelope. My daughter will have the liberty of opening it when she’s older (like 12?) and decide what to do with them. I hope she appreciates it. I would have loved to see my artwork when I was young =)

  3. Karen says:

    Hey, this very topic is queued up in my list of posts to stick on my blog. I’d tell ya here, but it’s just easier to say “keep checking the blog, it should get up this week!” (besides, then you get contest points!) :)

  4. Leanne says:

    I keep all of my girls schoolwork and paperwork in big rubbermaid tubs with hinged lids. I try to go through it and get picky about what I keep, but then I remember how mad I get at my mom for not keeping everything – and then I just keep everything.

    One tub per school year isn’t too bad, right?

    As far as their doodles, I do something special for them every year – I make them each drawing/doodle/sketch books and design the covers with the year, then each year I put the previous years away and give them a fresh book. They’re special gifts at Christmas that the girls just love. I even get them special artist marker sets to go with their books. :)

  5. Judy says:

    This is what I used to tell all my moms (I was a preschool teacher in a previous life):

    Find a place in your house to display them. With two girls, give them each a space. Maybe a section of the wall in their room. Anyway, when that gets “full” take a picture of the art so you always have a photographic record. Allow them to pick out one or two they particularly want to keep. (I’m mostly talking about their drawings). The others… don’t discard, but use them to make cards or wrapping paper for family members. That way you get to share the girls’ artwork with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. AND they get out of your house!

  6. BeachMama says:

    With a year of preschool behind me I fear for the full time junior kindergarten next year. So far I have a little box going but, other friends of mine take photos of their kids artwork and made a scrapbook out of the photos. They also say they keep a few of the really good ones. My thing is that I have a hard time deciding which are the really good ones, I love them all!

  7. Lissete says:

    I kept a select few. There is no way that I could have kpt all of them. Especially since one of my girls LOVED art! The ones that I did not keep, are safely stored on my computer & backed up on a disc. One of these days, I will print & put them in a scrapbook.

    P.S. I absolutely love your new look!

  8. Waya says:

    My 6 y/o is quite an artist too, certainly not from me that’s for sure. What I’ve been doing is take a picture of it to have it permanently on the computer, and then I bought him a folder to put all his “nice” drawings in it. Maybe we need a scanner just to have it stored in the computer forever.

  9. Renee says:

    Well at first I had all these thoughts of lovingly saving all of DD’s art work. I figured she’s just one kid, we should be able to do that…right?

    Well this kid is constantly making art projects and making stuff from recycled (trash) and frankly I’m tired of saving all of the mess. I’m also tired of looking at all her crap lying around my house, ‘cuz she’ll pull out everything she needs to make her “art” and then leave all the leftovers where she made the project. My kitchen table is a favorite location for her junk. I clean it off or force her to clean it off but it keeps coming back.

    I’ve considered getting another table for the kitchen for her to do her projects on…but I can picture the new table getting covered and then the kitchen table getting covered as well…cuz she NEVER puts anything away. (I DON’T KNOW WHERE SHE PICKED UP THAT TRAIT FROM…STOP LOOKING AT ME!) LOL! Okay, I’ll admit that I was the exact same way.

    But seriously we have got to get this problem under control.

    So that went from saving my dear little one’s art to my rant about her art trash. hummm

  10. Melissa says:

    Honestly, we don’t keep everything. We have moved 12 times in the last 9 1/2 years and we will probably move a few more times. I don’t keep a lot. We try to go through and keep a few things, but not everything. It just gets to be too much. I have a box of pictures and art work from when I was a kid. I look at it and think, “What am I supposed to do with this? Display it??” lol I’m weird that way I guess ;)

  11. Holly Schwendiman says:

    Well, I’m one of those “pictures worth a thousand words” person. I usually keep a few original pieces for individual scrapbooks but most of the others get some time on the fridge and end with a picture. I’m all about removing the paper clutter and getting everything digitalized now so that’s the ultimate goal. I can’t believe how fast they grow and how much stuff they can bring home!


  12. Pink Chihuahua Princess says:

    I went over to one of my friend’s house when we were in college and her mother had framed a few of her “art works” from when my friend was little. These little masterpieces hung proudly in nice frames around the house. I loved the idea and fully plan to implement it when I have children of my own.

  13. momto3cubs says:

    I keep the best of schoolwork and artwork each year, and put them in plastic bins labeled with the child’s name and the year. I put keepsakes from the year in there too.

    At first I used to keep everything, but now with 3 boys ages 5, 7, 10 I’ve had to become more picky, and just keep the ones they really put themselves into. But I do keep a lot. (I’ll have a whole room full of bins by the time they are all done with school, LOL.)

  14. Pamela says:

    many went into box (each labeled for daughter)

    the hubby gave them to the daughters without telling me.

    miffed old woman here.!!

  15. Lucy says:

    I’m with Renee – there’s only so many papier-mache reconstructions of Roman amphitheatres and Greek temples that I can take. They’ve all been binned …

    ‘Flat’ artwork is easier to keep, though wallspace gets a bit thin on the ground, there’s no room left on top of the fridge, and by the time you’re on the third child, the pictures do all begin to look a bit similar. Still, saves on repainting the walls, I suppose.

    Well, that’s me winning the Bad Mother Award this week.

  16. wendy says:

    My dad saved everything of mine. Kept it all in a big antique trunk which he just gave to me this winter. I keep Jayke’s art in separate stoage boxes…one for each year.

  17. Mary says:

    I have saved every little thing Anna has done! They are in totes (plastic storage containers)… she has 3 now I think!

    Em is way behind, she’s not quite into drawing yet.

  18. Kitwench says:

    I have one small tote per child – three kids. In it, I keep the cutest baby outfit, the baby book, etc- small treaures from childhood.
    Each year I added the child’s fave treasures, then at the year’s end we go thru the box together and they decide what to save.
    If the box gets too full, surprisingly the thirty drawings of a car are not so important 2 years later !
    Now we have 1 car drawing, for example, and he picked which one to save.
    It’s difficult to have perspective when your little artist angel is so adorable and you’re sure baby dear is a flat genious, but honestly moms- one tote per kid is enough !
    If it’s super important to you to keep it all, save each month’s offerings up, then take a pic of your child surrounded by that month’s artwork , and save the picture.
    Then mail off all that artwork to Granma !
    (Or throw it away- seriously. Throw it out.)

  19. beta mum says:

    I have files full of artwork from when they first started nursery up to the present.
    I’m sure someone, sometime, will be interested in it. But at the moment it just sits in my study in piles.
    The ideas re what to do with it look good – but will I ever get around to doing them?
    I doubt it.

  20. Amie says:

    My nearly 5 yo DS is quite the artist. Because of this, most of his drawings/coloring pages are really good. I choose the most unique ones to keep. The rest I load into envelopes and send off to various family members who live out of state.

    My grandparents, mom, dad, brother, neice and nephew, etc all enjoy getting their monthly “letters” from Elijah. My mom especially enjoys her little window into his life. Living 900+ miles away from her grandsons is hard on her, and this just makes it a little easier.

    To give a little perspective, when I say “envelope”, I mean 8×10 mailer stuffed full. He generates a lot of artwork.


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