Hello everyone! I’m loving those crunchy Autumn leaves and crisp mornings at the moment. And these sunny weekends are a nice bonus too. I have to remember to enjoy these days before everything just slides quickly into the raucousness of Sinterklaas and Christmas.Another common question I get asked is if I have any good ideas what to do with the lovely paintings that the kids make in class and at home. So here are some simple ideas for you try. Let me know what are your favourites too!
8 easy ideas for keeping your child’s artwork
It’s easy to accumulate a lot of artwork with a child in the house. I would put it into a box to store it and then wonder “what should I do with it all?”.
But since then I’ve come up with some ideas that don’t require hours of effort to repurpose them into baubles or the like. Although if you find that fun, don’t let me stop you!
It’s important to note that when the child is young, they are interested in the process not actually the product. For example, the movement when they are painting, the colours, the feel of the paint. So it’s common in Montessori training to learn that the paintings don’t need to be kept.
However, as adults we do like to keep some and here are 8 simple ideas if you would like to do something with the end product:
1. Make a portfolio
Once a year, I would sit down one afternoon with the kids and pull out our favourite artwork from the year. I would buy a simple scrapbook (my favourite are “plakboeken” from the Hema for those of you in the Netherlands). And we simply glued them in, folding up the ones that wouldn’t fit.
You could also use a folder with plastic sleeves and slide the artwork in too.
Often we’d stick in some tickets from a special outing and the kids still enjoy to look through them from time to time. And it’s a nice thing to show visitors from out of town.
2. Wrapping paper
Repurposing the larger sheets for wrapping paper means you’ll rarely need to buy wrapping paper again. Add some baker’s twine or a cute ribbon and you have added a personal touch to your present.
3. Post to grandparents and family
Remember to send some to the grandparents and family. For those of us living in a different country from family, this is a lovely way for family members to be included in your child’s life.
4. Frame and hang
It’s fun to take a special artwork or two and buy frames to hang them in your home. You can change the artwork from time to time. Your child will feel pleased to see their work displayed like artwork. You can also have conversations with them about their work.
5. Use a wire curtain line with pegs
If you have a wall available, you can also hang a wire curtain line and use pegs to hang up the art work your child brings home. It’s easy to rotate work and replace older work with something new. The old work can go into a box to be reused for another of these ideas.
There is no need to keep it all. As mentioned above, the younger children are not busy with the end product and the paintings can be recycled. Older children may want to keep them, so it is worth checking with your child before they find their lovingly made artwork in the recycling box.
7. Take a photo and print a photo book a year
Particularly with art work that can’t be stuck into a book, I like to take a photograph. Some people then put together a photo book once a year from these photos and have it printed. Saves a lot of space and is a beautiful memory.
8. Hang clipboards on the wall
I think a fun way to present art coming into the home is to hang some clipboards on the wall, perhaps in the kitchen or hall. It’s then very easy to update the artwork, rotating out the old one for something new.
I’ve put together a little summary in case you’d like to pin for later and remind yourself of some of these ideas. And of course I am sure you have some great ideas too. I would love to hear about them on our Facebook page.
Update from the classroomIt has also been lots of fun to make a few additions to the classroom. My favourite is the table in the kitchen area for the parents to drink tea and share wisdom. And my kids were great helping me to assemble the furniture. So pleased with it!
And not related to Montessori but of my love for cake, my favourite piece of cake this week has to be the chocolate and sea-salt cake from Bilder & De Clercq. Did you know it has been baked by The (lovely) English Cake Lady herself for them? Worth checking out. Oliver and I shared a piece after school on Friday – such fun these little outings with my nearly-14 year old son.I hope you found these tips useful for keeping your child’s artwork. And have yourselves a lovely weekend everyone!