Their artwork is cute, but starting to take over your house! Here are 5 great ways to use their little projects.
Each year, our young children bring back from school a portfolio full of magnificent masterpieces produced during the school year, works of art that join the no-less-significant collection of drawings made at home. Since the pandemic has had our kids at home for months, there may be even more works of art than usual. Drawings, paintings, and coloring book pages now decorate our walls, tables, nooks and crannies … in short, everything that can host the artistic productions of our offspring!
Throwing them away is heartbreaking, both for parents and for children who might open the trash can at the wrong time and see their crumpled handiwork stained with coffee grounds. At the same time, keeping them requires storage space worthy of an Amazon warehouse. So what should we do with the influx of our children’s art? Here are some ideas for how to keep them from going to waste.
1One box per child.
It may be time to invest in a large plastic container that will keep his or her most beautiful drawings for many years to come. Put aside the most accomplished drawings (a line in the corner of a sheet of paper is not necessary to keep!), as well as those with the greatest sentimental value (those produced for a special occasion such as Mother’s Day, a birth, First Communion, etc.).
The artistic content of the box will evolve over the years, and you can hand the box on to your child once he or she has left the family nest and will have a place in their new home to store their own works. Make sure you put the drawings in storage regularly rather than in large groups, to better observe their artistic progress over time.
2Turn them into gifts for relatives.
One way to store a few drawings is to invite your child to draw or paint for grandparents, a godfather or godmother, an uncle or aunt, or cousins or friends who will be delighted to receive mail. Another possibility is to transform a drawing into a postal envelope, or gift wrapping paper. The result will be original and charming!
3Send them to retirement homes.
Some great initiatives have sprung up during the quarantine to send letters and drawings to elderly people confined to retirement homes with no visits allowed, for their own safety. Although conditions have eased in some places, why not continue to send your children’s drawings, accompanied by a sweet note, to elderly people in nursing homes? Just because the epidemic may have slowed down in some areas doesn’t mean that they’re not happy to receive friendly messages from young people.
4A reason to visit someone who is lonely.
It’s not always easy to knock on the door of a neighbor who you know is a bit lonely and would enjoy your visit. Giving them your child’s drawing is a nice pretext to go ring the bell and start the conversation naturally with something like “My daughter drew this picture for you.”
5Albums and calendars.
Another way to immortalize your children’s works is to scan them into projects, such as photo albums or calendars. Many websites offer creations on paper or even on fabric based on children’s drawings. It’s one way to keep the artwork without it cluttering up your home.
Mathilde de Robien