Anupama writes a letter to her 18-year old daughter. Read what she has to say.
Squiggles or doodles, we all love our child’s art works. How can we keep these artworks closer to heart and home? Let’s read and understand.
It is a proud parenting moment when your little toddler holds a pencil for the first time and awkwardly manages to produce a squiggle on a piece of paper. Not only do you squeal in delight, but also try to decipher the meaning of this cute doodle that is your child’s first artwork. This is soon followed by innumerable scribbles, then progressing to attempts at drawing objects, people, trees, the sun, birds, animals and so on. As your child starts going to playschool or nursery, they continue to produce drawings and paintings that make you exclaim in wonderment and delight in the talent of your little artist.
So if, like me, you start collecting all the pieces of paper big or small that your child has turned into beautiful art, very soon your hands and house are full with reams of paper. Much as we would love to keep every single bit of artistic paperwork it isn’t practical to keep all this sentimental memorabilia over 18 years and more.
In the beginning, I would hang on to everything that came home from school with my daughter, just not having the heart to throw anything away. But over the years as the house got more cluttered I’ve had to be more discerning and let go of some while preserving other artwork.
Here are some ways, I have discovered, to make the most your child’s precious productions.
This is hard, but you need to go through the art pieces and decide what needs to stay and what needs to go. That way a lot of the paper will find it’s way into the recycling bin. Once you have kept only the stuff that is special to you and your child, next you need to decide what to do with it. If you are like us, you will still have plenty of artwork left and no space to accommodate all of it.
Of all the drawing and paintings you keep, select the ones you don’t really want to keep in the paper form, but want to keep a memory of. What I then do or get my daughter to do is to take photographs of these papers with a phone camera and give away the papers for recycling. Once in digital form, we save them on the computer. That way over the years you can save hundreds of pictures. But what do you do with these saved pictures?
Instead of putting up my own picture, I find it more fun to put my child’s art as a profile picture. Whether on Facebook or Whatsapp, if you don’t want to use your own photo, use your child’s artworks. It will showcase your child’s talent in a fun way and you can keep changing your profile photo regularly.
Instead of looking at internet sites for pictures, look at your own files and surprise yourself with what you can find. You can build your digital gallery of images to be used later.
That way you can have a rotating display of art in your living room that guests can admire.
If you write a blog like I do, why not put up your child’s art for all to admire?
This is something I have done recently and found a lot of pleasure in doing. Find a frame maker who will frame your child’s best drawings and paintings at a reasonable rate. You can also use ready frames in different sizes. Once done, these can occupy pride of place in your living room, your child’s bedroom or any room in your house. I found that this personal art by my own homegrown artist looks so much nicer than anything I’ve seen in the shops [Yes, I know it’s the parent in me talking!]. Also, it’s great for your child’s confidence to see their work up on the wall on display. Even the simplest drawings look adorable when given a chance to be flaunted like this.
With or without frames, you can give away some of your child’s artwork to people who are close to you. Once you run out of wall space, why not gift them to people like grandparents or godparents or even teachers who dote on your child.
You don’t have to spend money on this. Just use an old notebook that has been fully used and that is not required. Glue or paste your child’s art on both sides of each paper. You can get your child to do it, but may need a bit of help cutting the art to the size of the paper.
Why buy readymade greeting cards. Just use your child’s art. Use a plain card paper or any plain paper, fold it over to double and stick the art on the front of it. Add your message. That’s it! Also you can use small artwork to stick on presents instead of a ready-made label.
For all those little doodles, scribbles and notes of ‘Mummy I love you’ which you never want to part with, you can make a collage and then frame it or stick it over an old picture that you are tired of seeing. This new personalized art will warm your heart every time you see it. Or paste it all on one large piece of paper, put on the fridge with fridge magnets and let it thrill you every time you cast your eye on it.
If you are really enthusiastic and enterprising, why not sell your child’s art for a good cause? I have not done this yet but one day I think I will.
I am sure there are plenty of more ideas on how to deal with your child’s art more imaginatively and I would love to hear from you if you have done other things.
All the art your child proudly brings home does not have to overwhelm you. Just think of the endless possibilities and have fun.
Image of a child’s drawing via Shutterstock
I love writing about anything that makes me laugh, cry, salivate, roll my eyes or
I have so many art projects that my daughter has brought home from school. I don’t want to part with any of it, but it does take up a lot of space! These are all great tips, thanks!
Thank you Jen. Another thing I forgot to list is that we have 2 boxes full of my daughter’s art from the time she was very little and we call them treasure chests.
Enjoy your little ones art Jen. All the best 🙂
Thanks for the great ideas. I have a Budding Picasso at home and do not want to trash his hard work and imaginations.
You are most welcome. Enjoy and cherish the work of your dear Picasso : )
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