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My beautiful child used a crayon and it actually made a line on this piece of paper. Well, she mostly drew all over the wall. But it’s clear from this scribble on the paper that she was beginning to draw a 3D majestic unicorn.

My child is making loads of artwork now. Each one is so precious. I’ve hung them along the walls in the playroom, in the living room and in the kitchen.  I can’t get this stuff up fast enough! Every time I look at them, my heart  swells with pride.

I’m beginning to look into art camps. I know my child is young but a talent this special must be nurtured and encouraged.

I’ve decided to forgo art camp due to the fact that buying a packet of construction paper, colored pencils and a pencil sharper is a lot cheaper. A true artiste doesn’t need specialized training. They just need the space and freedom to create.

But not paint. I’m against paint. Mostly because I like my furniture the color it already is.

Man, a lot of art comes home from preschool. Do these kids ever read a book? Or play with trucks? Or play outside?

Seriously, what do they expect me to do with all this stuff? I’ve got 6 portfolios crammed with art work. The kid is 4 years old. If it keeps up like this, I might have to rent a storage facility.

You know what, some of this art has to go. Maybe I’ll just toss a few into the recycle bin. I’m sure they will frame and hang it at the recycling center.

That did not make a dent. I’ve got to get rid of this stuff. I’ll wait until they go to bed and then I’m jamming 80% of it into the recycle bin. I’m sure Picasso’s mom threw out the bulk of his early work too.

I feel guilty. My child has created this work with all her passion, energy and creativity and I’m annoyed that I don’t have enough recycle bins. What kind of parent am I?

The kind of parent that needs more recycle bins.

I’m going to draw something with her in the morning just to prove my commitment to the arts.

Unless we get really busy with breakfast and watching TV and other stuff.

They are having an art show at school. Art! That my child created! Not at my house! This is brilliant.

Oh they want me to take it home.

I’ve decided to start using the artwork as gifts for the grandparents. And as wrapping paper. And as window shades. And as sheets for the guest room. Who’s the genius now?

I can’t wait to have guests sleep on that picture with the one purple line and then a different color line and the 3 stickers at the bottom and a blob of glitter glue in the top right corner. Nothing says comfort like glitter glue.

24 Responses to the stages of appreciating your child’s artwork

  • Elissa says:

    I’m with you there!
    This school year I started a plastic box (from Ikea) for art. Everything whether from school or home or wherever goes into there. When it gets full, we go through and decide if there’s anything worth keeping. Occasionally I take a piece or 2 for my own keepsake box. Usually the kids pick a piece or 2 for hanging in their rooms. Everything else goes into a trash bag and out!
    All those things they thought were so great when they brought them home are practically forgotten by the time we go through the box a month or so later.
    The exception being the actual mounted stretched canvas paintings my daughter brings home from her painting class. I mean, they’re certainly masterpieces, but I don’t know what we’ll do when her room is out of wall space…

  • Laura says:

    99% of my kids’ stuff goes directly to the recycle bin. Seriously. I have a large pizza box for each child, labeled with his or her name and the dates the artwork was done, in which we keep only the really special stuff.

  • Stacy says:

    I know the feeling. The only difference is that I can’t recycle it. I keep everything. Luckily my husband doesn’t have that problem. He goes through the piles I create and keeps only a few. Somehow it works. And if the kids wonder where it went, I can blame him. 😉

  • Caro says:

    My darling child is into repeating things….the other day seventeen virtually identical ‘works of art’ (I’m calling them ‘Square Stencil in Slightly Different Shades of Purple with a Hint of Glitter’) arrived home from preschool. Annoyingly he can count to seventeen, so I am unable to cull.

  • Steph says:

    Oh, yes the piles of art from young children. With our first I made the mistake of saving too much. And she did not want me to get rid of it. Once she got older and could actually paint, we have framed those and love looking at them on our living room wall. I have taken pictures of some of their preschool/elementary artwork so I can remember those early days but still recycle:)

  • Mary Clare says:

    I need secret recycling bins. Hell hath no fury like a kid who discovers their artwork in the recycling pile.

  • Ugh – the kids now just walk into the house with their art and put it directly into the recycling bin. So well trained they are. I keep one “STAND OUT” piece per year from each of them with the message of “Trust me, when you are 18 and out on your own – I am saving you from me delivering a van full of 2nd grade drawings to your studio apartment or dorm room. Trust me – recycling now is for the best.”

  • Heather says:

    Photograph it, turn it into a photo book once a year (four pics to a page) and throw out without guilt. Plus you can see their progression each year. Mind you, at five books a year it still creates a slight space dilemma!

  • it is amazing how fast it piles up isn’t it. i have used it for wrapping paper, or other crafts and that takes care of oh, i don’t know 1% of it. and just think, if she does end up a famous artist, you wouldn’t want the market to be flooded with her early work…. it would drive the price down.

  • Lanie says:

    Evan started saving their art on an app called artkive. I have not gotten this advanced yet but I have started to “recycle” (always at night or I take it straight to the recycle bin outside). xo

  • Kerri says:

    Ditto to taking photos of most! As a mom of adult kids ( I have 7, age 24 down to 10) they do like that I saved some of their art work! Especially cool showing my grandson (6 yrs) his mom’s creations :)!

  • Kathryn says:

    I taught art in elementary school for over 10 years and have two sons now 28 and 29 years old. The drawings they gave me when they were young, I displayed on the fridge and then would tuck inside a cookbook or another book I might be reading. They are special gifts when I open those books over 20 years later! Enjoy the art they do for you (it sounds like all who have posted here do). You’ll only get it once.

    • Kelcey says:

      Of course! And I keep lots of their art. But I have to appreciate the lighter side of it all. Putting it into books is a wonderful idea!

  • Leigh Ann says:

    Sometimes my 6-year-olds will draw the most awesome drawings, and I’m all, “I have to keep this! And this! And this!” And then I realize they are basically drawing the same thing every day, so that gives me some recycle leeway.

  • Bee says:

    As mom to 3 artists, I can relate! I saved the “special ones” recycled some and the remainder went into a box and when I had enough we would send them, along with some hand-written notes from my kids to “Operation Gratitude” who puts them in care packages to send to the troops serving overseas. Win, win, win!

  • Kristina Dorfman says:

    This year I have been using an APP called “ArtKive” to photograph and store all of the art that comes home from school, by child and date as it comes home. At the end of the year I’m going to print a book from their site and if it turns out, this will be my new annual way to store all that “precious” creativity.

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  • Sarah says:

    Maybe someone already said this, I dunno. I tried to find the source on my Pinterest board, but gave up…

    I saw a thing where you scan all the kids’ artwork and then create a Shutterfly or something similar picture book with it. That way you don’t have to keep up with the originals.

    Another thing I have saved somewhere is a way to fancy up their “abstract” art from the really early years. You just cut the paper up and arrange it into a fun pattern.

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