Updated: Mar 29
As soon as children start holding pencils they begin creating artwork. My sons have attended childcare since they were 9 months old and each of them brings home at least one art work each week plus a portfolio of creations at the end of each year. I imagine this will only increase as they start school. I've spent time researching methods for organising and storing children's art and share some ideas below.
Art on Display
Choose a select few to permanently and proudly display - perhaps from the first year or certain developmental milestones.
Temporarily display art for a short term - use a 'washing line' (secure line across a wall and 'hang' artworks using clothes pegs), frame and rotate at the end of the year, use a corkboard or display on the fridge.
Office supply stores sell A3 folders with top loading plastic pockets that are great for storing the larger artworks as well as 4 A4 pages per pocket. You could still end up with a stack of A3 folders to store if you decide to keep everything.
Scrapbooking - for older kids this can make a great school holiday project. This won't be possible for all artworks but a selection can be pasted into a scrapbook and marked with the child's date and age. The child might also like to add some text about the art and what it means to them or where they were when they created the art.
Scan or photograph artwork - take a photo of your child holding their favourite pieces, or photograph or scan each piece for digital storage. These digital files can be used to create photobooks and photo collages or uploaded to a digital photoframe.
Store in a colour-coded box for each child. One box might not store all artwork your child creates so this will require some careful thought about what stays and what goes but you'll know how much storage room is assigned for each child and it won't change as they grow.
Circular filing (otherwise known as the discard pile)
Sensitivity is key when trying to discard precious art . Children will likely want to keep everything they make so it's important to be sensitive during negotiations. If there are numerous versions of a similar artwork negotiation might involve keeping one, gifting one and discarding the rest.
Unique giftwrapping and cardmaking - grandparents and godparents will be delighted to receive gifts wrapped in their grandchildren's art or a handmade card.
The gift of art - grandparents will proudly want to display their grandchildren's artwork so try framing a special piece as a birthday or Christmas gift.
There are many choices for organising children's artwork and there might be a combination of solutions that suit you. I hope this has given you some inspiration or maybe even given you the perfect solution to storing the chaos of children's art.