Kids really are the best and most prolific creators. They come up with the most original song, dance - even jokes! Give them a blank canvas and a box of crayons and they will intuitively know what to do. Not only are kids born to be creative, they clearly enjoy the creative process immensely.
As parents with young kids, it is our responsibility to provide them with a safe and stimulating space for them to create and invent, to fail and try again. The creative process is an iterative one, and we must be patient with our kids as they immerse themselves in the world of creating. One of the most satisfying moments in parenting is to watch our kids express freely, be it through art, music or dance, without inhibition and fear. The look of pride and joy on their faces when they finally present to you their masterpiece is simply priceless. It is their special way of connecting their hearts to yours - to let you know what they are thinking and feeling at some moment in time.
To be fully supportive of our kids in their creative adventure to express and create to their hearts' content on a daily basis begs the very REAL question that every parent of young kids have asked before you (and will continue to ask after you) - "I'm all for creativity and art, but what do I do with my kid's artwork, which is piling up faster and higher than I imagine?" We understand your dilemma - you want your kids to stay onboard the "creative express", but you don't want to appear in the next season of "Hoarders" either - how now?
Fret not! We have put together 10 AWESOME WAYS for you to keep and preserve your kid's artistic creations. Some are digital solutions, some are not - but all fantastic ideas. Enjoy!
1. Print Your Kid's Art On Bags, Shoes, Leggings, Jewellery - Items That You Can Actually Use And Proudly Wear Everyday!
Bèbè Artiste transforms your kid's art into gifts for the whole family. There is literally something for everyone - the Harrison Weekend Bag for Daddy who travels often for business, Aravis Leather Tote for Super Mummy, Liesel 100% Silk Scarf or Jewellery for Grandma and the Skyler's Back-To-School Backpack for the kids. All YOU need to do is to snap and upload a picture of your favourite artwork by your little Picasso with your mobile phone. Bèbè Artiste will render the photo into beautiful, high-resolution designs that is suitable for printing on their exclusive collection of more than 100 products! You DON'T need a DSLR camera or even professional photo-taking skills! It is that easy. Check out their video below to see how it works.
2. Curate A Hanging Art Gallery
Kids' art comes in all shapes, textures, and sizes, hence making it very difficult to store them all in a single folder or put them up for display in uniform frames. We prefer a hanging art gallery - all you need is a few rods, some clips and you're good to go! Rotate the art and craftwork by seasons, holidays or your mood. What better way to brighten up the house than with your kids' very own masterpieces. You can purchase a complete set from Amazon here.
3. Create A Digital Art Gallery with Artkive
Go digital with Artkive - an application that lets you store images of your kid's artwork online. You can also tag each image with your child's name, grade, age and title so that all the artwork is nicely organized in a digital archive. Or if you prefer to view your kid's artwork in print, you can fill up the "Artkive Box" with the physical artwork and Artkive will photograph the artwork and compile them into a stunning, keepsake book.
4. Keep All Your Favourite Memories Forever With Keepy
Like Artkive, Keepy is an application that also stores artwork digitally (as well as other non-art photos and videos you want to archive forever). The main difference between Artkive and Keepy is that you or your kid can add comments via voice recordings. Not bad, we say!
5. Repurpose Cookie Sheets As Magnetic Wall Frames
If you have a big, empty wall in the house that is screaming "decorate me!", this idea may be for you. Marzi from Made by Marzipan has a tutorial on how to repurpose cookie sheets into magnetic boards that you can use as frames around the house. Spray paint them in rainbow colours and hang a few in the playroom for an instant pop of happiness! Use multiple small magnets to hold your little Picasso's masterpieces in this rotating gallery of art. Easy to set up, easy to maintain. Perfect!
6. The Good Ol' Storage Bin Method
This method may not be the best solution in the long-term, but it sure is easy and fool-proof for busy parents like you! Look for the largest, stackable storage bin you can find (we like this from Amazon) and multiply it by the number of kids you have. That should be the number of bins you need - for now. Get your kids to personalize their own storage bin label (to be tagged on the bin) or you can do the same using their own unique artwork. When they come home from school with more artwork, get your kids to sort the artwork into his or her own bin. Get a large enough bin so that it can store the occasional odd-shaped caterpillar made from egg trays... You can pretend that all is heaven in organization... until the day you find yourself using strength you never knew existed within you to close the lid on the overflowing bin. Oh, hi there - again!
7. Press-To-Change Frames Home Gallery
If you prefer a more sleek, polished alternative to Ideas 2 and 5, consider the Lil DaVinci Display Case Frame from Amazon. It comes in a sophisticated black frame that should fit well into the interior decor of any house. To change what you want to display, simply open the frame door from the front and replace the current artwork with more recent ones. Only suitable for regular sized artwork. But overall, we find this method fuss free and elegant.
8. Print a Coffee Table Book with Plum Print
Plum Print is probably one of the earliest pioneers in taking children's artwork and digitizing it for display and enjoyment (Artkive has a similar service above). The company makes the process really easy for you - it sends you a pre-paid box, which you then fill with your chosen artwork and send back. The good people at Plum Print will professionally photograph or scan the artwork, then edit and compile them into a custom coffee table book. You can choose to have the artwork returned to you for a fee, or allow it to be sent to "artwork heaven". A book containing 20 pieces of artwork will cost between US$85 to US$138. We find the final product delivered by Plum Print to be of top-notch print quality. But If you find this option too pricey, read on.
9. DIY Your Own Coffee Table Book with Shutterfly's Mini Masterpieces
If you find the prices at Plum Print a little on the steep side, you can DIY your own coffee table book at Shutterfly for about half the price. The Mini Masterpieces Photobook carries a ready template designed to feature your child's artwork. While Plum Print will do the heavylifting for you (hence the pricier option), you will need to photograph or scan every item that you want to include, then upload to the site and design the pages using the provided backgrounds and embellishments. If you want a more professional looking photobook, you will probably need to use a professional DSLR camera or a very high resolution scanner.
10. Make The Imaginary Friend Come to Life With Crayon Creatures
Crayon Creatures will transform your kid's 2D doodles into 3D keepsake figurines made of sandstone. All you need to do is to "send a drawing", and "get a figurine" in return. The drawings are brought to life using the latest 3D printing technology. However, at $499 per figurine, this option may not appeal to everyone.
There you go! We hope you enjoyed our post on 10 AWESOME WAYS for you to preserve and organize your kid's never ending supply of artistic creations. Perhaps you are a parent who finds it perfectly ok to toss out the artwork once it is complete. And that's cool, to each his or her own. After all, there is no question that the creative process is extremely valuable in and of itself. Some may even argue that the process is perhaps even more important than the final output or "product" - be it a song, dance, or art/craftwork.
But we believe there is inherent value in each artwork. It is not necessarily just sentimental or nostalgic value; if we dig deep enough, there is always a story or lesson behind every piece of art creation e.g. resilience, compassion that we as parents will want our kids to remember for the rest of their lives. For this reason, we will be kicking off our very first "A Story Behind Every Art" miniseries next week. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay tuned!