Have you saved drawings and art you made as a kid or art that YOUR kids made? What about drawings from your grandkids? I have three awesome ideas for what to do with them, including a really fun NEW idea I just got from a friend.
When my kids were little they loved to draw—like most kids do—so we ended up with a lot of drawings and it wasn’t practical to keep them all. One day I threw away one of Caleb’s drawings and I guess I wasn’t discreet enough about it because he found it and came into the living room holding it up and saying, “Look at this! I found it in the garbage. Who would throw away a beautiful picture like this?!” Oops!
But in reality it ISN’T practical to keep all the pictures—at least long term, so I think most of us Moms did what I did back before digital—we chose some of the best drawings from each stage of childhood and stashed them away along with the paper photos.
3 Ways To Save Children’s artwork
So let’s talk about three things we can do with children’s art plus one additional piece of advice for today, whether it’s YOUR kids or your grandkids.
Suggestion #1 is simple: Use a scanner to digitize the art.
A lot of art paper is low quality and starts to deteriorate pretty quickly, so digitizing will preserve the drawings AND take up a lot less space.
Should you keep the originals? That’s up to you. What I plan to do is ask my kids what to keep and what to toss. If they want to keep any of the originals, that’s fine. Later on down the road their descendants may decide to toss them, and that’s OK too, especially since there’s a digital version.
Suggestion #2: Create a book about your family and include some art from your kids.
That’s what I did with some of my husband’s art from his childhood—I put it in the book I made about his life from birth to high school.
Here’s another example of putting children’s art into a book. I went to the zoo with a friend of mine and her two grandchildren and made a book for them from photos I took.
Olivia was so into art that she took her art supplies with her to the zoo and stopped to draw a picture of Owen right there in the zoo. Owen cooperated nicely,
and here’s the cute picture she drew! So putting drawings in a book about your family is another option.
Suggestion #3 is something I just learned about recently from David Delgado who is a family historian and friend of mine. He uses Photoshop Elements to turn scanned artwork into collages that can be framed and hung on a wall. He also does this with photos of the child’s toys.
What I love is how David selects images that work well together either by color or style or topic and he includes the child’s photo or signature or both somewhere on the collage. Here are 4 collages.
Isn’t that fun? I just love David’s idea! It made me realize that I could easily add another double spread using collages like this in my book about Charlie, so instead of hanging a collage on a wall it would reside inside the book about his early life and bring joy to those who see it in the future, because after all, art is art, whether it’s a primitive drawing or a painted masterpiece.
Good art will evoke an emotion and kid’s art almost always makes me smile and feel happy.
So those are three ideas for preserving children’s art. Special thanks to David Delgado and the kids who created the art for sharing it with all of us.
I promised you one last piece of advice.
Did you notice I got a picture of Olivia at the zoo holding her drawing of Owen? I didn’t think to do that when my kids were little but it really adds personality to the art, doesn’t it.
Here is Olivia and two more fun examples!
Tell me in the comments below what you’ve done with your children’s art or if you have any other ideas for sharing children’s art!
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