Creativity in kids is a hugely important part of their development. Self-expression is not only therapeutic but it promotes self-esteem, helps to hone motor skills, encourages experiment and above all provides a much-needed break from academic subjects. From those early scribbles through to the GCSE coursework, your children produce a lot of artwork over the years and that can add up to a lot to keep, let alone find space for. So should you keep every single “masterpiece”, keep a select few of special ones or bin the lot? If you keep it, what do you do with your children’s artwork?
Asking a few mums at school, the vote is definitely split. Some absolutely couldn’t see the point in keeping anything, others just kept some and me, well I am in the ‘keep everything’ camp. I have never been able to throw them away. Even with my eldest son, who is 22 next week, I still have everything in folders in stored away. Yes, it does take up a lot of space but there is something special about seeing their ability change from those early scribbles to recognisable shapes and beyond. (I do admit to recycling the odd model as they are really difficult to store.)
Stationery experts BIC have certainly been responsible for a few creative masterpieces in this house. They conducted some research of their own on this subject as part of a campaign to launch over 100 billboards nationwide created using 5-11-year-olds’ artwork They asked parents across London what they did with their children’s artwork and it revealed that 64% binned it due to the sheer volume. 47% of those asked admitted to being caught in the act and a further 17% said that they gave the artwork away to friends and grandparents to save space.
But I admit that if you are short on space, it can be tricky to find the space to store everything, especially if you have more than one child. If you are struggling with what to do with all of those artistic luckily creations, there are lots of different ways of keeping the memories which don’t necessarily take up too much space.
Hang them up
We have always had artwork on display around the house. 92% of those polled by BIC are proud to display their children’s artwork somewhere around the home with three quarters agreeing that this is a sign of a happy home. I love to see the children’s artwork around the house, I like to see it and I think it gives the children a sense of achievement too.
But how and where do you display it? We have a few pieces around the house. In the kitchen, we have a wooden star for each child and you can clip pictures onto it. We have always had a piece of artwork in each one as they grew up and now that the boys are older we put certificates or newspaper articles in them. Over the years, they have been a great way of storing artwork and they hold quite a few and each term I take them all off and put them into folders. Around the house, we have a few ‘special’ pieces framed and put on the walls.
Around the house, we have a few ‘special’ pieces framed and put on the walls. I find that plastic clip frames are a really inexpensive and easy way to display pic
According to the parents polled by BIC, the kitchen or fridge door topped the poll of places to display. The child’s bedroom came in second followed by the living room, dining room, and parent’s bedroom. 7% of those asked did say that they refused to display the art in the home as it clutters up the house.
There are lots of great frame options available to buy such as these Triple Art Frames from The Articulate Gallery (Not On The High Street) which are clean looking and make it easy to slot pictures in and out without having to take the frames down.
Apart from clips and frames, there are lots of other ways to display your favourite pictures around the house. Magnetic boards make great a great display space and easy to change the pictures when new ones arrive. Make a washing line effect and use miniature pegs to clip the pictures onto it. What about using clipboards hung on nails on a wall, again easy to change the picture and it can make an eye-catching feature wall.
Turn them into a book
There is even the possibility of turning the mini masterpieces into books. This is something I tried to do on a DIY basis using plastic display books but it was tricky as many of the earlier pictures were too big. WIth
One of my favourites is from a company called Doodle Nest. You pay a £30 deposit towards your book and they send you a box, fill the box with the pictures you want to keep and they turn it into a beautifully presented book that would do any coffee table proud. Starting from £150, it isn’t cheap but it looks gorgeous and it is something that you would keep forever.
Take a photo
This may not be a realistic option for every single thing that comes into the house, but if there is something that stands out as special, why not take a photo of it. That way, you always have a record of it and you can either keep photos of special pictures or even models in a folder which you could then use to create collages, photo books or even gifts with. You could even print out small versions of the pictures and then use them to create collages, put them in scrap books or it just makes them easier to store.
Think inside the box
Plastic storage boxes were designed for this sort of job. Have a box for each child and put their name on the outside of the box and that will be the place to keep everything together. I buy A3 popper wallets from stationery shops and when the children were younger, each had a wallet with their name on for each nursery school year. All of those are now inside their box and stored neatly in the garage. It is a good way of keeping everything together in one place. Another friend of mine buys those large art folders, she picks them up for a few pounds and they hold lots of things which is another great idea.
There are lots of options and even if you don’t keep everything our child makes, it is important to show them the value of their creativity. In turn, it will hopefully inspire and motivate them to keep producing artwork as it is such a good outlet and helps kids in so many different ways.
Rebecca Huda from BIC® UK and ROI, said: “It’s inspiring to see the impact that children’s art has on parents, and while some may feel that there’s too much to cope with, we think it’s fantastic that children are still drawing so much! It also seems that most agree – 76% of those polled in London said that creativity is extremely important for children’s development, although only 2% of parents sit down and draw or colour with their children during weekends and holidays.
Launched on 17th July, BIC’s Young Artist Award was open to all 5-11 year-old kids across the UK and ROI. The artwork was judged by an expert panel of creatives from the marketing, publishing and illustration industries before ten winners were chosen. The nationwide billboards, created using the winners’ artwork will be launched week commencing 11th September 2017.
This post was written in collaboration with BIC. BIC’s research was conducted amongst 1,073 parents by Mumsnet on behalf of BIC UK and ROI in August 2017