Preserving Children’s Artwork

As a mother of two children in elementary school, I have become inundated with school papers and artwork. I hear from many parents, as well as scrapbookers, that they have the same issues. What do I keep, and what do I throw away? I’d like to offer up some suggestions on what you can do with all that “stuff” your children bring home each day.

There are three types of papers and artwork that my children seem to bring home from school on a regular basis:

  1. Papers and artwork I know are “must keep” items
  2. Things I feel can eventually be thrown away
  3. Things that I’d really like to throw away but my children seem insistent that I keep

I wish I could tackle all three, but for scrapbooking purposes, we will discuss only the “must keep” items.

Here are a few ideas:

  • For anything with important dates or reminders, purchase a calendar or organizer. I have a household notebook that I swear by and that’s where I file everything that’s important. You can throw them away after the date, but they are in a safe place until then.
  • For anything small enough to fit in a scrapbook album and you want to use it, put the whole thing in.
  • For anything you are concerned about the permanence (acidity level) of, like construction paper, color copy it and then put that in your album.
  • For anything too big or 3D, take a picture of it, especially artwork. Then you can use the photos. Suggestion: Photograph your child with the item – this preserves not only the artwork but also your child’s age.
  • For worksheets, spelling tests or a particularly good grade on a paper, I scan them, reduce their size and then print them out. You can usually fit about 4-6 (or more depending on how small you made them) on a layout. This preserves those good grades and tests without filling your house to overflowing with papers.

You can create an entire theme album around their school year using these techniques.

I hope this provides some ideas on what to do with all that school and artwork. As we know, our children cherish their special papers and anything that they create themselves. These are just a few ways to make it easier to save and enjoy these items.