Do you keep every single one of their lovely creations?

February 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 15 Comments
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We have a very creative and expressive son; what a blessing. But boy do we get through an astronomical amount of paper in our house.

At the age of two and a half bear has mastered the use of a pen, pencil, paintbrush, roller, stamper, splatter and splodger.

Last Thursday evening we created not one but eight pieces of very abstract modern art. Each of which was so immersed with paint, they took two days to dry.

We proudly display many of his works of art; and are even going to have his most recent masterpieces turned into postcards to use as thank you cards and so on. But they don’t half take up a lot of space….any many of them are, well – very similar. Especially the pre-18 month old scribbles.

So, what do you do? Do you keep every single piece of art they ever did? Does it preserve well until they’re 21; the age when you try and get them to take ownership of it all and move it from your loft to theirs?

Can you get past the guilt of throwing out a piece of their carefully (or not so carefully) penned work?

So far we have kept everything. A friend recently mentioned that her five year old could barely fit into his bed because of the vast quantities of junk modelling he was creating and bringing home. This would not work well with my obsession about clutter and organisation, I’ll tell you.

I confess I’ve recycled the pieces that have one singular scribble on them – these simply can’t justify their place in the folder.

So, what do you do? As it begins to mount up, do you keep it all, or do you start becoming more selective and just keeping the very best bits? What if your child catches you disposing of a piece of their creativity and wails uncontrollably? They might be scarred for life.

Oh the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

At least he prefers to paint on paper as opposed to the walls – so far….



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  1. Gosh, I feel quite guilty now. I am very selective about what I save. Most ends up in the recycling pretty quickly. But I do frame and display the good stuff…

    S x

  2. As my daughter began to draw people i became fascinated with documenting it, so I made a folder which we put a selection in. Not just the best artistically, but the ones she or I like best too. I don’t think she has a problem with me throwing things out, I am honest about it and involve her nowadays (she is 4). I don’t want her to inherit the hoarding gene but I am sensitive to the fact that possessions make kids feel safe too!
    Great post, love the picture, what a prolific artist!

  3. Ah same as you we have v creative little girl so after having lots and lots of papers to store I have decided that I will need to be more selective otherwise we will run out of space pretty soon.It didn’t came easy as with creative background all of my 3Yo’s drawings are my pride and joy and i like to believe she got her love for painting after me…
    During selection I have realize that lots of work is repetitive for example one day she was really fixated with painting volcano so we had over 10 pictures of very similar paintings featuring …volcano 😉
    Therefore I usually chose one per object or theme to show her perception of things at certain time.
    I keep them in clear pocket portfolios which are brilliant as you can put more than 2 pics (on most occasions) into each one which means less storage.
    I did feel guilty at first but than I really don’t think in the future we will be really interested in looking at all of the pictures( it gets boring pretty much)
    I have got my old drawings which my mum kept for almost 30 years and these are selection of different drawings from different periods of my life. And it is fantastic to see how my perception developed and changed over the years.So I am aiming to have similar collections for my kids.
    I will probably go through all kept drawings once every few years and reselect them again…

    Kasia xxx

  4. Take photos. Then you can upload them into the computer, make a book out them and toss the original without feeling bad.

    • That’s such a good idea, am going to do that, thanks! A photo book of all his pictures is a brilliant idea!

  5. You could keep the special pieces and photograph the rest to keep in a digital folder – saves space! x

    • Am definitely going to do this, a photobook of all his pictures would be gorgeous!

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Catherine Warrilow, Catherine Warrilow. Catherine Warrilow said: Keeping a childs artwork, what do you do? […]

  7. I keep a piece/per child a month and photograph anything else that takes my fancy. You can’t keep everything. A photobook of the other stuff is an inspired idea though.

  8. This is becoming a bit of an issue in our house. I don’t mind throwing drawings in the recycling, and can just about throw painings too, but as soon as a bit of glue and junk gets stuck to the page, it becomes a ‘creation’ and I can’t bear to throw it away. But I must have a clear out soon as it’s getting a bit messy.

    We have three hooks in our kitchen with bulldog clips, which are good for displaying bits and for clipping everything together – I should get round to putting a photo of them on my blog.

    • You should do a photobook like I’m going to – great suggestion from others on here!

  9. I put quite a few bits up on the wall in the utility room with those wee clothes pegs that you get for Xmas cards. The not so good ones I secretly recycle. It’s so hard there are so many beautiful pieces they create. x

    • Am glad to be in the company of lots of secret recyclers!

  10. I used to buy a roll of lining paper and let them draw on the “scroll”. I am ashamed to say that I’ve hardly kept any of their “creations” but, like your little boy, they were constantly drawing or painting so I’d have had to buy a house just to store the art work.

    If you don’t take photos of his stuff – scan it in to your computer.

    • Scanning them is a really good idea too. We definitely do the lining paper thing – it can get quite out of control through!

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