Not a Sentimental Gal

I have recently read a couple of things online about how to keep your children’s artwork.  It got me thinking….. why would you want to keep all that stuff?  These articles were talking about photographing or (worse yet) scanning each painting, drawing etc and then creating photobooks or albums showcasing the art.  I just thought, “Are you serious?”  My kid (the kinder one) brings home multiple paintings, drawings and box constructions (oh I HATE them!) EVERYDAY.  Can you imagine the time it would take to copy them into whatever format, arrange them artfully in some sort of considered way and then produce the book or CD or whatever.  And for what?  I can’t see myself trawling happily through thousands of four year old creations in my retirement and I hardly think they’ll want them.  I’ve never thought to myself, if only I had copies of my own artwork from that age.  Personally I just don’t see the point, or have the time to do it even if I did.  But it does seem like other do, perhaps their craft-makers are not quite so prolific, or perhaps they can see a future Picasso or White or something.

Miss Five’s artwork is all the same, just varying colours.  Blobs, lines and dabs with the occasional flower thrown in.  You ask her what she’s painted and she simply says, “Art!”  Don’t get me wrong, I love them because she’s spent so much time getting them just the way she wants them and has gained so much enjoyment out of the creative process (that I didn’t have to organise, set up or clean up!!), I just don’t need to keep them.

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My theory on the excessive amounts of craft that comes home each night is simple.  One goes on the fridge each week, anything particularly colourful or pleasing to the eye gets stashed to use a wrapping paper (I may never have to buy paper again!) and the rest gets quietly filed in the recycling bin.

There is one exception, a painting on canvas that the kids did for Mother’s Day.  This perfectly sums up my child and her idea of art.  It’s all pink, purple and light blue and the usual abstract style.  I’m going to frame this one and hang in it on the wall somewhere as a tribute to her passion for the paintbrush over the last year.

Do you think I’m lacking in appropriate maternal sentimentality or do others take a similar approach to kids’ artwork?  Are you an avid electronic (or hard copy) collector of the stuff, stashing it away for future nostalgic occasions?  Or is artwork so rarely done that you treasure each and every item?



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8 Responses to Not a Sentimental Gal

  1. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, as a former kindergarten assistant, it was also my job to collate all those wonderful art projects and put them in the appropriate places for said parents to take home – however, not all of them made it into the appropriate places, some of them mysteriously “disappeared” for want of a better word, and it was very rare indeed for the little people to notice – especially the most prolific producers (didn’t always remember what they had done), however, having said that, saw a great idea for displaying paintings – sort of like bunting, hung up by pegs on some sort of string like “stuff” and displayed on a wall – perhaps in a playroom – and changed frequently – could be an idea, especially when you have two producing masterpieces!!! Also, again as a kindergarten worker, we used to accept back the broken apart box constructions as long as they were in relatively reusable condition if you know what I mean, and of course as long as they were no longer recognisable as the original artwork. Don’t know if this helps, but know exactly what you are dealing with.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yes, Miss Five’s Kinder teachers are putting a portfolio together with her that I will keep for her, it’s all the additional artwork that I need to deal with. I also saw a similar idea for displaying artwork which I have ask Mr Good to organise. I can’t imagine the volume of stuff coming home when they’re both doing it, though I think the primary school art will be not quite so much.
      Sadly there is no recycling of the box construction as she draws on them and pasts bit and pieces all over them as well as sticking boxes together.

  2. fergie51 says:

    Agree completely! You already do the wrapping paper thing which was going to be a suggestion. The one time I did keep a kinder picture was when it was used as the kinder logo. Thought I might make a fortune if someone wanted the original! Hasn’t happened. My daughter is now 28 and the kinder still has that logo, surely it is time for a change! I did keep funny notes or some weird stuff and used it on a display at their 21st’s. My kids used to leave hilarious notes about expectations, shopping list requests, santa lists and they would abuse and accuse each other of all sorts of heinous crimes. That was funny to look at on the party night and I don’t think the whole lot would have filled a shoe box. I then handed it all to them and it was up to them whether or not they kept them. Having 3 in 32 months meant I was on auto pilot most of the time so I got to read them through different eyes. That was nice.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Haha, love that your daughter created the logo used for the last 20-something years!! I’ll keep in mind about the funny notes if I ever receive those, the 21st birthday board would have been a real laugh. And sorry, but WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Three in 32 months!!!! Insanity. Though my Mum did the same thing, and was also on auto pilot most of the time (she’d come in to wake us up in the mornings and ask what we wanted for breakfast, regardless of what you said there would be a bowl of cereal waiting for you!)

  3. Wrapping paper all the way! And their drawings, unless they are a first, are used to light the fire. The kids know where it ends up and if they get a bit antsy about a particular piece, that’s fine. We keep it another 24-48 hours and then it’s kindling! 🙂 It’s all on the back of already used paper too so it’s getting a 3rd use when it’s being burned and a 4th when the resulting ash feeds our compost.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Love the 4 uses, way more than we get here, but then again the thought of having to deal with a fire everyday is my nightmare. Some ash for the garden would be a nice bonus though.

      • Come and grab some ash if you’d like. We don’t have all that much really as we’ve got the hang of a well burning fire now which generates surprisingly little ash. I love our fire. If we get it burning right, we only stoke it 3-4 times a day if that and wake up to embers that just need stoking. 🙂

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