I have to admit...I was not properly prepared for the onslaught of artwork created by preschool age children. I know that a lot of my mom clients struggle with so many aspects of these creations: what to keep, what to dispose of, where to keep it, why do I want to keep this and how long do I (have to) keep this?
I was inspired to create this hallway art display for my guys in the stairway leading to their room. Frankly, our refrigerator was becoming a place with construction paper and crafts went to die. We would often sneakly dispose of the older, more weathered projects while cleaning the kitchen but I really wanted our guys to be part of the decision making process of what stays and what goes. And I wanted it all off my fridge.
I scoured Pinterest and came up with this combination of curtain rods (IKEA Irja, $1.79 each) and hooks (IKEA Syrlig in White, $3.99 each). The whole project came in around $20 when you include shipping.
I sat down with my 4 year old and went through everything that was hanging on the fridge as well as what we had stashed away from earlier in the year. He picked his favorite (as well as a couple contributions from his brother). But here is the real kicker...last week he brought home a project that he was particularly proud of and wanted to add it to the wall. I said "Great, let's go choose something to go and this can take it's place." He looked over his options and chose something chose something he had made in the Fall. I explained that I was going to throw it away and he said it was ok. He even added the new piece to the display himself.
Now, I'm not so delusional to think every time we replace things it will be that easy. He is 4 after all. He will probably ask me about that piece in 2 weeks and cry that I threw it away. But I like the idea that he is choosing what stays and what goes on his own. Learning to prioritize is a skill. It is also personal. The piece he chose is one I would have loved to keep. That's not my decision in this case. I want to give him confidence in his decision making abilities and also teach him that it simply isn't possible to keep everything we make at school (especially in our 1200 square foot house).
Do you have a creative way you display your child's artwork? Do you have a way you teach them about what you keep, what you dispose of and why? Share in the comments below!