Design2Share's Anonymous UK Correspondent - I find it hard to keep the home design I planned before and in preparation of children to the structure I originally intended. Designing for a family is certainly something better done when there's already a family present. There's a bag which comes home from nursery on a regular basis filled to the brim with paintings, drawings, and junk models. I love going through it with the children to hear about what they've made – last week my three year old introduced me to "Billy" who is some kind of robot featuring an inventive combination of cereal boxes, yogurt pots, and an unfeasible amount of red paint. Marvellous! I have to say though, the sheer volume of artwork that my children are generating is overwhelming, and much as I would love to keep everything, I've started being pretty strict about what makes the grade and what goes out for recycling.
Everyone I know who's at the same stage of life has walls or fridges in their kitchens which are covered in kids' masterpieces, and it set me to wondering if there was a better way to display them.
- From experience, I have learned that the most important thing is to appreciate the art when your child has made it and brought it to show you.
- Let them know you're proud of their efforts no matter what it does or doesn’t look like, and congratulate them on their creativity.
- I have also learned that "out of sight, out of mind" applies, and by squirreling art things away, it's easier to weed them out without upsetting anyone.
I have two things going on at the moment and they seem to be working:
- Each child has a folder in storage with saved pieces and photos of models
- Then we have a kitchen-based rotating gallery. I encourage them to choose what they want to display and we swap things round every so often if they ask to or if they bring something special home. To keep it neat we have a rail at waist height with clip hooks hanging off it, making it easy for them to display things themselves. It's not perfect but it's working OK so far – if anyone has other children's art display and storage ideas, please let me know!