Nurturing the Artist in Your Child, Part II

You've bought the easel, stocked up on paints, and your child's a professional artist. What now?

You want to be the good parent and nurture the artist in your child. After all, that’s what says you should do, and you trust her ...

But what do you do with that rapidly growing collection?

My friend Billie, a self-professed “horrible mother,” says she “sneaks artwork into the trash” when her son’s not looking.

I won’t say I’m a horrible mother (neither is Billie) but I will admit that I’ve thrown a few “treasures” into the can.

On the other hand, I’ve kept a lot of art, and it greets me every time I
come home. 

The idea I had years ago has proved itself as a beautiful way to showcase the children’s artistic talent and nurture them as artists. Our kids are teens now, and every day my husband and I get to
enjoy the art they’ve created throughout the years. What’s the idea?  Sorry, you’ll have to wait for it.

(Read “The Growth Chart” next week to find out!)

This week, on how to display or preserve a child’s treasured art. 

Here’s what they had to say:

  • “I made up a scrapbook listing each kid, the date, and if there was an occasion for the drawing. This allows me to go through the years and see one way they grew!” — Renee Zehner
  • “My daughter has never been one for drawing or coloring ... however, I have several homemade items that we did as craft times when she was little. My favorite is a reindeer slate for Christmas. The face is her footprint and the antlers are her hands. It gets me misty eyed now to hang it up because she's all grown up!” — Diana Ritchie
  • “I keep everything (almost a hoarding tendency!) and I use space saver bags to store them by age so they will (be) preserved. The special ones get framed and will hang in the playroom around the art table. We also take photos and post to Facebook.” — Christine Affolter
  • “I've been known to get caught putting it in the trash but sometimes I cut it up into pieces and paste it onto card stock note cards and give it to relatives for birthdays etc. …” — Lisa Baermann
  • “I think my dad told me once that he threw away anything that had glitter before it ever even came into the house. I can't say I will do anything different with my own kids someday.”  =)  —Anna Hahn
  • “I saw this in a magazine and thought it was cute: They painted slack hangers (the kind with the two wooden slats that press together and snap) in fun colors and then would hang the child's artwork from the hangers on the walls of the playroom.” — Jenny Neel
  • “I have wire hanging across the playroom wall ... and we use paper clips to hang artwork ... but when the 'clothes line' is full I sneak the 'old' into the trashcan and hang up the new. My daughter never notices anything missing. :) Of course, there is also the bulletin board in the kitchen that a special ‘Artwork of the Week’ (or month) will hang for a while, but only one picture at a time. We also use the refrigerator as a display board, and we have a scrapbook for favorites.” — Laurie Niehaus

One of my favorite responses came from  (), who shared a few ways he nurtures the artist in his grandchildren! One of his ideas is to use the artwork to create colorful origami.

Next week, I’ll feature Ken's story, along with my own big idea for displaying artwork. (We’re on the same page, so to speak, but in different paragraphs.)

For now, I’ll leave you with my favorite submission from the “What to do about artwork” question. Ray Conser, father of two and principal of an area middle school, said:

“I usually look to Patch for ideas…”


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