Over the Thanksgiving holiday break, the outgoing recycling spoke to me. Instead of breaking down the cardboard boxes, I used them to fashion Chanukah decorations. Some scissors, scotch tape, twine and a hole punch, and my imagination is all I needed. Then I had my little daughter paint the forms with acrylic paints and glitter poster paints. After they dried, I hung them on the chain that hangs over our kitchen table so we could enjoy them for the next few weeks. Why not?
I’m fond of objects made by hand, and the collaborative craft project gave me some pleasant quality time with my daughter, little keepsakes we can take out in years to come when we celebrate the holiday, and hopefully some warm memories for her.
One of the problems parents often face with their prolific budding artists is the volume of art projects, paintings and drawings that are made at school, or preschool, or at home. At the very least, since storage is a premium for most families– especially those in tiny apartments–make sure to photograph their artworks. Document the children’s artwork and create their portfolio.
Taking photographs of the creations takes up less space than storage of the originals; there is nothing to dust; the files document their artwork. It’s a win-win. Obviously, now and then something wonderful is going to be worth saving as an original after it’s been displayed on the refrigerator. You have to be a good editor to know what to keep and what to toss. But even artwork that is really wonderful can be photographed and printed out as images on canvas in sizes larger than the originals for reproduction purposes: like for stationary, calendars or YES, more artwork. With the photos collected over gradeschool, for example, you can produce a hardbound book to give to the child as a gift.