I own a preschool. A preschool that believes in creative expression, collaborative project work, natural and loose parts exploration…we send home a lot of art. The children in our program are free to explore materials and create.
We celebrate all pieces. Even the ones with just a single brush stroke across the page. Why? Because each piece is a step in that child’s development. each piece of art documents their growth. They have a sense of meaning to the child. So we value it.
Now I am going to take off my teacher hat.
My son attended my program for 3 years. I get it, parents…WHAT THE? How do I hide half of this without him seeing it slowly creep its way into the bin? Yes, I am saying it out loud. I GET IT! I also know that each piece means something to him. Believe me. EACH PIECE has a story…a long long story.
One brush stroke…turns into 16 pages of one brush stroke, one scribble, one page covered in the letter S, one rainbow…like itty bitty rainbow in the corner…you get the picture (no pun intended!)
So here’s the deal. I like a clutter free home so we had to come up with a genius way of keeping his art but not having it scattered across the house or sitting accumulating in yet another storage box.
You can thank me later!
First step. Displaying the art. He gets to display 3-4 pieces in his room. We created a “gallery wall”; thanks to my lovely ingenious business partner who had figured out this IKEA hack years ago as a way to display art in our previous daycare centers.
You can purchase the Dignitet curtain wire at IKEA for 14.99$ (seriously! so cheap and so clean looking). The system is easy to hang. Took us no longer than 15 minutes to get it all level and hung up.
Now, what happens with all this art hanging and all the other art that comes into our house?
The pieces hanging go on rotation. When he is wanting to change something or hang something new up we take these pieces down and snap a photo with our phones. I created an album on my cell phone to specifically store each child’s art. This is easy enough to do. I also take a photo of whatever else he would like me to “keep” and then we agree that the hard copies go into the recycling bin.
Once we have about 50-60 images I send it off to my favorite, CHATBOOKS. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that I love my Chatbooks. They arrive quickly, they are super affordable and my little guy gets a keepsake of all the art and creations he has brought home. Because they are only 6×6; they are small, easy to store for him and a great way to look back on the school year. These little photo books are clean looking, simple and super easy to create using the Chatbook app.
Minimalism is a balance. Some people are opposed to the idea of even keeping stuff like a small book of a little guy’s art. Heres’ the deal, if it adds value to our lives…we hold onto it.
This adds value to his life and way less clutter and stuff to mine.
till the next post,