Blog Community
Working Parent Parenting & Child Care by Stage Child Development Education Family Health Family Life In the News

Memory Keeping: Organizing Children’s Art and Other Keepsakes

Memory Keeping: Organizing Children’s Art and Other Keepsakes

I have finally tackled the bags and bags of artwork, tickets, programs, newspaper clippings and other “souvenirs” that I had been hoarding as I waited to turn them into scrapbooks for the girls.  I have to admit, in the end, I ended up throwing a lot of stuff away.  But I think I got us to a good place. I am not a scrapbooker and I don’t aspire to be one. I do want to keep special things that I think that the girls will get a kick out of later in life but I have no interest in putting together detailed pages with umbrella stickers and captions like “Fun in the Sun.” (BTW, whenever I say that to my mom she says I’m mean so if you do that, no offense.) So here’s what I came up with. I bought each girl two basic scrapbooks that you insert those plastic sleeves into. I also bought the sleeves and the most basic colored scrapbook paper – no patterns. Those scrapbook supplies are a racket so I highly recommend grabbing a weekly coupon if possible.  Around here we have JoAnn’s and Michael’s which both do a “40% off one item” coupon every week in the Sunday paper.

Like I said, I purged A LOT. I had been saving things that no one is going to care about. Papers from the hospital saying they passed their hearing screenings, tickets from the zoo, etc. So instead of thinking like a mom and cherishing all those memories, I thought like an adult kid and asked myself if I would be happy to have something today. For example, I get a kick out of my old report cards, so of course, I saved preschool evaluations, report cards, etc.  I might like to see a couple of old drawings but I would not care now to see 10 stick figure drawings that say “Mommy.” Then I took what was left and I made each girl a memory book with things like newspaper clippings, report cards, programs from recitals, playbooks, particularly special poems from school or those funny things where they ask the kids how old their mom is and they say 10. All that kind of stuff and any other small tokens from trips, etc. went into one book. Now that I am on top of it, the goal will be to just add to the books as things happen.

I then started each kid an art book using the same kind of basic scrapbook. This book will just hold artwork. If the art was 8.5 x 11 or smaller I adhered it to scrapbook paper. If it was large or otherwise awkward-shaped, I folded it neatly and placed it directly in the sleeve.  I put a fair amount of really special paintings/drawings in real frames throughout our house. But they (and my guilt) were making me hold onto a lot of other stuff. Some of it, I still love and want to keep (it will go in the artbook) but there are also the 10,000 rainbows, the coloring book pages, etc. which while great, aren’t necessarily worth saving. A lot of artwork gets hung up on our blackboard at home for a few months and then thrown away. I get caught throwing them away more than I would like to admit and this really bothers the kids. So this art book idea will help with everything. What I decided is that if they really believe it is special, we can add it to their art book. Hopefully, they will start to edit themselves but if not, I will have a place where I can file it away. And because I am stocked up on sleeves, I can easily add to the book whenever we want to.

RELATED RESOURCES:

4 comments

  1. kristen November 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    You are wrirting my story as well. I gave upon scrapbooks and did almost the exact thing you did. I don’t have 2 scrapbooks but like that idea of one being specifically for art. Thanks!

  2. Leah November 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Hello! I found your blog post about curtain rod display as I was looking for a display for my own studio art work. I am just a hobbyist right now and like one of my favorite car commercials (where the guy loves to paint and has tons of paintings he’s done, but is obviously no DaVinci) I have no illusions about actually selling any of it, but I would like to look back on my progress.

    I applaud you for taking the time to encourage your kids in their accomplishments and keeping and displaying their things. I am not a parent, but I think that shows much love and I hope they appreciate your effort. 🙂

    I left some of my college artwork at home when I moved out. My mother had a de-cluttering phase and unceremoniously ditched it all without telling me or asking me and declared, “Well, you still have the art inside you.”

    LOL – I try to be Zen about it, especially as I find my own really old, not so good life drawings on bad paper that I still tote around. I really doubt drawings or paintings done 10 years ago would be an accurate current profile, but still. I would have liked to have some kind of digital image of them, if not the actual items.

    Any thoughts on digital scrapbooking?

    Thanks for blogging!
    -Leah

  3. Leah November 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Hello! I found your this post by following another post on this blog about curtain rod display as I was looking for a display for my own studio art work. I am just a hobbyist right now and like one of my favorite car commercials (where the guy loves to paint and has tons of paintings he’s done, but is obviously no DaVinci) I have no illusions about actually selling any of it, but I would like to look back on my progress.

    I applaud you for taking the time to encourage your kids in their accomplishments and keeping and displaying their things. I am not a parent, but I think that shows much love and I hope they appreciate your effort. 🙂

    I left some of my college artwork at home when I moved out. My mother had a de-cluttering phase and unceremoniously ditched it all without telling me or asking me and declared, “Well, you still have the art inside you.”

    LOL – I try to be Zen about it, especially as I find my own really old, not so good life drawings on bad paper that I still tote around. I really doubt drawings or paintings done 10 years ago would be an accurate current profile, but still. I would have liked to have some kind of digital image of them, if not the actual items.

    Any thoughts on digital scrapbooking?

    Thanks for blogging!
    -Leah

  4. Calgary Nanny September 24, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Great post, its always best to collect art and other pieces of creativity by children because you never know when you need them. I enjoyed reading every word in your post. Thank you for writing this lovely piece.

Please Log In to Comment


TOP