KatieKatie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full-time work-from- home parent. You can contact her by emailing katie@mumblingmommy.com.

By Katie

We have a lot of “artwork” at our house. With one kid in pre-K and another in Kindergarten, we see a steady stream of coloring pages, watercolor paintings and sheets of construction paper with cotton balls glued into seasonal shapes. Don’t get me wrong – they are all beautiful works of art. There are just so many of them!

 

Our take on an average day

So I’ve been trying to get creative (read: not throw them away) so when my kids get too cool for crayons and macaroni noodles, I have proof that they were once adorable, marker-loving little ones.

Every now and then I come across something they’ve done that really makes me smile, like the drawing I have here that my stepson did. Done in basic ballpoint pen, it shows both of his houses and his dad’s car in between. When I told him how much I liked it, he said “I did it wrong. My mom’s house has too many stairs.” I guess that means I get to keep it though.

For the rest of you drowning in a sea of school art projects, here are some tips on how to preserve that art and keep your kitchen counters clutter- (er, artwork) free.

  1. Make a scrapbook. If you enjoy scrapbooking, double win. If you don’t have the time or patience for a proper scrapbook, buy a three-ring binder, punch holes in the artwork and voila! The point here is to organize everything to one central spot. It also makes it easy for your kids (and you) to flip through the artwork when they are older.
  2. Frame it. So this won’t actually solve much of your problem, but it is a good idea for posterity’s sake. Dig through the pile of items and pick out the ones that speak the most to your child’s personality. Consider a few for the house, and some for your office. You do not have to spend a lot on frames because the artwork will be the highlight.
  3. Give it away. Think of the other adults in your child’s life that might enjoy a piece of original artwork. Consider grandparents, aunts/uncles and even elderly neighbors or church members. While you are probably immune to the cute factor that accompanies this art, it will be a new experience for these other people. When my mom came to visit a few weeks ago, I loaded her down with some artwork for the road. Share your surplus — and clear off some counterspace in the process.

You can contact Katie by emailing her at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

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