Day 238 Children’s art projects

Today I received an email from Barb who had a question about children’s’ art projects. Here is what she wrote…

How have you handled children’s art projects, etc. I have a whole box of them and just not sure what to do!!!!

My response was this…

I have made of point of revisiting my stash several times and been more ruthless with each visit. I am now considering digitising what is left and making a disc for each child. My son was quite prolific with writing “wild” stories when he first started school and they are a classic to read over and over again so I would never part with them but I don’t feel it is really necessary to have the original hard copy. I will ask their opinion on that before I destroy anything though.

This was a simple answer to the question and there is probably a lot more thought that could go into the subject. For instance, with all of the great on-line printing services we have access to these days wouldn’t it be nice to put together a book with their art work and school work samples. Even 3D objects could be photographed and added to the content. You could put it all in chronological order including their school photos from the corresponding years. Maybe even include sports photos and pictures of trophies or awards that they won along the way. You could choose to compile your own scrapbook rather than having it printed on-line if that is a craft you enjoy.

This is starting to sound like fun. If anyone has some more suggestions please send them in through the comments section and we will compile it all in a more comprehensive post for another day.


Braiding purchased for a special project that never happened.


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Hi Coleen – will be interested in hearing others responses to this as this is something I struggle with.

    At the moment I deal with it by being quite ruthless and moving stuff on. I love the idea of an art book as you suggest.

    I also save bigger pieces to use as wrapping paper for relatives presents – grandparents adore this! You can also (if the masterpiece allows – this works great on toddlers paintings) – cut into smaller pieces and use as gift tags. I often do this at Christmas time.

    In fact I have a pile of my 6 year olds artwork in the playroom so am going to try and tackle it now!

    • Hi Anna,
      those are some really good suggestions there for those readers who still have young children. Thank you for that I will certainly include them when I put my next post together on this subject.

  2. I love the idea of the art book and using the artwork as part of gifts (especially for grandparents), but aside from that, I think I might be in a different camp regarding originals. I’ve got to think on this a bit.

    • Hi Donna,
      like everything else we need to make up our own minds on what we are prepared to part with. It is good that you stop and give it some thought. That’s what I love about the 365lessthings approach it has given me plenty of time to think about what is important to me in the way of possessions and hwat’s not.

  3. I wish I had been more creative and ruthless when my children were small, and ended up with totes full of their schoolwork. One of the best solutions I’ve read about is to take a picture of the artwork itself or of your child holding it. You could make a CD of all the images or print the pictures and put them into a scrapbook. Wish I’d thought of that!

    • Hi Christine,
      I don’t believe we have heard your voice before so welcome to 365lessthings.
      The further I got into writing this post the more excited I got about the idea. Even though it would be less clutter in the CD form I think I kind of like the book idea I am sure my kids would love it.

  4. I’ve been quite ruthless too, only keeping the pictures (they’re not writing much yet) that really mean a lot to me and are unique from the 500 other bunnies wearing glasses pictures they drew. I’ve been photographing or scanning some items too. Digitalising is a great idea.

    • Hi TheSimplePoppy,
      whatever did we do before computers? I am excited to get going with this project even though I keep thinking of it as documenting the past I have a son in college doing a fine arts degree so maybe his book will have to be an on going thing. Maybe he will be a famour artist one day and I will be able to do a big print run of his book and become rich. LOL!

    • Oh funny how children see things! We have a lot of bunnies in our neck of the woods, but none with glasses. New breed? Good idea in saving the special art.

  5. We kept “baby boxes” for our kids into which everything we wanted to keep must fit. As they got older, they made their own choices on what to keep. But everything, including their baby books (record of their babyhood), mementos and artwork, had to fit inside. (We just used a medium sized cardboard box.)

    • Hi Jo,
      I love this idea. I must admit I do a similar thing although I haven’t separated them from one another yet. Just another one of those jobs I have been puting of for late in this project. I think you are all going to hear a lot of moaning and groaning from me during the last third of this year since I have left most of the hard stuff to last.

  6. Great Idea! I have saved everything my daughter has ever done in school – thankfully she’s still really young – but, just last night I was trying to figure out what I’m going to do with all that stuff. I doubt when she gets older she’s going to even care about most of it. But, to me it’s cool to see her progression of learning.

    But, your idea is great! It would even make a good weekend project to work on with her.

    Thanks for the tip!

    • Hi Jeremy,
      welcome to 365lessthings it’s always good to hear a new voice here in the comments section.
      I am glad you found this post helpful I am sure it isn’t an original idea but with a bit of imagination one could certainly make it a unique project. The more I think about it the more I like it. Not only is it a cute idea for a momento for the kids but just think of how much more condensed these memories will be in this format.

  7. I haven’t had this problem with my older son, because he didn’t like art projects that much and didn’t care for them himself to bring them home. So I only have very few objects of him anyway.

    But at the childcare of my younger one they do a lot more art projects and we parents get them most of the time. One huge part of my solution to this is, to let my younger son play with his artwork until it’s broken. He still loves to dismantle the things he formerly put together. And when it’s broken I have no problem in throwing it away.
    Drawings I consider as “notes” he has taken and if it isn’t something very special it goes in to the paper recycling quite soon.


    P.S. I’m working my way through the old posts and find it very inspiring.

    • That is a great tip on decluttering kid’s art projects, Dagmara, thank you. I will include this comment in tomorrows friday’s faves. I call this Natural Progression Decluttering, where when something wears out or is used up it is not replaced.


  1. […] is a great tip from Dagmara on allowing “Natural Progression decluttering” to take care of the […]