Preserving your Child's Artwork for Posterity

I know that in a matter of months, when my son acquires the ability to put crayon to paper (which will necessarily be preceded by the ability to keep crayon out of mouth), the artist within will burst forth and my fridge will be assaulted with countless "works of art." And I know, sentimental mush that I am, that I will not be able to part with anything he creates, and I will be left in 18 years with a storage room overflowing with disintegrating paintings and crumbling clay monstrosities that no one will ever see and appreciate ever again. That is why I have decided, preemptively, to come up with a way to preserve my son's masterpieces in a cost-effective, space-efficient manner that will showcase his work for years to come, starting with this beauty:

I haven't quite decided on which method yet, but here are a few ideas to get me (and you) thinking ahead at least:

1.  Create a book.  Scan or photograph your child's artwork (for extra fun, you could even photograph your child actually holding up the artwork so that you can see how your child's artistic abilities tracked with his or her physical development), upload them to a photobook processing company like Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc., and voila.  Click here to see a great example.

2.  Turn them into ornaments.  You can convert many of the little three-dimensional doodads that your child creates into ornaments for the family Christmas tree. It would be a fun family activity to admire (or laugh) at them together as they are pulled out at the end of each year for hanging, and when your child moves into a place of his/her own one day, you can present them to him/her as a priceless heirloom. No doubt their future spouse and children will get a kick out of it as well.

3.  Frame them.  Choose a few of your child's favorite two-dimensional works for framing, and find a nice place in your home to hang them. Change them out as desired.

4. Turn it into jewelry.   Okay, this may not be the most practical idea, but...if there is a piece of artwork that is particularly precious to you and/or your child, you could consider having it turned into a pendant that you could add to a chain and wear around your neck on special occasions (i..e, your child's kindergarten graduation, or college graduation, what have you).

**Above all else, make sure you write your child's name and the date that the artwork was created (or at least the child's age) on the back of the artwork for record-keeping purposes. Considering how quickly the arts and crafts projects pile up, especially if you've got more than one child, you're going to be glad you did!

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