any other crafty kids? what to do with all the masterpeices? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-17-2002, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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My ds loves to do arts and crafts. It is not just a phase. Its been going on 3 years. He does a minimum of 12 projects a week. He uses paper, glue, glitter, magazines, papertowel tubes, felt, buttons, things he pulls from the garbage, tin cans, paints, markers, chalk, sculpy, popscicle sticks, beads, string, paper plates, etc..... We have 9 shelves in the kitchen devoted to his supplies. It is absolutely wonderful to watch him. I love it!

The problem: He has a closet full of finished products. I try to date them and put them in boxes so they are not spread everywhere. We have 3 clotheslines hung on the walls to display art work. And he sticks it all over the walls in his room, and hangs it from the ceiling, and displays it on his dresser, sort of helter skelter everywhere. All our friends and relatives get "art work" as gifts. But I still can't keep up.

I used to throw a lot of it away and just save the most special things. Dh thinks it is awful for me to sneak behind ds's back to do this, but I just can't involve ds in sorting through it. He cries about every little thing I ask him to sacrifice. It is just so traumatic for him, and then for a few days he'll refuse to make anything because "you'll just make me throw it away!" So obviously, I can't do that to him anymore.

But honestly, I don't think we can keep all this stuff! I don't even know if going through it in secret by myself will work anymore. He has started to notice things disapearing. We are hoping to move this year, and I'd rather not rent an extra truck to lug his masterpeices behind us. Especially as the glue looses its stick and all the macaroni starts to turn green. Lately he has been squeezing out piles of colorful glitter glue into swirly designs, and peeling it off after it dries. So, we have piles of dried glue everywhere as "decoration."

Suggestions? Anyone?
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#2 of 5 Old 06-17-2002, 06:57 PM
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Oh, this is so funny, bc I'll tell you, I could have written your post! My dd is also very attached to everything she has EVER made, no matter how small, or insignificant. I have basically done what you have done, hung it up everywhere, put some older stuff in large rubbermaid containers that go under the bed, hung stuff from the ceiling, ect. My whole house is an art project. Just recently dd has gotten into titling and labeling everything, like it is at the museums, so now we have to have room for index cards next to the "work"! I gladly go along with it all, bc I am just so darned happy she can so fully expose herself thru her art w/o feeling at all inhibited. However, I still feel your pain. I have snuck stuff away too, and feel bad abt it. She also will remember, or God forbid, catch me doing it! So I have no advice, but one thing I was thinking of doing, that I heard somewhere, was to photograph the larger things, especially 3 dimensional sculptures, ect, that cant be easily stored, and create kinda of an art book with the photos. I'm hoping dd will be receptive to this idea.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-17-2002, 11:20 PM
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My daughter (6) is the same way! It drives me nuts. One word of caution before you offer to photograph things -- be really clear up front about what you will or won't take pictures of. We tried this, and now my daughter wants to take pictures of EVERYTHING. Each and every block tower, every new hairdo she tries out on her sister, this child even wanted me to take a picture of the note she wrote to the tooth fairy when she swallowed her tooth! I'm afraid to tell her about copiers!
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#4 of 5 Old 06-17-2002, 11:47 PM
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Oh, I can so relate! Eldest dd (8yo) just caught me throwing away a paper windsock she'd made at the Children's Museum. It had been hanging in my office & I replaced it with a great paper mache mask she made. She took it out of the trash & hung it from her ceiling fan. Every time she sits down to make art, she cranks out about ten pieces! I have box after box & the house decorated as the previous posts do. I've paid to have certain ones professionally framed. She remembers everything she makes & why she made it. Last week, when I tried to through away a small stack of almost identical swirly marker drawings, she let me know that they had been a gift to me. Of course I felt awful. I just can't keep up. I try to date things and box them but they are everywhere! I am sooooo thankful, however, that she is so creative. She has a great eye for design. Once they get to be 10yo, they can get quite self-conscious about their work not "looking right". I hope to minimize this by just letting her go & sneaking a few items into the trash now & then
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#5 of 5 Old 06-18-2002, 11:48 AM
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After years of experience with three very artsy kids, here's what I do...Each child has a large rubbermaid box with his name on it in the basement, easily accessible (oldest ds is now on his second box, he's 11). It is up to the child to decide if they want the masterpiece hung on the wall (temporarily), thrown away, or they can put it in their box. They have the option of putting it in their box after it is removed from the wall also. Every so often, I go through their boxes (when they are not home, of course) and throw out everything that is not truly something worth keeping. I have NEVER had a child go back into the box looking for something that was no longer there. It seems that the things they are interested in seeing again are the same things I treasure enough to keep. I have also found that as they get older, they get much more choosy about what they wish to keep so the boxes don't fill up so quickly. I've actually dug a few treasures back out of the trash after they've decided to throw something out that I love! They all love to go through their box and look at their pretty-much-chronological art history.
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