Author: Whitney Andrus
I have enjoyed doodling since I can remember. I look at the world and imagine how I could doodle it on paper. When I pictured being a parent one thing was very clear, I wanted to foster all the creations I could in my children.
Between school, Sunday school, camps, and just living in a creative home, there are bins full of drawings. I can’t be the only one. What do we do with all this art. Sure there are books I can send them to, but I haven’t? Then one day my youngest asked me, “Why don’t you frame my art for the walls?
Saying something snarky like, “Because that couch you draw all over is all the creation this living room needs.” I bit my tongue and decided I would implement other solutions. I want to take you on a tour of our home of creations in hopes you are inspired yourself!
1.) Toddler scribbles… Look, they are nothing-ness, but your kid worked hard on them and this is our first shot to show them how amazing it is that they gave it a go. When my youngest was about 18 months she asked me to help her with a drawing. She presented me with a scribble of black paint and told me to color the fish. What fish? She showed me the fish. Sure enough, we found it. We framed it and she will tell folks regularly she painted it with me when she was a baby.
2.) While we are talking about framed art, let’s chat the elementary school aged creations. These are so important. Find a way to display them. Celebrate the creation. Let me tell you why. It is shown anywhere between 7- and 10-years old kids stop creating when they realize that their drawing doesn’t look like the kids next to them. This is where we can step in and foster that creativity. I let my oldest at this age pick out the drawing she wanted to frame. To this day (five years later), it is framed and proudly hung. She even picked out the frame (with gentle suggestions).
3.) Designate a spot for public galleries. The fridge is an obvious spot, and it allows for change ups. We also love to get fancy and display school and art work across the mantle. This is typically where our Christmas cards go, but the other 11 months out of the year, it’s all about celebrating our work. This is our music room as well. So, we celebrate all the creative ventures here. String and clothes pins can go anywhere!
4.) Let’s talk about the little creators’ rooms! It started with push pins, but all I could think was all the repair I would have to do after. That’s when we came up with a few things:
Gallery Wall … this wall is free reign, only stipulation, a parent has to hang it properly. This is the wall that our toddler decorates in her room.
Cork Board Squares … use some command double sided mounting tape or command mounting Velcro. Push pins, and boom!
Magnetic Strips … This was new when we realized that the youngest wanted all her art displayed all the time.
Sticky Tack … What started as a safe way for them to apply and rearrange art, has become my oldest’s way to display her impressive collection of post cards. If I am being honest, I love it.
Point is, their room is free reign. Let go, mama, the art doesn’t need to match the bedspread. Let it be a reflection of their personality. Plus, I learn so much from seeing what they decide goes on their walls in any given week. It’s my own personal window into a little place in their brain.
How do you display your child’s work?