Preschoolers and Kindergarteners come home with a lot of art work. Fortunately, the amount of artwork decreases with each school year, and by 5th grade you’ll be WISHING they were bringing home more keepsakes, rather than just graded homework!

I learned a tip early on, and it has worked wonders for me…

Step One: As soon as that paper enters your house, write the grade your child is in on the back of each item. I.e. P4 for Preschool 4s, K for Kindergarten, etc. I’m guilty of letting papers pile up, and having the grade written on the back has been a lifesaver many times over. Especially differentiating between Preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade art! The kids don’t remember, believe me!

Step 2: Group these papers into file folders, or gigantic envelopes for safe-keeping.

Step 3: Create a long-term storage location. I store the big envelopes in an under-bed storage tote that someday my kids will take with them when they move out.

Sounds easy enough….but do you really need to save everything?

I don’t.

I take pictures of each item and re-print these out as wallet size and put them into my child’s scrapbook album.

A great way to capture the artwork with the best quality is to take the artwork outside and photograph it there.  It’s natural lighting, instead of a flash, so the color is truer.  There’s also no shadows from overhead lights that way!  I just put our artwork on our front porch and snap pictures there.

Then I put the picture disk in my computer and using photo-quality matte paper, I print the images as wallet-size pictures so that I can fit multiple pictures on one page.

The kids enjoy looking over the mini-versions just as much as looking at the big versions, and they take up a lot less space.  Trevor comments frequently, “I remember making that!”.  I have tossed a lot of the originals as the years have passed.  But I never toss an original without taking a picture of it first!

I hope this tip helps you manage your kids’ school artwork….let me know what YOU do with yours!