(or you can't save it all...)
Ah, kids artwork. The first time they bring home that clumsy drawing or collage from daycare/preschool/kindergarten your heart melts and you want to keep it forever. But then... they keep on bringing home more. And more! And MORE! The thought of throwing them out is painful but you also can't afford the storage locker that saving all these creations will cost you.
Some people take digital pictures, which is nice in theory, but we're already overrun with pictures of our actual KIDS. Having another few hundred a year of every scribble they make x 2 kids for the next decade is not really that practical. This is why we started doing 'art shows'.
It started small when she was in daycare 2 mornings a week. Her 'gallery' was our fridge. Each time something came home it went up there. When the fridge got full I thought for a minute and then did this:
I photographed her in front of it all, then took it all down and started fresh. I kept the absolute best and tossed the rest. I loved that she was IN the picture with her art. It made it more personal and special.
We kept doing that for the rest of the year. I loved how she grew up along with the quality of her work and with the changing of the seasons.
The next year she was in preschool 3 mornings a week and more started pouring in. But they had an open 'painting station' that they could use whenever they wanted and she took full advantage. We realized all those giant paintings were not going to fit on our fridge, and we also wanted to use our fridge to hang other things again, so we gave her an entire wall for her gallery.
She started full day kindergarten this past fall and is now into cutting out 'snowflakes' with paper. She brings home a whole pile a day now. Those go on the wall too.
When her little sister starts daycare later this year she will probably occupy the fridge for a while, then we will either make them take turns being the 'featured artist' on the art wall, or we will designate a wall in each of their own rooms to showcase their work.
But as you can see I managed to cram 3 years worth of papers into 8 photos that also included my child. Not bad at all.