SIX WAYS TO LET GO OF YOUR CHILD'S ARTWORK.... WITHOUT THE GUILT

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*This post is sponsored by Mixbook.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Are you guys running the end-of-the-school-year race like I am? There's so much to do! There are so many projects coming home as the teachers clean out your child's work to get ready for next year's students.  The piles and piles of artwork.   These piles are going to add to the piles we already have.  My kids are creating every single second! So, let's talk about what you can do with all that art.

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First, let me start by telling you that I value of the process of creating.  The time spent engaging the senses, collaborating, and the joy in making are the most important part.  Much of what we do is open-ended, meaning that there is not a finished product in mind, and that the children can take the materials in any direction they desire.  The result is often stunning.  

We create at home almost every day.  I often set out after-school invitations to create, and our  art cabinet and outdoor tinkerspace are always in use.  Needless to say, my kids are making something all the time. We end up with a lot of large painted logs, sea glass sculptures and massive collaged murals.  Many of you watch the children in action on my Instagram Stories and then I am flooded with messages asking how I keep all of this art.  

The secret to keeping the art without the mess is documenting it all in a simple photobook.  My children know how much value there is in the process of creating.  We talk about it all the time.  But, obviously, if they work hard on something, and are happy with the end result, they might want to keep it. So, sometimes we hang a painting on the wall or place a sculpture on a shelf.  But way more often than not,  we photograph their work and document in a Mixbook.  It’s win-win.  They get to keep beautiful images of their work, and I get a clutter-fee kitchen! 

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Okay, okay, I know what you are going to say. Your child is a pack-rat and cannot possibly part with her creations. I hear this from a ton of people.  You are not alone.  Here are some tips that might help:

1. Involve your children in the process.  My middle daughter loves to photograph her work.  She borrows my phone and snaps a few photos.  Right now, she is intrigued with close-up shots of her creations.  Let them help you with photographing their work.  This will show them that you value their effort and what they have created.  

2. Keep a album on your phone that is dedicated to documenting the children’s art work.  After you or your child has snapped a few photos, choose the one you (or they) like best and add it to the album.  Delete the rest right away.  Your future self will thank you.  

3. Show your child physical work that you have saved.  Odds are, the ends are bent, and torn.  Collages are missing their most glittery accouterments, and that cardboard fort they worked so hard to build is caved in a corner of the playroom.  Show them how documenting their work using photo books preserves their hard work and beautiful creations.  

4. Keep it simple.  The designers at Mixbook did the hard part so that you don’t have to.  You can literally drag and drop your photos into the beautifully designed, pre-made templates.  Still feeling flustered or overwhelmed? Because I knew that I would be recommending Mixbook to you, I checked out their “Chat” button and asked for support. I was impressed.  A real human talked me through my “issue” with almost no wait time.  He communicated clearly and was just so helpful!  I’m usually so irritable after disconnecting with a “chat” button, but not this time. 

5. Look at your beautiful book of art often with your child.  Talk about the how and why behind their creations.  These photo books give you the opportunity to reflect on your child’s hard work and imagination long after all of the glitter has been cleaned up.  

6. When your child is stuck or bored, suggest that they look back at their past works for inspiration.  One of my favorite things to hear is, “Remember when we made that? It was so cool!”.  Often, they run off to make it again and take it in a whole new direction.  

Our family treasures our books of the children's work.  I love looking back and seeing the development of their skills over time. Making a photo book clears up the clutter, while still treasuring your child's most precious artwork.  

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Mix book is giving you all $25 off your first order with the code WORKSPACE (expires 7/2/2018).  I would love to see some images you include in your Mixbook.  Tag me on Instagram for a chance to be featured in my Instagram Stories! 

Head over to Mixbook to start your book now.  Good luck! 

-Lizzie