Some ideas on how to store it all
Parents have come up with all sorts of inventive and creative ways to store their children's mini-masterpieces. Some ideas include creating scrap books, making wrapping paper, electronic storage and framing the best pieces.
Albert Walsh assesses some of these options. "Electronic storage offers the parent a very practical solution to the storage of children's artwork. Digital cameras, scanners and mobile phone cameras make this very immediate."
He feels that keeping actual pieces is also very important but recognises that keeping every piece of artwork is impossible due to the amount of art that children produce.
"Sampling is the only practical way to do this. The key to sampling, of course, is knowing what's important in the artwork. Again, engaging with the child is vital in finding out what thoughts and feelings are expressed in the artwork. The child will often reveal which pieces they are most attached to and why this is the case," says the academic.
Mum-of-four Susan Rutherford keeps a separate file for each child.
"I have a file for all of them and put their work in as it comes in. They sign them and I just pop them in on top of the old work," she explains, adding: "I don't have the wall space to hang all of it but I have a few framed pieces.
"Three out of four go to art class every Saturday and bring home quite a bit of work.
"We get a reasonable volume. It is mainly from art class and some from school but Olivia would always be drawing at home.
"I find it very hard to throw anything out and I don't think scanning is the same as having the hard copy. I keep around 99.9pc of all of their work," explains the Meath-based mum, who stores the art in box files on shelves in the playroom.
Susan's four children Mark (13), Stephen (12), Alva (nine) and Olivia (seven) have always had an interest in music and art and it has had its benefits.
Olivia was a winner in this year's Texaco art competition and Stephen and Alva have also won art awards.
"If they get interested in it at all, it occupies them for hours in a productive way rather than sitting in front of a DS or the telly," says Susan.
Health & Living