Is that An Ash Tray? Four Ways to Showcase Your Child’s Art

Parenting comes with some surprises: diaper blowouts, kindergarten homework and intensely competitive soccer games. But one fun surprise is the colorful art collection you'll accumulate while watching your little Picasso's creativity blossom through the years.

Regardless of your child's artistic ability, it's something you'll covet and inevitably want to display. Here are four ways to showcase or cleverly disguise your child's art:

  1. Display it as Actual Art – Art is subjective and you may be surprised to find that some of your child's art may make for something fun and inspiring for your wall. Why not frame and hang your child's art, and change it out with every new piece they bring home?
  2. Useable Art – Ok, so maybe an ashtray doesn't make sense anymore. But could that lopsided bowl or ceramic mug serve as a key holder? Could you fill it with craft rocks and a candle and make it a centerpiece for your dresser? Or the obvious – a pencil holder for your desk at work and a reminder of that pint-sized person waiting for you at home?
  3. Transform it Into Anything! – There are so many websites that will convert digital photos or art into almost anything. From tote bags, to custom stamps, to mousepads and calendars, your little one's art has ample opportunity to shine. That could be good or bad! These also make for easy gifts for grandparents.
  4. The Art Book – Have your child or children select their favorite art and writing assignments throughout the schoolyear and put them in a special folder; the rest can be shuffled into the recycle bin. At the end of the year, have your child draw a cover with his or her name, age and grade level. Then take it to your local copy shop to have the cover laminated and bind the entire collection into a book. You'll have a book each year, and eventually, a collection of memories they (and you) can look through to see their growth through the years. Don't forget to include letters to Santa, Father's Day cards and other memories.
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