What are we supposed to do with all our kids’ artwork?

This morning Quinn got up barely past dawn and immediately asked for markers and white paper. He wordlessly sat down at the art table. Half an hour later he’d finished a book of ‘Dsins.’*img_6219

This had been his singular goal, cooked up seemingly in his dreams overnight and executed with laser focus first thing in the morning.

And now, the ‘dsins’ are ours. What do we do with them?

Do we throw them away when he’s not looking? Keep them forever? Three-month rule?

We used to paper our walls with the drawings of our 5-year-old and 2-year-old, until our dining room was like a toddler’s art workshop. None of our friends, we found, do this with their kids’ art. Eventually we took almost all of it down. Now, Scotch-taped to our dining room walls are ‘just’ drawings of a tree, leaves, a rainbow, a Halloween mélange, and a factory that includes a drawing of a network of pipes.

They usually produce one form of art or another each day.

I turned some of Quinn’s art into a framed mega-collection that hangs on a wall in our family room.


I’m using a drawing of a Christmas tree as a bookmark (it’s inside Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris).img_6235

What do we do with the rest?

Throwing any of it away comes with a pang of sadness and guilt every time the garbage can lid thumps closed. Keeping it all means stacks of plastic bins we don’t have the room to store. One orange line on a page is an easy call. But what about their good, but not great, works? Especially if, scribbled in the corner, it says ‘To Mom,’ or (even better but more rare) ‘To Dad’?

Here are Quinn’s ‘Dsins’ for posterity. Just in case…..









(He skipped p. 9.)






2 thoughts on “What are we supposed to do with all our kids’ artwork?

  1. Lol, the question we all face as parents … what to do with all of the artwork? I’ve taken to photographing things I like and then smuggling them away to the recycling bin. But, and this is a big but, I have one of my older daughter’s designs tattooed on my leg, and once my 6 year old produces something worthy, I will get one of her designs tattooed as well. If that doesn’t show my parental investment in their artwork, nothing will. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

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