Sunday, March 25, 2012

Boost Self-Esteem by Displaying Artwork

Boost your Kids' Self-Esteem by Displaying Artwork
art, display projects from toddler, preschooler,

 I love seeing my daughter's face when she finishes a project that she's worked hard on.  Even Little Buddy at 22 months is so proud of his stuff.  One time he did some finger painting and when Daddy got home, he was so excited.  The second Daddy walked through the door, he grabbed his finger and pulled him over to the window.  We couldn't quite figure out what he was saying, but finally realized it was, "Oook ut I did" translated to, "Look What I Did!"  He took so much pride in his work and wanted Daddy to see it.

It's important for kids to take pride in their artwork.  I am working on a book with Susan Case, author, blogger, and former Kindergarten teacher, and one of the subjects that came up during our writing process was the concept of self-esteem and ways to improve your child's concept of self-worth:

"A self-esteem booster is to proudly display your child’s art or give it as a gift to grandparents who appreciate the thought - perhaps more than the product. But they will never tell your child that. They know it is precious to your little one. Be careful not to stress over your child’s product being perfect or looking exactly as you had envisioned. They are unique individuals who see things differently than you due to a lack of experience. Allowing children to be creative contributes to novel thoughts, problem-solving skills and entrepreneurs. The highest achievers in societies were encouraged, or at least allowed, to think outside the box. If they weren’t, they stole the time to do it anyway, becoming great artists, writers and scientists.  The next time you have the impulse to correct their art, think of Mark Zackerberg (Facebook), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple Computers), and Jeff Bezos ( or Stephen Spielberg (movie producer)."

That's all well and good, but we can't really have five thousands crafts strewn all about our house.  So, here are some ways we have found to display our work:
1.  Create a way to keep the art forever.  Take your child to the store with you and let them pick out a small photo album.  Take pictures of every single thing your child creates and then print the pics and put them in the album.  This way they can show people everything they've done is also great on a rainy day.  Let them scroll through and pick a project.  Another way to do this is to print the pictures and allow your little one to glue them to some construction paper.  Then use a hole-punch and a three ring binder to keep everything together.

2.  Display the artwork in the living area.  We bought a wall display thing from Pier One and hung it by the table where we usually do our work.  After we're finished, we hang everything here.  We eventually have to weed things out, but there is always a great display of artwork at any time.
3.  Find creative ways to display the art in their domain.  You could use a piece of string and hang it across the room.  Make sure to do this high enough so children can't reach it.  Then use clothes pins and pin everything to the string. Or you could help your child make an "art box" that they can keep in their room.  Help them decorate it with stickers, markers, feathers, whatever they want.  Then help them print their name on the box.  If they can't get a good angle on the box, help them print it on a blank name label and then stick that to the front of the box.  That way, they know it is their art and they can choose their best items for it.

I can't tell you how much fun it's been ever since I started making artwork special instead of secretly and strategically throwing it away while they napped.  That was just plain mean!

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  1. I love this! Wish my baby would grow up faster so I can start displaying her stuff.

    1. Careful what you wish for, baby will be grown before you know it. Enjoy every moment!

  2. Similar to developing pictures (of artwork) and putting them into a scrapbook/3-ring binder, I've also heard of scanning art and compiling them into a digital photo book to pick up completed at the photo lab.

  3. I love the idea of taking a picture of everything. What a great idea!!! :)

    I already figured I was going to make a "Taylor's Art Museum" when the time comes...

  4. I do the same... any little piece of artwork my daughter makes, I stick on the fridge door. I see how happy she is when I show her that I'm proud of her work :)

  5. i like this post! I am going to have to forward it to my sister in law! I love the picture idea, I had the idea of clutter, and keeping my kids art work forever, we just don't have the space... but I always hang it up for awhile...a picture of it then put in an album is a fun idea/way to keep it for a long time!!

  6. Great idea! love the idea of taking pictures and storing them in a album

  7. Superb way of explaining, and great blog to get wonderful information.
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