As a parent with two young children, I’m innundated on an almost daily basis with their school projects. Now, I’m not the overly sentimental type so I’m usually inclined to quietly deposit these creative masterpieces in the trash after an appropriate (brief) period of public display on the fridge. My wife, however, has a lot more angst about this and even I occasionally feel a twinge as yet another hand-crafted masterwork gets dumped in with the coffee grinds (particularly when the kids catch me doing it – and they do).
During a visit to a friend’s house, I learned of a better way – a guilt-free way – to have our cake (preserving the school crafts) and eat it too (none of the clutter). Our friends had taken to photographing each piece of school art and, at the end of the year, making a photo book out of it. Brilliant!
Most children’s projects are two-dimensional, so laying them out flat and photographing them isn’t terribly complicated. Some could even be scanned, although most have something glued or attached that would make scanning impossible (unless you had a 3D scanner). If you wanted to get real fancy you could use a tripod to ensure a real crisp shot. Otherwise, simply make a dedicated folder on your computer and save the images until year-end and then create your photobook.
My own approach may use a bit more “curation” – I’d probably steer clear of including every project and instead use an edited selection for the printed book (a digital scrapbook could include the entire year’s collected works). But whichever way you choose, it struck me as an idea worth sharing.