I’m sure that many of you have seen your children’s creations find their way home from art, or from the classroom, and as much as you love to hear their thoughts and stories, within a few hours the creation is forgotten about. Now you must make the decision of keeping the recycled items on your countertop or quietly disposing of them.
Should you feel guilty? Absolutely not!
In the art room one the favorite stations to have open is Creation Station. This is a place for kiddos to use their hands to develop fine motor skills, problem solve through frustrations when ideas do not work out, share an odd assortment of materials, and find new creative inspirations. This is a tool that I use in the classroom to allow kids to build and create in different ways while still working on social emotional development.
So the question is when these inventive little works of art find their way home, what should you do with them?
Here are a few of my ideas that can help declutter your counter while still honoring the process and products of your children.
Create your own creation Station!
This doesn’t have to be something huge! It could be as simple as having a box filled with odds and ends for your child to create with. This also gives you the opportunity to set up a routine of recycling the creations that we don’t have a plan for and reusing the pieces for future creations, much like you would do with legos or building blocks.
The rule of “Do we have a plan for it?”
Have a conversation with your child about what they created. If they have created something that you can tell they are very proud of or have a plan for, then follow through.
Have a display shelf where they can keep one creation at a time, when a new creation wants to take its spot, recycle the old one.
Does it have a function? I’ve been seeing a lot of mailboxes and books lately. Can you find a place for them where they are utilized? Can you make it into a homework bin or a place to store other art supplies. If they made a book, have them read it to you or use this opportunity to make a story together.
Bottom line is if they don’t show any interest in the item when it is brought home, you are absolutely in the clear to recycle it! Don’t feel guilty it just means that their process was more important than their product, and isn’t that wonderful?
So the next time some taped together toilet paper rolls find their way onto your counter, appreciate all of the work and learning behind it, have a conversation, and then come up with a plan!
If you have any further questions I would love to chat with you!
Best, Stella Brier