Creativity and self-expression are vital parts of a child’s development. As parents and caregivers, we want to nurture their artistic talents. One great way to achieve this is by curating their art. Curating a collection of your child’s art pieces allows you to showcase their growth and progression. It also helps reinforce that their creations have value. Here is an in-depth guide on how to effectively curate kids’ art.

Choosing a Display Method

There are many options when it comes to displaying your child’s masterpieces. Consider the space you have available and your child’s preferences when deciding on a method.

Art Wall

Designating a wall or a large section of a wall specifically for your child’s art is a great way to showcase their work. This prominent display spot will make them feel proud. Opt for a wall in a high-traffic area like a hallway or family room so the art gets noticed.

Cover the wall with corkboard or use removable adhesive strips to easily change out artwork. Make sure to rotate pieces out frequently to keep things looking fresh.

Portfolio Book

Portfolio books allow you to organize and protect your child’s art. Choose a large book made specifically for keeping artwork. Insert each piece into a plastic sleeve to prevent smudging or damage. Portfolio books make it easy to flip through the pages and reminisce about different creative phases.

Shelving Unit

For 3D art or overflow pieces, a small shelving unit can provide organized storage. Place the shelving unit somewhere visible, like in your child’s bedroom. This keeps their collection in view for daily encouragement. Use baskets or dividers on the shelves to neatly categorize artwork.

Digital Frame

Digital frames let you present a rotating display of images. Take high-quality photos of finished pieces and upload them to the frame. Set it up in a high-traffic area of your home and load it up with your child’s greatest hits. Changing the art in the frame is as easy as adding new images to the device.

Criteria for Selection

With an endless supply of artwork coming your way, you’ll need to be selective about what makes it onto the wall or into the portfolio. Consider the following factors when curating your child’s art:

  • Medium or technique: Choose special pieces that showcase your child’s mastery of a new medium like watercolors or clay. Also look for growth in their use of different techniques like crosshatching.
  • Effort: Pieces your child spent significant time on deserve recognition. Look for concentration and hard work like drawings done over multiple days.
  • Progression: Select works that demonstrate your child building their skills over time. Seeing their progress firsthand is motivating.
  • Special meaning: Prioritize art that has significance like a portrait of your family or a scene from a memorable trip.
  • Favorites: Ask your child to identify favorites that stand out in their mind. Getting their input ensures you include pieces they feel proud of.

As their skills advance, the quality of your child’s art will improve. Make sure to continuously rotate out older pieces to highlight their current abilities.

Organizing and Labeling

An organized, labeled collection allows you and your child to easily revisit their past creations. Here are some tips for keeping artwork tidy:

  • Categorize pieces in your storage method based on medium or subject, using dividers and labels for quick identification.
  • Note your child’s age and the year completed on the back of each piece in pencil or archival marker.
  • Take pictures of 3D or fragile artwork and include printouts in your portfolio for safe keeping.
  • For digital art, create files on your computer organized by month or year.
  • Backup your child’s digital artwork onto a secure external device or cloud service so no creation ever gets lost.
  • Maintain an ongoing list documenting each piece curated with details like title, medium, and date completed.

Storage and Preservation

The right storage and displays will keep your child’s artwork looking its best. Follow archival practices to preserve treasured pieces.

  • Invest in professional archival boxes and sleeves to store fragile media like charcoal drawings or pastel work. This prevents smudging and damage over time.
  • Avoid direct sunlight that can fade colors and cause other light damage. Hang or display art in shaded areas of your home.
  • Do not display art near heating or cooling vents where temperature and humidity fluctuations can occur.
  • Consider framing select pieces using UV protective glass and acid-free matting to enjoy artwork for decades to come.
  • For 3D art, display sturdy pieces out in the open but store more fragile work behind glass to prevent accidental damage.

With careful curation and storage, your child’s artwork can be cherished now and preserved for the future.

Framing and Hanging

Framing or hanging your child’s artwork enhances its presence in your home. Follow these tips for successful displaying:

  • Choose solid wood or metal frames over plastic which can easily warp or crack. Opt for neutral colors like black, brown, or white so the art takes center stage.
  • Only hang lightweight pieces like paper drawings or paintings using removable adhesive strips or hooks. For heavier art, use securely anchored nails or wall fixtures.
  • Position art at your child’s eye level so they can admire their work on display.
  • Place brightly colored pieces against neutral walls to make the colors pop.
  • Arrange groupings of framed art together for a visually appealing collection. Mix up sizes and weights to add interest.
  • Add inexpensive clip frames to display changing collections of looseleaf artwork or papers.
  • For 3D pieces, use acrylic risers to neatly elevate sculptures or ceramics on shelves. These provide visibility from all angles.

Proper framing and hanging keeps your child’s creations looking great. Take it down occasionally so they can re-experience the joy of seeing their art go back up on the wall or shelf.

When to Display

Timing when you display your child’s art impacts how special it feels to them. Consider the following for ideal moments to put their artwork on showcase:

  • Hang up pieces immediately after completion while excitement is still high. This reinforces the sense of achievement your child feels.
  • Curate and rotate pieces out seasonally so they have something new to look forward to.
  • Coordinate displays with major holidays and family events. Make their artwork part of the decorative theme.
  • Schedule mini “art shows” every few months to formally unveil newest additions to their collection.
  • Wait to frame and display extra special art until it is gifted for birthdays or other occasions so it feels like an honor.
  • Add pieces gradually over time for eager anticipation about what will make it onto the wall next.
  • Involve your child in organizing and updating displays so they learn curation skills too.

The timing and presentation of hanging your child’s art impacts their pride and confidence as an emerging artist. Find ways to make exhibing their creations feel like a celebration.

Encouraging Ongoing Artistry

Curating your child’s artwork provides a foundation of support for their continued creative development. Here are some additional ways to nurture their artistic journey:

  • Supplement their art collection with pieces by favorite picture book illustrators or artists who inspire them. This gives them mentors to emulate.
  • Introduce quality tools and materials to encourage experimentation with new mediums and techniques.
  • Frame your child’s praise-worthy strengths and progress rather than critique end results. For example, “I see you used so much detail on the grass! Your practice is paying off.”
  • Expose your child to art museums, galleries, local art walks, and other creative community events. Immerse them in an artistic culture.
  • Make your own art alongside your children occasionally. Expressing yourself creatively shows them art is for everyone.
  • Let your child select their favorite pieces for special displays like their bedroom wall. Give them agency over exhibiting their work.

The lessons learned from thoughtful art curation, like seeing their own progress, will help shape your child’s self-perception as an artist. Their art collection tells the story not just of their drive to create, but of your unwavering support.

Displaying Artwork FAQs

Curating an art collection for your child comes with many questions. Here are some common concerns addressed:

What is the best way to attach artwork to the wall?

Use removable adhesive strips or hooks so you can change out artwork easily. Only use nails or permanent fixtures for very lightweight pieces to prevent wall damage.

Should I frame my child’s artwork?

Framing select special pieces adds prestige and protection. Use archival-quality supplies and UV protective glass. Most art looks great displayed unframed using adhesive strips too.

What do I do with artwork I don’t want to frame or display?

Rotate non-displayed pieces into archival storage boxes. Add them to a portfolio book. Or take high-quality photos of the art and keep digitally. Less outstanding art still deserves preservation.

How do I organize abundant artwork collections?

Categorize by date, medium or subject using dividers and labels. Maintain a digital or written inventory list with details on each piece. Take photos of 3D and fragile art before storing for safe keeping.

Should I critique my child’s art?

Avoid judgmental critique of end results. Praise effort and progress instead. Compliment specific successes like their use of new techniques without ranking quality against classmates or established artists.

How often should I change out displayed artwork?

Plan to rotate pieces at least every few months. Coincide with changing seasons, holidays, or before special events when new displays feel fresh and exciting.

When should I exhibit my child’s best work?

Save premium creations like contest winners or emotionally significant art for birthdays, holidays or gifting occasions. Timing when you showcase your child’s finest work adds meaning.

Curating an evolving collection of your child’s artwork takes thought and care. But the ability to revisit years of creativity through saved pieces is invaluable. Follow these tips to organize a system that conveniently showcases new masterpieces while preserving past favorites. Most importantly, prioritize celebrating your child’s expanding artistic journeys.


Curating a collection of your child’s artwork has so many benefits. Displaying their creations showcases growth, builds confidence, and honors their efforts. With many options for smart storage and engaging displays, you can easily create a rotation of art that encourages your child to keep creating. Careful curation also preserves select pieces so they can be cherished for years to come. Let your child know you value their artistic journey by consistently making time and space for their self-expression to shine.