Throw out Your Kid's Art Projects

Are you debating what to do with all the art projects your precious little ones make at school and bring home to show you? Do you go into fits of guilt at the thought of throwing them away? Do you think you're doing your kids a favor by saving them? If so, I hope the following will enlighten you.

When I was in third grade, we were given an assignment to do a water color picture. Having recently read the novel, Bambi, I chose him as my model. I painstakingly sketched Bambi amongst a dense forested backdrop. Then I carefully, oh so carefully, painted him and the rest of the page. I don't remember ever taking so much time or making so much of an effort on any other art project before or since. I knew that this picture would be the one. This would be the one that would make everyone realize what a talented artist I truly was. I seriously thought about sending it into a book publisher so they could put it on the cover of the Bambi book.

After it dried and I received my grade I brought it home to show my family. I was beaming inside and out when my mom said how good it was and hung it on the fridge. Very few, if any, of my pictures were ever displayed on the fridge, so you can imagine how proud I was. Time went by and eventually my mom took down the picture and filed it. Years passed and occasionally I would think about that picture. If I ever received a poor grade in art, or created something lame in Young Women's or later in Homemaking, I would just think about how great the Bambi picture was and would be consoled. Because of Bambi, I believed that if I tried hard enough, I could draw and paint as well as anyone...if I wanted to.

A few months ago, my mom was cleaning out her files and collected a bunch of my papers in a file and gave them back to me. As I was leafing through them, I saw it. My Bambi painting. It was perfectly intact. However, it didn't look anything at all like I remembered. The years must have distorted it in my mind. At first, I tried to tell myself that this wasn't the same picture. There was no way! But as I looked down at this painting of what was suppose to be a deer, but looked more like a great dane, I realized this had to be it. It had big black blotches for eyes, and a great big blotchy smile. It wasn't good at all. In my mind, it was as detailed and perfect as a photograph or a painting done by one of the masters. In reality, it looked like something painted by a Chimpanzee with finger paints...albeit a smart Chimpanzee, but a Chimpanzee. I kept staring back at those crazy eyes and big old sloppy smile until I started laughing and laughing and laughing. It was the silliest Bambi picture ever! What was I smokin' in 3rd grade?

Here I'd been going around my whole life thinking I had hidden artistic talent all because of this stupid 3rd grade picture. Ah, what a crushing realization it was for me. If only my mom had just thrown it out, I would still be able to remember it with my 3rd Grader brain, not my 38 Year old brain. Now I have no choice but to admit that I'm no good at art. I can't use the Bambi picture as a crutch anymore, now that I know how ridiculous it really was.

So let your Kindergartners remember their creations with their Kindergarter brains and after they forget about them, and of course while they're not looking, throw their creations in the trash!


  1. Ahhhh, throw it away? :) I actually keep a rubbermaid container under his bed. when he comes home with all his papers (art or not) I say "oh, good job, go put it in your bin" that way I don't have it lying around the house. then a in the mid year and at the end I keep what I want to save in a folder for him. that way he could get bummed out that he was not a good artist and crush his life :) just kidding I'm a nicer mom that that :)

  2. I admit it, I throw it all out, I display it on the fridge for a few weeks and then it goes into the garbage, I think that Patty would be sad at this revelation, but really, I don't necessarily think that as an adult I would want my mom heaping all of my school art projects at me, nor do I want or have the space to save them. If you need a better example of saving tooooooo much stuff, just be reminded of project red robin! Enough said.


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