The other day I was browsing Flickr for some Montessori eye candy to inspire me while setting up our home classroom. I love looking at picture's of classroom's and how things are set up and arranged. I find pictures of classroom's that incorporate art or nature especially inviting. So there I am browsing my little heart out (probably the only advantage to nursing a "nip & napper"!), when I come across the picture above! I thought it looked so cool, but what was it? It turns out to be an art portfolio put together by Jojoebi over at A Bit of This and That . She went ahead and gathered all of her son's artwork from 0-3 years and had it printed in a photo book by Blurb. How cool is that? I don't know how many times I've had to struggle with deciding what to keep and what to toss when it comes to my children's art work. This is totally the hot fudge sauce on my sundae! I am loving it! Go check out some more pictures of little Ebi-kun's art portfolio Here.
If you want to start collecting your little Picasso's art projects for inclusion in his or her very own art portfolio, here is one of my suggestions on how to start organizing this:
1. Start with an accordion file and label the tabs with your preferred method. of classification. For example, by month, by media, season, etc..
2. When your child creates a new work of art, display it in a rotating gallery. Be it on your fridge, their bedroom or playroom wall, your child will feel a great boost of confidence seeing their creations displayed nicely and it will give them a sense of dignity in the work that they do.
3. Make sure to talk to your child about the work of art that they've just created. Ask questions, and remember to let them do most of the talking. Art can be such an intimate expression, and we can really get a peek into the child's heart, mind, and soul when we leave the explaining up to them. Also remember to not just say "Good boy" or "Good girl", but actually comment on what you notice and like about the picture. Saying things such as, "I really like the color combination you chose", or "your ability to blend the colors is beautiful", not only provide both positive and productive feedback, but they will also be more meaningful to your child as well.
4. After a week has gone by, (you decide the time frame), place the artwork in your accordion file and attach any notes you may have taken when discussing the work. The notes can be included alongside the picture of the artwork in the portfolio to capture the overall essence of your child at the time the artwork was done.
5. When you've gotten a good amount of pictures for each category, you can review them with your child and ask which one's they would like to use for inclusion in their art portfolio. The pictures not chosen for inclusion in the art portfolio can be given away to loved ones as gifts, or can be made into birthday cards for friends.
When it comes to art projects that are mixed media, sculpture, etc.. you can use a camera to take a picture of their project and store it in the same fashion as above.