Fiber artist and early childhood art educator Rachel Johnston's thoughts for the day: Creating a portfolio for a child’s art is a good way to see how they are growing as an artist. Every now and then, set aside a drawing or painting to be kept in the portfolio. Date each piece before filing it away. You can choose a piece of art each month, or whenever you think their work has progressed or changed. Each year you can look through and see the different developmental stages they have gone through in their art work. A portfolio is a good keepsake for the child as well, sending them the message that their work has value.
note from Jessica:
As a parent of two young children, both of whom create a vast amount of artwork, I began to be overwhelmed with the accumulation of paper and other crafts that pour in. My son is very sentimental, and would be devastated to see anything he created and gave to me in the garbage. So, my sister-in-law suggested the following idea: Designate a storage box for each child, and put all work (artwork, school work, whatever you need for your particular situation) into the box. As Rachel said of the portfolio, it's important to date the work, because after a while it's impossible to remember when it was created. Then when the box is full, or at the end of each school year, privately go through the box, keeping what's necessary and discarding the rest. This keeps things in somewhat chronological order, and it's tidy and easy to store away when the boxes eventually become full. Also, with a medium-size, "flat" Rubbermaid-type storage box, oversize papers will fit without folding or rolling.