The first question you have to ask yourself is "do I keep it all?" I would say no. My mother recently handed over a large box of mostly my old school papers and a few crafty things . . . I kept one piece out of the whole box. So I have vowed as an artist and a mother to try and see all of my kids work somewhat objectively. Of course I see everything they do as talented and not to be thrown away. So I try to limit myself to keeping the ones that mean the most to them or they worked really hard on it and it turned out great. (This still leaves way to many in the "keep" pile according to my husband.)
So then the next question is once it's kept, what do you do with it all? You can always post it on the fridge for a week or hide it away in a box for 20 years for them to discover you were crazy for keeping it all. So what other options are there to encourage your artful child and let him know your proud? My boys both have two of their paintings hanging in their room. They talk about them all the time and beam with pride in their accomplishment. Now I don't have to buy some cheap poster to put in there and both I and kids are happy about how it looks.
Recently my oldest just started all-day preschool and brought home his first school project. (pictured below) I am keeping this one, because it is his first ever. Next on my list is a drawing he did in crayon. I could tell when he was doing it that he was really thinking about something particular. When he was done I really liked it. So I took it to work, trimed it to a design shape and mounted it on foamboard and put a UV printguard on it. (pictured below and also with frame options) This would have cost me about $10 and now I have a beau tiful picture my son did ready to hang on the wall as is or I can really show it off by having it framed.
Now to the nitty gritty of framing kid art. This can be fun and inexpensive. You can make it match a particular style in your house, keep it basic with a black or white frame or use a pop of a color in the picture. Another way to minimize your expenses is to have a mat on your picture. Keep the frame and mat simple and this will allow you to switch out your child's art as they progress in their abilities. So how much is inexpensive? With an average child size art piece...with a mat, UV protective glass and a well-built custom frame that will last a lot longer than any premade store-bought frame...making it about a 16x20 let's say...it can be done for as little as $60. (the frame being about $40 of that) The options are limitless!
One more thing I would like to say is this, because it was a recent revelation to me. I had a man wanting to buy Deacon's painting hanging in our gallery at The Studio Corner. This was my answer "As an artist and his mother I can't make the decision to sell it. He, as an artist, has to make that decision when he is older. It is his to sell, not mine." The man was surprised by who and how old the artist was who had done the painting and respectfully understood. (Of course I was beaming with pride I am sure.)
So enough is enough... keep whatever makes you and your child happy! Encourage them to paint and draw more and join in the fun. I hope this was helpful in some way...I could have blabbed on for days about my kids, art and framing. :)
Camille Blase Smallwood