Preschool Art book – Artkive app review

My little girl LOVES to draw/color/paint – really anything artistic!  This past school year was her first year of preschool, so even though she only went to school 2 days a week, every week we had plenty of art coming home and piling up on the bulletin boards (our fridge won’t hold magnets!).  I always knew I wanted to “save” the art somehow and had originally planned on making a traditional scrapbook.  However since my “to scrapbook” pile is growing larger and larger all the time and I recently discovered a fabulous new app – ArtKive – I decided to go the digital route.  This way I could easily ditch the paper without the guilt, since the creations were technically preserved!

artkive-082112-kids-380 Image of the ArtKive app on a smartphone (taken from the web)

The ArtKive app is really cool (find it on iTunes or Google Play) – you take a picture of the art with your phone and it lets you label it with the name of the child, school year and date the piece was created.  They will even make a book of the art automatically with seriously just a few clicks.  I would have gone that route since their prices are very similar to other digital book sites like Picaboo and Shutterfly – but I already had purchased a Picaboo groupon that needed to be used.  I hate letting those things expire and I happen to LOVE Picaboo.  Building books with Picaboo is very easy and you can let them build the book for you – or if you are like me and very picky you can build the book from scratch.

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For O’s art book – I started by taking pictures (via the Artkive app) of all of her artwork for the preschool year.  I started the year with August 2012 and went through June 2013.  Taking the pictures with the app let me label them so I could keep all the info in order – you could definitely just take the pictures with your phone or camera as long as you have a list of names and dates to go with the pictures (before you recycle the art).  ArtKive lets you share the album so I shared it with myself so I could access the pictures and the detail.

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In the Picaboo book builder, I chose a photo portfolio theme which put only one or two pics on a page – since I really wanted to highlight the art.  But since the groupon was only for a 20 page book – I had to have a few pages with 3-4 pictures.  I went with very simple captions – just name of piece, month and year and where it was created.  I didn’t want to get too detailed since I really wanted to showcase the art as large as I could.  If the piece had special meaning or a good story – I included a little of that.  The first page of the book I included O’s picture and a little blurb about what the book was all about.

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I tried to stay chronological and group art by theme if there was one – and matched the background color to the art or theme.

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SONY DSC I really think this book is awesome, not only for me the Mom to marvel over, but for O to be able to have and look at as she gets older.  I am hoping I can continue to do this for every school year – and I am excited about trying to use the ArtKive app to print a book in the future too!

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Of course I put my favorite pieces on the front and back of the book.  The back has the drawing she did of our family on Daddy’s Father’s Day gift wrapping that they made at preschool.  I am in love with this!!

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I hope this gives you a little inspiration to put together your kid’s art book – and if they are bit older, they might even be able to assist!  It really wasn’t too hard and its a great way to be able to recycle the paper art and keep the memories forever!!!

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