Capture those childhood memories forever
Time can sometimes seem to pass so quickly. Before you know it those tiny babes in arms turn into rambunctious toddlers, gangly teenagers and independent young adults before your very eyes. While we can’t keep them young forever, we can certainly find ways to preserve those special childhood memories, turning them into keepsakes that will be treasured for years to come.
You can get as creative and elaborate as you want, or keep things simple. The choice is yours. But however you decide to preserve those precious keepsakes, consider getting your children involved. Not only will they be helping to capture memories of old, they’ll be participating in making new ones as you work together on their keepsake project.
- Keepsake tree ball. Imagine a clear tree ornament filled with small mementos: the hat you child wore in the hospital, a lock of hair, a hospital bracelet and a copy of the birth announcement. Craft stores sell clear plastic balls just for this sort of project. Top with a beautiful matching ribbon hanger and you’ll have a personalized ornament to hang on your tree—or anywhere in your house—to remind you of those sweet, early days.
- Ugly photo book. We all save the best pictures to show friends and family, but what about all those other photos, both current and vintage —The ones where someone is making a weird face, embarrassing school pictures, or those that feature outrageously out of date clothing? Why not compile them all in an “ugly photo book” that will make all of you smile (and cringe a little) every time you look at it. You can scan and upload your old photos to site sites like Shutterfly , Blurb , or Mixbook . You could also simply copy the photos and put them in a scrapbook.
- Art photo book. Your child’s artwork is also another great subject for the photo book treatment – and it’s a much simpler and neater way of “saving” old artwork. Taking digital photos of the artwork means that art will always be preserved, and it’s much easier to flip through a photo book than it is to dig out boxes of old drawings and paintings. Check out Keepy for some great ideas for saving and sharing memories.
- Memory quilt. If you’re a sewer (or know one), you can piece together squares made of your child’s baby clothes, school uniforms or favorite t-shirts and make them into a quilt. If you have enough material, consider a couple of matching throw pillows! These are very comforting items for older kids to take along when the go to college or move away from home. Visit Martha Stewart and The Sassy Quilter for inspiration, photos and instructions.
- Shadow Box. Have each child select a few treasured mementos— a piece of artwork, a letter or card, some photos, a small toy—and arrange them in a shadow box. Shadow boxes are deeper than standard frames to allow for three-dimensional objects. You can find them at many craft stores, or make your own if you’re handy. Check out wikiHow for instructions on how to build a shadow box.
- Family blog. What better way to preserve memories for years to come than to write them down as they happen. Start a family blog to record important family moments, share photos and keep in touch with family members you aren’t able to see in person very often. As the years pass, it will be an amazing record of your lives together. You can start a free blog at WordPress and Blog.com .
- Time capsule. Find an old suitcase, decorative box or other sealable container and ask all the kids to collect meaningful items to include in the time capsule. Write letters to your future selves and each other to include too! “Seal” the time capsule by wrapping it in tape or tying it with ribbon and agree upon a date when you’ll all gather again to open it and reveal the treasures inside. For good tips on creating a time capsule, visit @Your Library and eHow.
Capturing those sweet, simple days of childhood with a special keepsake project your children will always treasure is a wonderful way to show how much they are loved—and a great way to enjoy an afternoon of nostalgic crafting and reminiscing. We’d love to know about your special keepsake projects, so share your ideas on our Facebook page and help inspire other moms and dads.
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