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Posted in You | August 2015

What I did this summer

keepsake book

The return to school after a long, wonderful break often starts with the annual, “What I did this summer” essay challenge assigned by teachers to help students get back into the swing of things. But why wait for school to start? Why not spend the last couple of weeks before the return to schedules, school runs and bus stops working on a fun, family project together to celebrate the good times you all had this summer? A keepsake filled with photographs, drawings and written memories will help your family remember all the amazing things you saw and did during the summer of 2015!

Remember, this isn’t only for kids. If you don’t have children—or if they’re all grown up—it’s still fun to create a book of memories just for you. But if you do have children or grandchildren, creating a summer keepsake book is a fantastic way to spend creative quality time together, and it’s a great way to make the most of those last few days of summer vacation.

There are several ways to approach this project, and how you choose to do it is totally up to you! You could have every family member make a set number of pages on their own, you could work on every page together, or you could do a little of both.

It’s great to have captions accompanying photographs and drawings to help tell the whole story. Little details can be forgotten as the years pass, and it’s so much fun when words help you jump right back into that long-ago moment. You might want to give each family member some writing prompts to help them jot down their summer memories.

Depending upon the amount of space you have on each page of your keepsake book, you can request that family members use a maximum number of words (a small paragraph, which is about 50 to 100 words) so there’s lots of room for photographs, drawings or other memorabilia to accompany the caption.

Consider the following writing prompts to help get those words flowing:

  • The place we visited that I enjoyed most was______.
  • This summer I learned about _______.
  • I’ll never forget when________.
  • It made me laugh when_______.
  • My summer was excellent because______.
  • My favorite summer memory is_______.
  • My favorite summer activity was______.
  • It was fun when I/we_______.
  • It was exciting when I/we________.
  • I loved being able to_____.
  • My favorite fun Foresters event was______.

You could type out the captions (choose a fun font to make each page different and exciting), or have your family members handwrite their memories. It’s nice to see things written in a child’s hand, and sloppy letters and spelling mistakes make it all the more adorable.

As far as execution goes, the sky’s the limit! Craft stores and dollar stores have tons of fun scrapbooking supplies like decorative paper, ribbon, stickers and other fantastic embellishment ideas. And don’t forget that you can also use things from your travels to decorate your pages. Maps, itineraries, programs, ticket stubs and other memorabilia make great backgrounds for your photographs, drawings and captions.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the following amazing sites for ideas and videos to help you get creative:

If cutting and gluing isn’t your thing, consider going digital! Check out Best Free Digital Scrapbooks for some great, free digital scrapbooking layouts, frames and clip art that allow you to do all your scrapbooking online. You simply print out the completed pages when you’re done.

Focusing on the fun you’ve had together as a family is a positive and enriching experience for both adults and children alike, and creating a one-of-a-kind keepsake to remind you of those good times is something everyone will treasure for years to come.

412652B CAN/US (08/15)

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