scrapbooking with kids
In short & sweet fashion, here’s a bit about me as a mom and what “scrapbooking with kids” looks like for me!
ME THE MAMA.
I’m 41 years old, married for 22 years (yep, young bride!) … and our children are Porter (15), Claire (12), and Crew (9). We are raising our family outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SCRAPBOOKING WITH/FOR KIDS.
Any kind of memory keeping / story telling / picture taking with kids helps them to feel valued and special. For a child to know that someone really CARES about his life, cares to preserve his memories … this reminds a child of his worth and helps him to recognize the blessings in his life. Increased self-esteem, family bonding, less guilt for the parents. I mean … there’s just no downside!
WHAT I DO + HOW I DO IT.
There are several things I do with/for my kids, with regards to memory keeping.
1. I make scrapbooks for them that mostly include the “stuff” of their life. I have a very specific method that works well for me and is totally do-able, with no creativity required on my part. Just a desire to DO something with the kids’ stuff, once and for all! Learn more here: Catching Up on Kids’ Albums. Supplies can be found at ShopBeckyHiggins.com.
2. I make a family yearbook every year, and this is a place where EVERYone in the family is the star and it highlights everything from big moments to the smallest, most seemingly ordinary details of life. These photo books are created in the Project Life® App and with just 5-10 minutes a week, in the palm of my hand, I am always caught up. Now we have a series of these photo books in our home (and a copy of the yearbooks for each of the kids, too).
3. I keep a very simple journal for each of our kids. I don’t worry about every detail of their life or long entries that cause wrist cramping. I just write a little something a couple times a week or so (when I’m really good, there’s an entry every couple days or so). These notebooks are truly treasures to me, and I know they will be to my children as they get older and as these are passed down to their posterity a long time from now. Our Simple Notebooks are available in our shop!
4. Each of my kids keeps up with an All About Me album. The 6” x 8” album + Page Set is full of prompts and guides the child in various details and stories to write about his or her life.
5. I have a Q&A journal going with each child at any given time. Since none of them seem to be “natural journalers,” this is my way of helping them along. The notebook is a place where I’ll write a random question or prompt, such as “Who are your very favorite friends right now and what do you think are the attributes of a good friend?” Or “Write one of your favorite vacation memories.” Or “What’s your favorite tradition at Christmas time?” We pass the notebook back and forth, mostly in church as we’re waiting for worship services to start, but occasionally at home too. Learn more in this video.
HOW OFTEN I DO IT.
For my kids’ scrapbooks, usually just once a year or so because it’s so fast to “catch up” with Project Life, and I can do a year’s worth in “one sweep!” For our family yearbooks, I spend just 5-10 minutes a week keeping up with this and I print the photo book once a year, at the end of the calendar year. For the kids’ journals, I’m less consistent and add short entries anywhere from a few times a week to a few times a month. The kids have worked on their All About Me albums very sporadically — just whenever they’re in the mood. And I do the Q&A journals with my kids about once a week.
TIPS FOR OTHER PARENTS.
Tip No. 1: Have your kids do their own picture-taking and caption-writing as much as they’re willing. With the Project Life system of scrapbooking, everything is simplified for parent AND child. Photos slip into pocket pages, pre-designed journaling cards are ready for a little bit of handwritten journaling, and everyone wins! You could even put the pages together, insert the blank cards, and when your child is ready to add some journaling here or there, they would simply pull the card out of the pocket, write on it, and slip it back in the pocket.
Tip No. 2: I do not recommend forcing your kids into anything related to memory keeping. You don’t want them to have resentment toward something that really should be so special. If they’re not into scrapbooking, that’s okay! You’re the one who has the honor of preserving their memories until perhaps, one day, they might want to do it themselves. That said, ASK them if / how they want to be involved! Perhaps they love writing and you can encourage them to keep a written journal. Perhaps they love taking pictures and you can set up a shared cloud folder where they regularly add their favorites and those are the pictures you can keep in an album. Perhaps they don’t love any of that, but you pick up on things they say or do and keep a simple journal on their behalf and from your loving parental viewpoint.
Feel free to leave a comment and share insights or experiences on what has worked for you. We love inspiring each other around here!