The kids started their own scrapbooks last year after I saw the idea over at Pink Ronnie and was reminded of my own childhood scrapbooks.
Both kids absolutely love it.
I knew Aoife would, but I thought Kirby was too young to get it. It turns out I was wrong! He LOVES it! Aoife loves having somewhere to jot down all her special memories, “like a diary, mummy”, and stick all the bits and pieces she’s collected along the way. Kirby loves sticking down pictures that mean something to him and chatting about them. It keeps them occupied for ages.
Saying that, it took us a while to figure out how to make the kids scrapbooks part of our routine, so today I thought I’d share some things we’ve learned along the way.
1) Set aside a regular time and place for the kids to play around in the scrapbook.
If you don’t set a time, it won’t happen. Not regularly anyway. How often you choose to do it depends on how busy your lives are. You won’t always be able to do it when you want to, but knowing it’s coming up makes you more prepared and gives the kids something to look forward to.
What works for us: During the winter months, the kids worked on their scrapbooks every other Saturday afternoon. Now summer is coming and we’re out and about a lot more, we’re re-evaluating. We’ll have more to scrapbook, but less time to do it. It looks like it’ll be our main rainy day activity.
2) Have everything set up for when they sit down.
Try taking a few minutes to set up before the kids sit down at the table. This is easier said than done, I know (I swear Aoife has some sort of weird 6th sense for crafting- I just have to think about setting up and she’s there!), but it really does make life so much easier.
What works for us: I keep a little box with supplies, as well as the ephemera we’ve saved, near the breakfast bar where we do our crafting. Set up takes two minutes tops. While I set up, I busy the kids with something in another room.
3) Set aside some special supplies that are just for scrapbooking.
Set aside some supplies especially for the kids scrapbooks. It takes the stress out of it for you (no scrambling to find suitable supplies at the last minute), and the kids love using their special supplies.
What works for us: I keep a small box with coloured pencils, glue sticks, stickers, labels and the like tucked away in the kitchen. I swap some things around regularly to keep them guessing. They still have access to their normal craft supplies (and mine!), but love opening the box to see what’s in it and rarely use anything else.
As a side note; I do this with homework supplies too- Aoife has a special jar with supplies (a couple of pencils, a ruler, a sharpener, and an eraser) for homework. I keep the pencils sharpened and the eraser clean so she can launch into whatever homework she has to do with minimum effort.
4) Keep ephemera in a safe place.
Keep ticket stubs, etc in one place until it’s time to scrapbook. Put them in an envelope in the supply box, or some other safe place. The ephemera may or not trigger the kids’ memories.
What works for us: At the moment I keep everything in a plastic pocket in my home management file (yes, I’m that woman! Stop rolling your eyes at me!). When we’re ready to play in the scrapbooks, I set everything out on the breakfast bar, so they can pick and choose themselves.
5) Give advice and ideas as needed, but try not to steer their work.
I love seeing how the kids sometimes hardly mention something that I consider a big event, but then make a whole page on something I consider insignificant. It’s their scrapbook, so give advice and make suggestions as needed, but let them choose what to include.
What works for us: I keep a little list on my phone of what we’ve done since the last time we played in the scrapbooks. The night before, or early the same morning, I jot them down on a piece of paper for the kids and print out a few corresponding pictures on printer paper. Sometimes they tick off the entire list and use every photo, other times they pick one or two items (or something I don’t even know about/ consider “important”). The choice is theirs.
6) Let toddlers draw and glue.
Let toddlers and preschoolers draw and stick things in wherever they fancy. You can always write a note in the margins explaining what the page is about.
What works for us: Kirby loves seeing the pictures I have printed out and starts chatting about them straight away. He chooses what pictures to add, sticks them in, and draws or sticks things all around them. I write a note explaining the page in the margins, or add a little note of some sort.
7) Keep it fun.
Let go of your ideas of what the scrapbook is supposed to look like and let the kids have fun! If they think it’s a drag, they won’t do it. Zip your lips and let them do it their way (within reason).
What works for us: We put on some catchy music and have a good sing along while playing in the scrapbooks at the breakfast bar. It’s often part scrapbooking, part party.
Photos posted with the kids permission.
How do you keep your kids’ memories? Do they take an active part in their own memory-keeping?