Having things to look back on is a precious gift we can pass onto our children as they grow. It’s also important as (sorry for this grim piece of reality!) we don’t know what is going to happen in life. If you weren’t around, who’d be able to tell your kids about the key milestones in their lives, or pass on your feelings around their birth, first steps and so on?
Ok Enough Negative Nelly Business – Let’s Talk Creativity…
Thanks to Pinterest there’s a never ending supply of unique ways to capture your children’s childhood. All this choice together with some quality “pinning” time can provide you with great inspiration. However, it can also make you realise your crafting inadequacies. I can easily say my crafting “desire” is nowhere near my crafting “ability”. This is demonstrated through various half-finished projects in our house…where compared to the inspiration, the outcome is an epic fail.
I have therefore put together a list of my top 5 ideas for creating memories for your little ones that are interesting, but don’t put too much strain on your creative muscle:
- Monthly photos: more so for babies. Take a picture of them on the same blanket with their favourite toy each month. To keep track of the age, handwrite it on a card; use cardboard or magnetic letters or even buy stickers especially for this. Or of course just take the photo and edit it later!
- Memory box: buy a large box and fill with smaller boxes (hence the random pictures of boxes above). Collect items from your child’s “firsts” and add to it over the years. Some ideas to include are:
* Hospital Id bracelet
* Copy of the thank you card sent
* Photos of each gift received when they were born (with who gave it to them on the back)
* A “welcome to the world” list – with details of what happened on the day they were born, such as the Prime Minister, cost of a newspaper or news headline of the day.
* Outfit they were brought home from hospital in
* Copy of a footprint or handprint (do one at 4 weeks and at one year)
* And so on – the list is obviously endless!
- Letters to your little one: I first saw this on the Fat Mum Slim blog, where Chantelle writes letters to each of her daughters. You simply write a letter addressed to your children, talking about anything really – how you are feeling, what they are doing, funny things they say etc. I love this idea; it is so personal and will be great to look back on. It can be quite therapeutic if you have had a particularly challenging day!
- Board book: ok so this one is a little creative…and crafty. It also doubles as a great way to keep your toddler occupied when out and about (I keep one in my nappy bag!). Buy a blank “board book” (basically a book with thick white cardboard pages) and stick your toddler’s favourite things in there. Some examples are:
* Pictures of family members and friends
* Pictures of pets or animals they like
* Different textured papers
- Favourite things: this is a longer term “project” however start it whenever you like. Pick a time of year you will record the answer (a birthday being the most obvious choice) and come up with a list of questions. Each year complete the answers to this same set of questions. Examples being:
* Favourite colour/food/song/animal etc.
* What was your favourite part of today
* Most used word or saying
* Favourite game/toy/activity/place to go
Note: I feel compelled to tell you Miss H’s favourite song right now is Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”. At 19 months I’m not sure if this is a good thing…?
Give me More Ideas!
So those are my top ideas, there are obviously soooo many more you can do. Some other ideas that are not in my most awesome list, but are still up there are:
* Standard baby book: just as good as any idea – but make sure you fill it out! Leave it in a visible place if that helps. Or record the milestones in your smartphone and transfer later. Etsy has some beautiful personalised books, use that search term to find them. WARNING – this is another time waster!
* Photo books: endless possibilities –
o Kikki K has some lovely standard format books you can print
o Create a photo album each year for your family
o Create a photo book using the monthly photos from point number 1 above
* Height Chart: the nicest ones I have seen are from Tinyme. They are wall stickers and can be personalised with name and date of birth (I have one for each of my girls and they are gorgeous). A great keepsake or gift.
* For the digitally minded – the awesome – Tiny beans: take a photo a day and allow selected individuals (so grandparents, for example) to view your album. You can edit the photos and add notes within the app, and view the photos in a monthly view. You are prompted at a set time each day to take your photo and can then generate a photo book from your pictures. My only thoughts here are will you be able to access the photos in the future, say if the site closed down? In any case it is a great idea and fun to look back over!
To help everyone out, I have kindly spent some time on Pinterest pinning some quality ideas for you! How nice of me.
So what do you think – have you tried any other interesting ideas that are fairly easy to implement?
How about any failed craft projects?!