Seems like just yesterday your kid was a tiny bean wrapped in a swaddling cloth. Today they are running around the house wreaking havoc on everything. And before you know it, they’ll be packing bags for college. Well, that’s the sad truth about life—kids grow up way too fast. Want to make those sweet memories last longer? Luckily, there are ways to keep the memories of your little one growing up so you could later look back at the first wonderful years of parenthood. So before your kid grows up enough to usurp your PC or smartphone, let’s have a brief look at the crafty ways you can track your child’s growing up.
Create a Photo Book
You definitely took tons of pictures of your little one from day one. So what is the point in keeping them all stored on your hard drive? Cull the cutest images, use online software to create a photo book, and then have it printed and shipped to your home. A great idea is captioning all the photos with names, dates and places. This way you’d never forget the circumstances of the shot or a funny story behind it. Don’t skimp on the materials—the book has to be sturdy to be able to withstand constant thumbing through.
I like to create an annual photobook for our family. I’ve also created themed photo books for special occasions—such as an “uncle and me” photobook as a gift for each of my brothers, or a photobook of our annual camping trip with Grandma. Your child may want to help choose or arrange photos in their digital photobook.
Design a Photo Collage
Want to do something more with your baby pics than just printing them? Then unleash your inner artist by creating a baby picture collage. There are endless opportunities you can pursue with such a collage. For starters, you can create artwork that would chronicle your little one growing up month by month. Alternatively, you can design a collage with pictures from a single photoshoot. And how about a photo collage of your child’s images that depict them wearing different themed outfits? You see—you can make a true collage masterpiece if you have an exciting concept and a bit of your time.
Create a Shadow Box
If you constantly save various keepsakes about your little one—from your first sonogram pic to your baby’s favourite onesie—a shadow box would be a great place to display them all. You can either buy one or build it yourself (depending on your skills and wallet). There is no limitation to what you can actually put in it, just as long as it reminds you of the way your child has been transforming for the past years.
If you don’t feel like displaying such intimate things in a shadow box, get yourself a memory box instead. This could just be a plastic bin where you’d keep all your kid’s mementos organized so that you could sometimes reminisce in private. I have a heart-shaped cardboard box with Sunshine’s first pair of shoes, a ©2008 onesie she wore and a Christmas onesie that Jade wore, and a few other mementos. Someday I’d love to put these and some other mementos into a shadow box for them.
Make a Foot/Hand Print
This thing’s worth doing just for the sensation of looking at it many years past and wondering how your kid could be so tiny at some point. So before they grow too big, make a hand or foot print on some salt dough. This can become an annual thing—later you’d be able to decorate your baby’s room with the many constantly growing prints.
Conduct an Interview
Well, pictures sure are fine as a memento, but sometimes actual words speak louder. If your child is talkative enough, record an interview with them. Jot down a list of questions, turn on your camera, and just have a little chat with your offspring. If everything goes well, this might become your annual tradition. The questions might remain the same or you can change them in accordance with your child’s changing preferences.
Encourage Your Kid to Start a Diary
If your kid is old enough to put words on paper, talk them into keeping a diary. They might journal their feelings, recollect big events, or just pour out a stream of consciousness. The only downside to this habit is that this diary would be for your kid’s eyes only, since it might be tackling some sensitive topics. But hey, who said that kids themselves don’t want to keep memories of growing up? I started writing a diary when I was 10 and occasionally like to look back and see what I was thinking and doing at that age.
Another idea is to start a mother-daughter journal with your child. This lets both of you share thoughts and memories—kind of like writing letters to each other. This not only gives you a way to capture memories—both yours and your daughters—but also provides you with a way to bond and spend time together.
So there you go – 6 easy yet exciting ways you can make sure that you keep the memories of your baby growing up. So make sure you savour each moment with your kid and chronicle it to relive it over and over, because after all—kids really do grow up too darn fast…