Do you know where your summer memories are? That great camping trip of 2003, Bobby’s 5th birthday party, the beach vacation. For most time-crunched parents, the digital cameras mean hundreds of photos downloaded to the computer. Reminiscing? It only happens huddled around the screen.
Jen Schmidt, who writes the Balancing Beauty and Bedlam came up with a great idea for preserving precious summer memories that will be fun and easy for your kids to create.
She conceived of the summer memory book when her sister-in-law died at age 34, leaving three children behind.
“I saw at that point how important it is to have tangible heritage pieces,” she says.
The first step to choosing a scrapbook album is to determine how you’d like it structured. This will depend on how much time your family can realistically spend on it, how much space you have for keeping a book–or books–and how creative you and your kids are.
You can opt to get a 30-page (acid-free!) album and dedicate a few pages to each month of summer, then add to it again each year. Or maybe you have lots of storage space, and a very diligent photographer/collector/artist in the family who will easily fill one book each summer.
Creating the book is not only a great activity to keep out-of-school kids away from video games and TV.
“Sometimes we miss those little moments of awe,” says Jen, mother of five, “And this is a way to open our eyes. Blowing bubbles, catching butterflies–even a staycation is ripe with fun.”
Get your kids in on the action by letting them take their own pictures. Give them a box to save ticket stubs, a party invitation or pressed flowers. Write down some quotes that made you laugh. Make sure you mark and date everything because in five to 10 years you won’t remember Sophie’s silly joke or where you spent July 4th.
Jen recommends incorporating the book into a special family tradition. Kick off summer after school has let out by taking out last year’s scrapbook and laughing over memories.
The summer memory book will be a heritage piece that you can keep for decades and pass on to your kids once they’ve grown up.
“We’re so high tech these days, we forget to slow down and savor the moments,” Jen says. “But these moments are what life is all about.”
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