Usually, there are basically two distinct types of parents when it comes to memorabilia and keepsakes: the tossers and the hoarders. As it always happens with extremes, none of it is good.
You don’t want to miss the opportunity to save something that might be priceless in the future, but you don’t want to dedicate hours and hours a week preparing keepsakes,scrapbooking and missing those precious moments with your children that you’ll remember forever.
We prepared a list of things that are easily done and will make of a great ‘memory book’ for your children:
- Summary of Milestones and Personality: At the end of each month, trimester, year… write down a couple of milestones your child reached during that time. (ie. walked, started preschool, learned how to read, rolled over…). Remember to also add a couple of lines describing your child’s personality, favorite toys, games, friends. You’ll see your child grow and mature through these simple annual summaries.
- Foot & Hand Prints: When he/she is born and at the end of each year, take your child’s foot and hand prints.
- Measures: Measure your child every year. It’d be good to have a wall growth chart and measure them at the same spot each year. If you can, take a picture of the measuring session. It’s also a good idea to photograph them next to a toy, chest, box, bag… , and see how the grow compared to it every year.
- Audio and Video Memory: At least once a year record your children, walking talking… it doesn’t have to be anything special; just regular day-to-dayinteraction with your child.
- Pictures: take at least one front picture of your child, smiling, every year. Try to also take a picture of her/him with siblings and parents. If you have an extended family, try to also take a picture when your child meets them.
- Albums: at the end of each year make time to pick 12 – 20 – 50 photos of the year and make an album. It doesn’t have to be anything really extensive. If you have time, try to write a sentence or paragraph to your child to sum up the year, words of wisdom, your feelings, something you want to share… anything! You can even attach the ‘summary’ mentioned above to this album, so you’ll keep everything in one place. Once they get older, they can help you pick the photos that will go in the album, and they can even write something themselves.
- Keepsakes: keep between 1 and 5 small things a year as keepsakes, it can be anything from her/his first toothbrush, favorite rattle, first onesie… Try not to keep more than 5 items though; otherwise you’ll need a full closet just for keepsakes after a couple of years.
Remember that all these things are important and you and your child will value them even more in the future, but ‘being present’ and enjoying your child is much more important than any of this. Do as you can, don’t stress over it, have fun while you’re creating this memories and involve your child as much as you can.
Much love, Diana-