Children grow up so quickly and it’s inevitable that some of the finer details of childhood thoughts, events or activities are forgotten over the years. One great way of preserving the memories for years to come is to create a memory book. It’s something that parents and children can work on together and it can either be a one-off activity or an extended project. If you’re interested in creating a memory book with your child, then here are some ideas and inspiration for getting started.
Why Make a Memory Book?
As parents, there are lots of big and small memories you’ll retain about your child, be it their first steps, a family holiday you went on, funny things they said or their ideas of what it might be like to be a grown up. Whilst children do retain some key memories, there are lots of smaller memories that get lost or forgotten as they grow up.
This is one of the reasons why it’s nice to create a memory book, so that children can retain some of the memories, thoughts, ideas and feelings that they may otherwise lose touch with. It’s a nice item to keep and refer back to when they’re older – and some of their childhood ideas may prove amusing!
It’s also beneficial as an educational activity. Creating a memory book involves all sorts of skills, including literacy, writing, expression of feelings and emotions, and creativity.
One-Off Memory Book or Extended Project?
If your child is already keen on the idea (some may take a degree of persuasion!), then it’s good to involve them in the decision making process, as it will essentially be their book.
For young children, or those with a short attention span, there are obvious benefits of focusing the book on a specific event – and if it all goes well, then you can always create further memory books to mark other events or occasions later on in their life.
For older children, or those who are very keen on the longer project idea, then creating a book that they can dip in and out of and update when anything else significant occurs that they want to record can work well.
How to Make a Memory Book
When you’re ready to get started with your memory book, then you’ll need to think about how you’ll produce it or what your child will use to record their memories in.
At the most basic level, you could together make a simple book-like format, clipping together a series of sheets of paper and decorating the cover. Or you could buy a pretty notebook or scrapbook that you could fill in.
Whatever method you opt for, making the book as personal as possible is recommended – so encourage your child to write their name on the first page, draw pictures for the cover, cover a blank notebook with decorative wrapping paper or stick their favourite stickers on the front of a notebook.
What Sort of Memories to Record?
The best memory books are full of words and pictures that describe sights, sounds, actions, events, people and feelings.
They could be about things your child has done (a special day out, a family holiday, the first time swimming without arm bands, a birthday treat or losing their teeth) or about their thoughts and things they like (what they’d like to be when they grow up, their favourite toys, what food they like best, what they think about the environment, what age they think they’ll get married etc).
If it helps, you could write prompts at the top of each page for your child to fill in their answers, or stick in photos to illustrate what they’ve done or where they’ve been. For younger children, or those who don’t want to write much, a single sentence description should be enough to convey their thoughts or actions. If your child loves writing, then the more detail and interest they can add, then the better it will be to read in the future.
What to do With a Finished Memory Book?
Once completed, a memory book can either be kept safe by a child in their room – they may want to look back on their memories already – or kept safe by mum or dad, ready to pass on to their child when they’re old enough to fully appreciate it.
If their school has a ‘show and tell’ session, then they may like to take it into school to show the class what they’ve been doing and perhaps inspire others to have a go too.
The human memory is an amazing thing, but sometimes it can be surprising what finer details we do forget. When your child is older and looks back on their completed memory book, it will hopefully evoke some of their childhood views and experiences that they may otherwise have lost over time.