Keeping Kids Memories
Every Thursday I bring you kid-tested parenting tips for a specific parenting challenge “from the mouths of moms.” Last weeks post with tips for your first weeks with a newborn went viral; make sure to check out the great discussion in the comments, too. This week I asked our creative mamas for ideas on something I struggle to make time for: memory keeping…
20 Tips for Memory Keeping
1. Make a Video of Kids Memories – “Since hubby and I are filmmakers – he makes a video each year that he completes for our first son’s birthday. I feel so lucky that we have this. Of course, we also take photos throughout the year too. He gets footage of everyday things, but especially of special outings — so these videos capture our memories. I love them!!” Jennifer from The Good Long Road (Watch one of Jennifer’s precious videos here!)
2. Use Snapfish – “We create albums in Snapfish. So we have an album for ever month. I take a lot of pictures with my phone and we can download easily with their app. Then we share those albums through a password protected link with family and friends. Then we create a photo book for every few months.” Kathy
3. Keep Memories in a Word File – “I have a word document folder that I keep for each child that has their growth milestones, as well as funny & profound things they say.” Laura from Play Dr. Mom
4. Store Keepsakes in Hanging Files – “I also started a file system (just in a hanging file crate) for each kid to keep all their drawings, projects, and school work organized by year.” Laura from Play Dr. Mom
5. Get Deals at Shutterfly – “I make photo books from Shutterfly 1-2 times a year when ever they have a free photobook offer.” Roopa from Putti’s World
6. Keep Memories in a Memory Jar – “We have started a memory jar tradition.” Maggie from Red Ted Art
7. Make a Slide Show of Kids Memories- “For my older son’s first Christmas, I told my husband that the only present I wanted was a slide show of pictures of our son’s first year. My husband now makes a combination video/ slide show of both of our sons for me each year. I love it!” Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing
8. Make a Photo Calendar Each Year – “My Sister-in-law makes a photo calendar for everyone for Christmas. Each month features what the kids did that month the previous year. Now that I have a baby, I can’t wait to do something similar.” Kathy
9. Try Winkflash – “I make albums using Winkflash when they have their flat-rate sales.” MaryAnne from Mama Smiles
10. Keep a Digital Journal to Turn into a Book – “I also keep a digital journal where I record memories every day. We get it bound every five years, and our kids will be able to have copies of their own.” MaryAnne from Mama Smiles
11. Write Kids Memories in a Journal – “Since I like to write, I keep a little journal of funny things my kids say or do.” Danielle from 52 Brand New
12. Use Your Cell Phone & Instagram – “I capture all of our everyday moments using my iPhone, then share them with family & friends on Instagram and use the app to upload them to Flickr at the same time. All my favorite photos are disseminated and archived with just the touch of a button.” Stacy from Kids Stuff World
13. Write Birthday Letters to Your Kids – “I write my children a letter on their birthdays. I seal the envelope. I don’t want them to open them until they are at least 16.” Danielle from 52 Brand New
14. Record Memorable Dates on a Calendar – “I use my Google calendar to remember dates that big things happen.” Amanda from Dirt and Boogers
15. Back Up Photos in Picasa – “We have an extended Picasa account which is backed up, in which we keep all our photos.” The Monko from Taming the Goblin
16. Keep Memories with a Blog – “I started blogging as a sort of online scrapbook making.” Roopa from Putti’s World
17. Make a Time Capsule – “We did a time capsule this year, to open in 10 years – I tired to put in of mix of highlights form this year and little things we see/use every day. It includes things like a wipes container, parking stubs and tickets from places we went on vacation, my 4 year old’s taekwondo schedule” Carolyn from The Pleasantest Thing
18. Keep a Scrapbook for School Memories – “I keep a school scrapbook for my kids. This is very simple, just a 2 page layout of the highlights of the year. That helps me keep it manageable.” Kristen from Busy Kids = Happy Mom
19. Do A Photobook Page a Month – “At the end of each month, I put my favorite pictures of the kids in a photo book page and write a few things about what they’re doing. At the end of the year, I get the book printed and start a new one.” Lorie from Reading Confetti
20. Add Secret Stuff to a Scrapbook – “I make an old fashion scrapbook – nothing fancy at all. I keep all their artwork, awards, some journal entries from school, things they are proud of – and then I also keep secret things that they would never guess (like a movie stub from a favorite movie, notes from teachers, pictures they don’t know I’ve taken), and I put it together at the end of elementary school, and then again as the move out of junior high. Now that one of mine is older, he’s helping to add to the book.” Jacquie from Edventures with Kids
How do you keep memories for your kids and family? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
D Platt says
These are all great, but you should also check out Keepy! Keepy has the added bonus of video commentary from your kids, adding grandma and other relatives as fans, and having a private webpage for all your posts! (Don’t worry, it’s all private!) http://www.keepy.me
Krissy @ B-Inspired Mama says
Sounds cool! THanks for sharing with us.
I love all these ideas! Only problem is I did #3 (keep milestones in a word document) and my computer crashed! I lost all of my daughters milestones from birth to 13 months. I wrote down what they were, the day and the story behind each milestone and I lost it all. If you do that, I would recommend emailing it to yourself every month or so. I know like to use facebook as a way of keeping track of her milestones and memories on a day to day basis then I’ll make a scrapbook/photobook with shutterfly (mostly free using coke points) and add those milestones, funny moments and little things she does to my scrapbook.
Krissy @ B-Inspired Mama says
Oh that must have been heartbreaking, Susan!! I’ve been hearing far too many stories like this lately, and I REALLY need to back up my computer before it happens to me. Thanks for sharing that reminder!
Just saw the idea for an ugly photo book. I have started one for our family, and in it go all the ‘bad’ pictures that inevitably get taken. Its a fun way to remember all of the ‘not so perfect’ memories that make being a family so fun. I covered the book with a brown paper grocery bag with cutouts for the eyes… kinda lime being so ugly you need a paper bag over your head..the kids love it!
Krissy @ B-Inspired Mama says
Ha! I’ve never heard of that, but love it! Thanks for sharing, April!!
when my son was little I didn’t have time or energy to keep a baby book. My solution was to set up a tape recorder next to the changing table. every time I changed his diaper I would hit record and start talking to him about his day. the bonus all of his first coos and giggles I have recorded! now I need the same son to help me get into a format I can keep and off the cassettes worked for me!
Krissy @ B-InspiredMama says
Love this list! I was struggling to keep up with writing in a journal to remember cute things my daughter says, so I wrote a blog post to publicly shame myself into remembering. 🙂
I write a letter every month since i know i am pregnant to write how and what i feel, then 1 letter each month for their first year, and then a letter every now and then when important things happen like first day of school, birthdays, xmas, surgeries, etc . It is great to read them later and give them thei letters when they grow up.
I just got my 10 year old a Smash Book – now she gets to record the things that are important to her along the way and I keep the photo memories digitally organized for her.
When I have kids, I would like to make a time capsule with alot of their favorite stuff from preschool. Especially the first day of school and then present them with it when they graduate. I will put their school supply list in it, pictures, and of course write a letter to them. I will have quite some time to come up with more ideas to put in it, but that's what I have in mind for now.
Jaime JJ says
great ideas! I need to do a time capsule with my boys. That would be a lot of fun:-) Pinning and fb sharing this week as my finds on kids co-op, Jaime@FSPDT
Crafting Play says
I have a blog that I try and keep updated with stories and notes (I'm pretty sure no one else reads it besides Grandpa). I eventually would like to have that printed up as a book.
Picasa is also great for adding notes to my photos and having them accessible on all my devices, anytime and anywhere. Great for sharing too.
Sammy Smith says
These are fantastic suggestions. My mom is turning 50 this year, and I am definitely nabbing your memory jar idea. 50 memories for 50 years.
I noticed many of your ideas involve the use of photographs, which makes sense. It's always nice to have a keepsake to remember the day by. My mom and I did Glamour Shots one year. It was fun to get our makeovers together, and she still has the photo hanging on the wall. I have read some Glamour Shots price reviews, and they seem like they are still affordable, if anyone is interested in that as an idea.
Thanks for the inspiration. I can't wait for October, so I can see her face when she gets her jar. 🙂
Kristen @ Busy Kids = Happy Mom says
This is awesome! I'm going to add it to my family traditions pinterest board!
Such great tips. Like Danielle, a friend of mine does a funny book where she writes all the funny things the kids say. They love to hear this as they get older. Vicky from http://www.messforless.net
Jennifer Fischer says
Once again, great job with the list. Thanks for including me!
Krissy Sherman Bonning says
Thanks for helping out, Jenn!
Lorie K says
Great ideas! Love the idea of a birthday letter!
Krissy Sherman Bonning says
I know – I wish I had been doing that!