If you are a mom, then the pages of your scrapbook are filled with pictures of your children, chronicling their amazing development. But as your child moves from toddler to preschooler to elementary age, have you stopped to consider that your child can add to the beauty and charm of your scrapbook? Scrapbooking with your kids is a great way to encourage creativity and build the parent-child bond.
Include Your Child’s Journaling
One way to have your child help with the scrapbook is by including her journaling. If she is too young to write, show her a picture, and have her describe what happened at the event. Write down her description word for word. You will be filled with joy when you return to this scrapbook in a few years and relive the innocence and wonder of her younger days.
If your child is learning how to write, give her a journaling box with widely spaced lines. Allow her to write the caption or journaling for a page about her. For example, if you want to create a page to highlight her first grade year, tell her to write her about favorite thing that happened in school that year. You can always add a journaling box of your own if you wish to capture something she leaves out. Both of you will enjoy having this memory captured for years to come.
If your child is not coming up with anything to include on the journal, use questions to spark creative thinking. Ask questions about the event. For example, you can ask, “What is your favorite thing about . . .” or “What did you like about going to . . .” or “What did you see . . .” Questions like these should get the words flowing!
Let Your Child Arrange a Page
As your child gets older, have her help you arrange a page. Start simply, by already having the photos mounted and ready to put on the page, and then have her lay them where she thinks they should go. You could include a caption or journal box at the bottom of the page telling that she arranged the page. If you are using stickers, pick out two matching stickers, and allow her to place them, instructing her not to cover the pictures. The same goes for embellishments. Letting your child arrange the pages first helps teach the design elements and color schemes that will help them when they are ready to create their own pages.
Creating Their Own Pages
Once your child understands about the basics of scrapbooking through helping you with your books, it is time to let her venture out on their own and create their own scrapbooks. Start with a page or two that you include in the book you are working on. Help her choose papers, stickers, and embellishments that match the pictures she is going to use. Let her practice cutting with shaped scissors on non-important photos before tackling the actual pictures she is going to use. Step back and let her be creative. Encourage her to ask questions when she is stuck, but avoid the temptation to do the page for her or tell her where to put the page elements.
Once she has successfully created a few pages on her own, ask her if she wants to do her own book. For children, it is best to start small. An 8 ½ by 11 or even a 5 by 7 book is much less overwhelming than the traditional 12 by 12 book that adults often prefer. Help her choose an event or time frame to scrap. Often a year at school, a big party she attended, or a family vacation is a good place to start. Then let her create, with your support!
By following these three steps, your child will learn to appreciate the art of scrapbooking. Remember, though, that just because mom loves to scrap doesn’t mean her children will. Even if you do not develop your child into an avid scrapper, you have opened her mind to a fun and rewarding hobby, and in the process, spent quality time with her building memories that will last a lifetime.
Boys Can Scrapbook Too!
Even though scrapbooking is commonly thought of as a female activity, if you have a son, do not forget to capture his ideas and feelings in the book as well. There are men who enjoy scrapbooking, while usually not the same types of books as women do, and boys enjoy spending time with mom. You can still follow these steps with a boy, using his signals to tell you when he has lost interest in the hobby. He will appreciate being included in the family memory books, and you will treasure the innocence and vitality you capture from your son’s early days!