My parents recently moved and decided to “dump” my childhood memories at my house. They showed up in three large dusty brown Rubbermaid totes. These memories were yellowed, curled up and smelled of time. Years to be exact. Years of scribbled coloring pages, handmade books, Precious Moments figurines, the original American Girl Molly doll and accessories, a Cabbage Patch doll with matted hair, old cheerleading uniforms, and over thirty years of photos. All neatly packed away in the rubber totes like large time capsules.
So tell me mom…what the heck am I supposed to do with these?! Do I keep them until my kids are old enough to go through them with me? So they can see how “artistic” I was at an early age? Or so they too can relate to me when they are also encountering their awkward years with braces and bangs. What about the dolls? Were you thinking one day there would be this magical place called the world wide web where I could auction my “collectors” dolls for money and put my own kids through college with the earnings?
So now, here I am in the same position. Wanting to capture and preserve my precious little one’s memories and I get it. Every little preschool craft is adorable and absolutely devastating to think about throwing out…and pictures! With our iPhone cameras so accessible, we have thousands of photos and videos of our oh-so-cute kids doing and saying everything! So what do we do? Rush out to Target and buy the largest Rubbermaid tote to collect and make our own little time capsules? Instead, try these ideas to preserve those sweet and precious memories:
Artkive | Let’s face it – your kid is basically Picasso. Artkive is an online storage place for your little one’s art projects and drawings. You can turn the art into books and other great products. There’s an app where you just take a photo of the art, add notes to it and save it to your account. You can order unique gifts with your kid’s art for the grandparents and even a book at the end of the year with all of their artwork nicely bound together. Each kid can have their own profile to keep their creations separate.
Qeepsake | Have an empty baby book? This company sends you daily texts with questions like, “what’s one thing about Annabell you love?” You respond with a photo and the answer. Over time it will collect all of your responses and put them in a neat little journal.
One Line a Day | Journaling can be daunting and take a lot of time. As a mom, sometimes that time just isn’t there. The One Line a Day journal is a five-year book where you can literally just write one sentence about your day. Over time you can reflect back on what your little one was doing the year before, for a total of five years. I laugh at reading what my little ones were doing the year before.
School Days | First and last day of school photos can be a great way to see how much your child has grown throughout the school year. Use a chalkboard and write your child’s name, teacher’s name, what they want to be when they grow up, and the year. Reflect back at the end of the year – start in preschool and finish at the end of their high school years. Have the teacher write a note to your child at the end of the year and collect them all to put in a scrapbook with the photos to gift them upon graduating high school. I love this one from MudPie!
Spoonflower | Is there a piece of artwork or written assignment that you absolutely adore? Make it into a fabric tea towel or pillow by designing your own custom fabric on Spoonflower. I love this DIY of hand drawn dolls made with Spoonflower fabric.
Gus + Lula Growth Chart | It’s amazing how fast kids grow! Marking the height of my toddler each month on a growth chart we received as a gift is so fun. Ours is from Gus + Lula which is a local Etsy shop that gives 50% of all profits directly to charities, ministries, and adoptions! Buying local and giving back is a win/win.
Now during nap time take ten minutes to start something to preserve these sweet fleeting memories. You will love looking back on it one day – and so will they! Happy saving, Mommas!
Such great ideas!
I used to feel so guilty throwing out any artwork that my little ones have made! I have tried to edit myself with what I keep… so if it is something that is distinctive or reflects their personality in a big way, I keep it. If it has a hand/foot print and the date to illustrate how little they were, I’ll keep it. But that’s really about it. It has helped to curb some of the stacks of paper from school.
I must add one more to this list – CHATBOOKS! My husband says I post too many pics of our kiddos on Instagram. They both have a personal hashtag but it’s all for preserving the memories. Chatbooks automatically prints books with their photos in them straight from my Instagram account. It’s awesome and each book is only $6! Another great way to preserve those sweet memories.
Thanks for sharing these resources! (I love the idea of Qeepsake.) My daughter is about to turn 2 and I am just now starting to create shutterfly books with all her pictures/memories. I am a little overwhelmed at the idea of 2 years worth of stuff, but I know it will eventually get done! Moving forward I am committing to using the ProjectLife app to document whats going on in our life on a weekly basis. The app is super easy to use!
I hadn’t heard of half of these. Good ideas!
Qeepsake is my favorite of these, too! I’m gonna try it out!
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