When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to look through my mom’s cedar chest and see all of the pictures from my baby and toddler years, and old family photos from my parent’s early years and their childhoods. As an adult, I treasure my childhood photos, papers, school projects and crafts. So, of course, I’ve started collecting these same sorts of childhood artifacts for my own children to look at and treasure as they get older. Recording memories for your kids is an act of parental love they will appreciate for years to come. Here are some great ways to record those special memories for your child.
Recording Memories for Your Kids
Photographs and Home Movies
Cell Phone Cameras
The most common and time-tested way to record memories of your kids is to take pictures. These days it is easier than ever. Most cell phones take beautiful pictures equal to many cameras. With your cell phone on you all day every day, you always have quick access to a camera to record special moments and memories.
Most phones take video as well as photos. Both of my children had their first steps recorded on video with my cell phone camera.
Cameras and Video Recorders
As easy and user-friendly as cell phone cameras are, a digital camera or video recorder can have some advantages in terms of the quality of your photos and videos. Digital cameras may have lenses and lighting options that are not available on your cell phone camera. But by far my favorite feature of many of the new cameras available is that most are Wi-Fi enabled and allow you to backup and share your photos automatically without connecting to a computer.
Hire a Photographer
Recording memories for your kids is usually something mom and dad can do with their own cameras. But there are times when you may want to mark a special occasion or have a higher quality of photograph for display. At those times you may want to look into hiring a professional.
One option many parents choose is to take your little ones into a portrait studio. Many lovely childhood and family photos come out of these studios. But another great option, you see more commonly these days, is hiring a photographer to come to your home. Or meet you in a favorite park or another picturesque spot for your family portrait or some great shots of your kids. Not only does this make the pictures unique, but often kids are more comfortable in a familiar setting and more cooperative for pictures.
Digital photography has opened up a whole new world when it comes to creating childhood keepsakes. You can turn your favorite photos into mugs, phone cases, blankets, pillows, and a variety of other fun products. Apps and websites like Shutterfly, Keepy, and Costco Photo Center allow you to make your photos into something wonderful to keep and share.
Outside of photos and video, there are a number of keepsakes you will want to hold on to for your child. When you’re recording memories for your kids in their baby books be sure to include their hospital bracelet, a snip of hair from their first haircut, or cards received at their birth from friends and family.
You can also create your own memorable keepsakes with your child’s footprints and handprints. Search online for fun crafts using little hand and feet prints. Or make a new print every year and store them together. There are few things cuter than little baby hands and feet. And the memory of their sweetness should be preserved.
As your kids go through school, camps, and extracurricular activities you’ll want to add big projects, ribbons, certificates, graduation caps, and all of the things that come along with growing up to your store of recorded memories. Your child will cherish looking back through them as they get older.
Creating a journal of memories from your kids’ childhoods often begins with a baby book. These books often include pages to write about your child’s first steps or their first tooth. Even when you have a photograph, details of these events may begin to slip away over time if you don’t write them down. And your child will delight in hearing details of their younger years.
But recording memories for your kids doesn’t have to end with the baby years. Many moms continue writing down memories for their kids for many years afterward. You may find it helpful to record a few sentences every day or every few days, highlighting milestones or big events.
Another idea is to write your child a letter or journal entry to record a few memories for their birthday each year, reflecting back on the previous twelve months.
Choosing to journal about big milestones or once a year will create an amazing record of childhood memories for your kids to enjoy all of their lives. They will be grateful for all of your effort.
Preservation and Storage of Recorded Memories
Recording memories for your kids is a wonderful way to remember and cherish special moments of childhood and family life. But the truth is all of those memories take up space! If you love recording memories for your kids but you’re not sure how best to keep them safe. Or you’re running out of room to store them, consider a few of these ideas.
Storing Digital Photos and Videos
When I was growing up we had shoeboxes full of photographs in addition to boxes of albums to look through of all of our special moments on film. But these days, with digital photography and video we have more options when it comes to photo storage. And even better, most of these options take up little to no physical space.
Your cell phone or digital camera will allow you to move your photos to your computer for storage on a jump drive or other storage device pretty easily. But when you’re taking photos or video with a cell phone, a photo storage app makes this process even easier. Apps like Shutterfly or Keepy will load photos directly from your phone and store them on their site. You can even make photo keepsakes from your phone with these apps. All of this technology makes recording memories for your kids very streamlined.
If all of your home movies have been recorded on a cell phone, you may want to consider burning the movies onto DVDs. Check out this guide to make the process easy!
Storing Keepsakes, Journals, and Schoolwork
If you have keepsakes and mementos from your kids’ childhoods you want to safely store, consider an acid free box. Many are stackable for easy organization. Acid-free boxes are best for safely storing photos, textiles, and paper products you want to preserve.
For schoolwork, consider hanging file boxes or binders. If you have multiple children you can easily create separate files for each, or even separate boxes. And separate binders are a must as you will probably use several as they go through all of their years of school. Finding an easy way to separate each child’s work saves a lot of arguing over whose is whose when everyone gets too old to remember.
The Greatest Gift
Recording memories for your kids is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. These recorded memories and keepsakes will be something they cherish long into adulthood and enjoy sharing with their own children even as they begin recording memories for their own families long into the future. And you’ll be equally grateful to have this wonderfully recorded history to look at and enjoy the memories it brings.