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For years I have been a “scrapbooker”. I really enjoy taking vacation photos, collecting papers and mementos from our trips, and compiling everything into a book as a way to preserve memories.
My kids have always enjoyed looking back through the scrapbooks to relive our adventures. A few years ago my children decided to create their own scrapbooks for a special family trip. It was interesting to see which experiences meant the most to them and which photos they included to help remember those special times.
Even though I still create scrapbooks to document our family trips, the kids now also find meaningful ways to document and preserve their own memories. As kids find ways to preserve memories from family vacations they can also enhance their writing, storytelling, computer, and photography skills.
Here are a few ideas to preserve memories your kids might want to try:
Photos & Video
Using a cell phone, iPod, or camera it is easy to capture images during a vacation.
Several times during a trip I will give my kids the camera and ask them to take photos. It is interesting to see what items grab their attention and how they compose their shots. When we go to the beach we like to purchased a disposable waterproof camera and gave it to the kids while they were swimming – it is amazing to see how many “creatures” they encounter!
At the end of a trip I collect everyone’s images by creating and uploading everything to a shared file in Dropbox. As we look through the photos everyone can describe why they took the photo and the significance of the subject matter.
I still create family scrapbooks for our trips, but sometimes I also purchase small book (usually 4″ X 6″ Album) with “slide-in” pages for the kids to create their own scrapbooks.
As the kids look through all of the photos they can select the ones they want to include in their book and then we have the photos printed. As they are sliding the photos into the pages they include 4×6 inch papers (or index cards) to write notes about where the photo was taken and what they remembered from the activities.
Sometimes we get a little more creative and use an online service like Snapfish or Shutterfly to create digital scrapbooks.
With this option kids can select the photos they want to include and then “drag and drop” them into the scrapbook templates. There is also space for notes on each page. This process is nice because it gives kids an opportunity to group photos together and then tell a story about what the photos represent.
To add a life lesson to the process you can help your child search for a coupon code for the digital book and/or discuss shipping costs/options.
A couple of years ago we took a cruise with another family. Our friends stayed with us for a few days after the cruise so we all returned to our house after the trip. The first thing the kids did was turn on the Wii and then they asked the parents to “not look” for about an hour. Little did we know the kids weren’t playing with the Wii, rather, they were using the Photo Chanel feature to create a slideshow with the photos they had taken during the trip. It was very special to see the vacation through their eyes!
Besides using the Wii, we have also used PowerPoint, OneNote, and Keynote to create slideshow presentations. By using one of these resources children will not only document their memories but they will also have hands-on experience learning a software program they will be able to use for future school projects.
If your children enjoy writing, give them a small Trip Journal to carry along during your vacation. We have been able to find small spiral bound books for the kids to carry with them. Sometimes the books even have pockets for collecting maps, brochures, and other interesting papers.
Before one trip we researched the places we were planning to visit, found images of the flags, and a few fun facts. We used PowerPoint to create a page for each place then printed the pages on card stock and stapled the pages together. The kids carried that information in their backpacks and wrote notes about their experiences when we stopped for breaks.
Where ever your family decides to travel we hope your kids will find fun and creative ways to preserve memories of your special times together.