A Child's Memory Book

A Child's Memory Book
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Helping share memories of a loved one

Sometimes we need to look at family memories from a child's perspective. Kids don't understand why they can't handle old photographs or carry around the family scrapbook. What does a child do with treasured toys, or things they have collected? They carry them around. They want the item close to them.

My Grandma Nelson (Maudie) passed away before I had my children. It's hard to introduce them to her when they never had a chance to meet her. I have a friend who's Mother passed away when she was young and now she has children she would like to share her memories with. How can we do this and actually involve our kids? Preserving your photos through proper storage is important, and handling old items can be damaging. Why not create a memory book with the help of your children? Let it be something they can touch, and look at whenever they wish.

Gathering Your Book Materials

The first thing you need to do is ask everyone in your family to scan, copy or take pictures of anything they have from the person you want to remember. You are not asking for the actual item, but a copy of it! Here are some suggestions of items they,or you, may have:

Photographs

Greeting cards or postcards

Letters

Awards, report cards or school items

Pictures of jewelry they wore that someone may have put away.

Another very special thing you could add would be photographs or postcards of places the person enjoyed. Was there a park, museum, store, or other place they loved to go? Take a picture yourself, or ask someone to do it for you. If it's well known you may be able to find a magazine article or postcard. Did they have a special flower or plant they loved? Find a picture of that too. Do the same with a favorite food, band, famous person or any other "favorite" you can think of.

Assembling your Memory Book

I know it is tempting at this point to spend money on a fancy album and create something to keep forever. Later this would be a great option, however, this book is for the children. They have to be able to touch and feel the book; to sit down and look at it by themselves without fear of ruining the pages. I would recommend copying everything twice. You can use a 3 ring binder with 1" rings and it will hold about 35 pages. Use sheet protectors, that you have slipped a piece of cardboard into for support. Gather up all of your copies and sit down with your kids. Together organize all of the information and decide what order to put it in. I would say you could do this with kids as small as 4 and 5 years old.

If you want to cut the copies and form collages on the pages you can, or simply slip the copies you have made into the page protectors. You can also use page dividers between each section and let the kids color or decorate them to use for each section. Whatever creativity you can encourage while doing the memory book is great. Remember, during the creation of the book make sure you are sharing memories the entire time. Set aside a whole afternoon or morning when you can do this together uninteruppted. The process is just as important as the book itself.

The Finished Memory Book

The project is done, and you have a wonderful memory book. Now what? Encourage your kids to share this with others. They might want to take it to show and tell at school. If you did this alone with them, then ask them to share it with their Dad, and of course any relatives that come over to visit. Most of all, let them treasure their memory book and all the new things they have learned. Let them know it's THEIR book to take care of and keep in their room. You can't give them the memory of meeting the person who has passed away, but you can share your memories and all that you loved about that person, so they will come to love them as much as you did.
 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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