Organizing Photos and Memories – Part 2.

3 Aug

As moms we’re often the keepers of memories for our families.  At our meeting today, MomTimers shared their tips and ideas on how to organize photos and document memories with/for our children. This post, Part 2, focuses on memory-keeping.  The previous post, Part 1, focuses on photo organization.


MomTime member and former public school teacher, Paola Ramirez, shared tons of great ideas on memory-keeping…

Kids’ Journals – Paola buys blank Bare Books for each of her children.  You could also use blank scrapbooks or sketch books.

Each day Paola asks them what they want to draw about from that day, and Paola will write “grocery store” or a sentence that her son wants her to put on the page.  The kids then color, scribble, draw, paint or glue pictures on that page.  Paola works this into their daily routine – it’s often their art activity for the day (think during “quiet time” for kids who don’t nap anymore) or while Paola is prepping dinner at the kitchen counter.  As your child grows up, you will see the changes from a toddler’s scribble with Mom’s handwriting underneath, to your 5th grader’s drawings and stories adorning the pages.

Dialogue Journals – similar to a personal journal, a dialogue journal is a great way for kids to “converse” with their friends or loved ones.  You can have your child create a journal entry “to” Grandma, for example, and then mail the book to Grandma.  She would then respond on the next page with her own written or drawn journal entry and mail it back to your child.

Memory Jar – this is an easy (lazy!) way to keep all those family memories in one place.  Use a large vase or jar in the corner of your kitchen, and a stack of index cards and a pen nearby.

Whenever your kids say something funny, sweet, naughty, etc. write it down and toss the card in the jar.  You can review the memories over dinner at holidays.  Anna Clark found a memory jar vendor at Sweet William Market in Stapleton.  Click on the photo above to read about other memory-keeping ideas from a blogger, or check out Pinterest for lots more memory jars.

Scrapbooks and SmashBooks – building on the memory jar idea, you can stick your memory cards into books.  SmashBooks look like an interesting product.  You can always create a scrapbook from scratch if you have the time and inclination.

Seasonal Family Bucket List – at the beginning of the summer (or whichever season you choose), ask the family over breakfast what everyone would like to do that summer.  Kids might request pool visits, picnics, going to a movie they know is coming out soon.  Your husband might suggest a family trip to a Rockies game.  You might ask for a road trip to a new place.

Everyone’s ideas get jotted down on the bucket list, and you can check off the items as the season progresses.  This is a good way for kids to learn about taking turns with activities and respecting the requests of other members of the family.  The above photo is a fancy-looking version of a family bucket list… you can just use a piece of paper!

Birthday Questionnaire – this is a fun tradition to add to your family.  On each birthday, ask your child to answer/fill out a birthday questionnaire.  Below is an example (click to view/print a full-size image):

There are lots of other free printables available online, or get creative and make your own.  Keep the completed questionnaires in a photo album or even just a folder in your file cabinet.


The rest of this blog post is written by Paola, sharing more of her great ideas:

Art: Take a Picture – Some artwork and school projects take many hours to complete yet are difficult to store for the future.  Take pictures of your child proudly holding the sculpture or project and display these in a special scrapbook of their work.

Art: Art Critic – Your child will produce many projects over the course of a year.  Have your child decide what art pieces they would like to keep in their portfolio.  You can support them through this process by asking your child to select a piece that he/she loves, a piece that he/she would want in a special place in the house and a piece that took him/her a great deal of time.  Of course you should keep anything that speaks to you too!  Remember to write down the date and name of the child on the back of the art work.  You might want to add something special he/she said about the art work.

Family Recipes: Family Favorites – Use a notebook/binder w/ plastic sleeves to create a collection of family favorite recipes.  Let family members create their own sections in which they copy their favorite recipes, tell what they like about each, and when they most enjoy eating it.  Ask each person to sign his or her name, add the date and, if they feel artistic , an illustration of the food.

Spiritual: Celebrate a Blessing Book (Gratitude Book) – Start a family book to celebrate your blessings.  Find a journal, title your book and ask everyone to thing of at least a two blessings a day to write or draw in the book.  Be sure to leave the book in a spot where people will be reminded to add to it each day.  Take turns reading the blessings aloud once a week and include some of those blessings in your family prayers.

Keeping in Touch: Round Robin Letters  – Each family who receives a round-robin letter reads it, adds their own letter (pictures), and sends the collection to the next name on the list.  When the collection returns to the first family that family will then take out their first letter (pictures) and add a new letter.  Find a number of relatives or friends who would like to participate with you and then agree on a schedule.  This is a way to keep long-distance relatives and friends in touch with one another without the Internet (and some issues that come w/it).



One Response to “Organizing Photos and Memories – Part 2.”


  1. Organizing Photos and Memories – Part 1. « Montview MomTime - August 6, 2012

    […] memories with/for our children. This post, Part 1, focuses on photo organization.  The next post, Part 2, focuses on […]

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