Parents never know which gesture, tradition or spur-of-the-moment childhood adventure will become a treasured memory. However, chances are more treasured moments will occur during the summer months when most parents have more time to spend with their children. Embracing the moments of life is one thing, but capturing those moments and turning them into treasured memories is something altogether different.
Here are some ideas (reminders) to help extend the celebration of summer’s meaningful moments, all of which are opportunities to grow your relationships, learn more about each other, laugh out loud, discover new things together, and have TONS of fun. For more ideas and to get the book 201 Things to Do When Children Say I’M BORED! The Checklist and Journal for Busy Families…. go to www.201thingstodo.com
THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH PHOTOS
Whether your summer memories included a trip to the Disneyland or a dude ranch, wearing costumes to a friend’s birthday party or selling homegrown produce at your local farmer’s market, use these methods to relive the moments.
Scrapbook and Shadow Boxes
Before you begin your project, decide whether you like traditional or digital scrapbooking. Either you’re computer savvy, or you’re not. Either way, you’ll end up at a craft store or on the internet and you must choose a theme. Talk about your favorite summer memories. What was the most fun? What still makes you laugh? What surprised you? Then tailor the project to your child’s interests. If he wants to gather objects that won’t tuck into a book, consider alternate ways to preserve the collection, such as a shadow box he can display on a wall.
Here are a few theme ideas:
All About Me (Us)
Exploring the Great Outdoors
Roadtrips R Us
Somewhere Out There is…
A Camper’s Life
Videography has come a long way in the past few decades. Before digital camcorders, home movie buffs had to use VHS camcorders, and before that, 8mm film. Fortunately, smaller cameras are capable of producing clearer images and the whole process of capturing, preserving and enjoying memories is much easier.
SUGGESTION: Schedule and then devote time to putting finishing touches on your videos. At the very least, add labels and some front and back end graphics if you have the software. Don’t make the mistake of putting one person in charge of the project. The fun part is working together.
If you don’t have a video camera, you can create dynamic videos by uploading digital photos onto websites such as animoto.com. Users of Animoto pay a $25 yearly membership fee allowing them to create an unlimited number of videos for one low price. Animoto adds the fancy special effects, graphics and music; however, a project can be remixed if you don’t like their choice. A high-resolution version will cost $5 extra. Animoto is one of many websites offering this service.
Lastly, for a quick and easy way to make a time capsule of your summer vacation, find a large, clean, wide mouth jar such as a mayonnaise jar. Gather ticket stubs, shells, maps, souvenirs, subway tokens, pressed flowers or anything with sentimental value. Be sure to check local regulations if you want to gather natural items, such as fossils, feathers, or plants. If you include photos, write names and dates on the back of images. Place all of your items inside the jar. On brightly colored paper, write a few notes about each event after interviewing family members.
IMPORTANT: Don’t put your scrapbook, photobook, shadow box, DVD or souvenir jar in a drawer. Instead, place it in a prominent place of honor so children can revive their cherished summer memories for many years to come.