If you are a regular reader you will know I am obsessed with recording memories and hoarding keepsakes of the boys. When I was pregnant with Kipper I wrote all about the first 12 months of keepsakes, but it got me thinking about the other things I do for Monkey and will continue to do.
- Quotable kids – There is a little notebook you can buy off of Amazon to record funny conversations or comments by your little darlings. However to be honest any sort of notebook will do. Its great to look back on them and have a giggle!
Me – “Monkey stop drinking swimming pool water”
Monkey – “But I a whale Mummy”
Monkey aged 35 months
- Christmas ABC – For Monkey’s second Christmas I put together an ABC book with a Christmas themed photo in for each letter. To be honest it was too young but he loved looking through them. Instead of putting it into the loft I have kept it down and often catch him riffling through the pages. I am hoping this year he will get even more use from it as he’s starting to learn his ABCs. It doesn’t need to be Christmas related you could make one anytime of year with photos that mean something to your little one.
- Memory Jar – last year we started a new tradition a Kids Memory Jar. The idea behind it is that we write down special things that happen on a lolly stick and put them in the jar. Then at the end of the year we sit down and read them. No honestly we have not been as good with this as I would have liked. But we have some, which is more that we would have had if we hadn’t done it at all.
- Pebble Jar – what it it with boys and stones? Or sticks for that matter? When ever we go to the beach or similar Monkey will want to collect some stones to come home with him. To be honest its getting a little bit annoying, after all how many stones does one small boy need? So we have made a compromise only one stone can come home per trip out, and then that stone has the date and place put on it with a sharpie pen and then it goes into the jar. He can get them out and play with them if he wants but this way only one comes home with us. Word of warning if you decide to do similar it can take a very long time for a little one to decided ‘which stone’.
- Toddler Journal – Now I am steeling this one off a friend. For her little girl she has a scrapbook and every time they go to the cinema, a show, an activity where there is a ticket or a flyer she collects them and they stick them in a scrapbook. Much better than keeping lots of little pieces of paper which inevitably get tidied away, lost or forgotten. It also gives them something to look back over. I think I will be doing this with Monkey going forward.
- Christmas list in form of a decoration – Each year I do this for Monkey, I guess it doesn’t matter how you actually do it I buy a personalised wooden decoration. But the idea is that you make a short list of maybe five things that your little one has asked Father Christmas for and use these on a decoration. Be it one you buy or make yourself. Its great to be able to look back on and see how their preferences have changed over the years.
- One handmade decoration a year – I keep one handmade decoration each year be that a twig with green ribbons tied on it to make it look like a tree or a salt dough handprint ornament we have made at home. Only one mind you, which maybe more difficult now Monkey is at school.
- First handmade mothers day gift – obviously it takes a few years for them to be old enough to make their own gifts. Monkey’s first was from when he went to a childminder and they made this gorgeous button heart (well its gorgeous to me!). Which I have since framed and it hangs in our downstairs loo.
- Important cards – I keep all of Monkey’s welcome to the world cards and his first birthday cards. But when it came to his second birthday I realised I couldn’t keep, keeping cards all the time? I mean by the time he was eighteen we would probably need a whole wardrobe just to store cards. So I decided that I would keep a couple of the important ones, and by that I mean the ones from us as his parents and his grandparents. I will also keep the ones from Kipper now he has a little brother. At the moment they are just in a folder, but at some point I will bind them with some scrapbook rings.
- Drawings and scribbles – I am trying to work out in my head how best to store art work. Up until Monkey going to school the only bits we would have are the things he did at home. His nursery was much more mud and outside fun than art and craft. To date I have them stored in an A3 zip bag. However with him now starting school I think there will be a lot more coming home, so I am going to rack my brain and make some decisions. I have seen people photographing their kids pictures which seems like a great idea to me. So watch this space I think a new post will be coming soon.
- The places you will go… – I can not take credit for this either it was a pinterest idea. Who doesn’t love Doctor Seuss? Well I’ve brought a boxed hardback copy of the ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!‘ and I will be asking each of the boys teachers to write a message in it for Monkey/Kipper when they leave their class. So that when they turn eighteen and leave school or go onto university they have this book to take with them. I asked Monkey’s key worker and groundsman from nursery to put a message in his book when he left last month and reading them has already moved me to tears!
- First tooth your child loses – plus fairy photo – Obvious this one, but not so is the fairy photo, when he does loose that tooth I will somehow take a picture and add in a fairy leaving the money under his pillow.
- Soft toy of their drawings – Monkey’s drawings are not at this level yet but once they are I am either going to make myself or find a company to do it. I have seen some on the internet and I think they just look fab!
- School Box! – We know I am a hoarder when it comes all things kid related so it is going to be a real struggle for me not to want to keep everything. I have thought about this and brought a really useful box with hanging folders in it. Each year Monkey will have a folder with a photo of him in his class uniform on the front and the name of the year. In the folder I will store school art and papers, awards and certificates, pictures they draw, first attempts at writing letters and numbers, report cards and class pictures. Anything which between Monkey and I we decide is worth keeping. As I have a limited amount of space in the folder and box I am hoping it will force me to be a bit ruthless!
- Electronic Journal – Many bloggers use their blogs as a kind of electronic journal but for people that don’t blog or if you get a lot of things emailed to you like I do, then it maybe worth looking at setting up an email account in your child’s name to send these things onto.
- One Line Journals – Over the years I have kept a daily journal, but with now having two children, a full time job, a blog I just don’t have the time in the evenings to reflect on the day. I had done it for so long I was a little disappointed with myself. However then a lovely friend of mine brought me a one line a day five year journal. Its takes 2 minutes. On investigation I found they did other colours so now I have one for me, Monkey and Kipper. In 10 minutes I can record our day with no longer feeling guilty.
So thats quite a bit, and that doesn’t include lots and lots of pictures and videos! But at least it will give me something to appreciate when I am old and grey and hopefully things for Monkey and Kipper to look at when they ask about their own childhoods. I would love to know if I am missing anything please let me know in the comments below if you do anything in addition?
I have also set up a pinterest board on storing and creating keepsakes and memories, if you would like to be added to it as a contributor then please drop me a note:
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