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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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  • 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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49 Comments

  1. Coombe Mill Reply

    So many possibilities on things to keep and look back on, I found it bizarre the things I did end up keeping. Teech was one. I do love the quotable kids book, I still have a few in my head but I’ve forgotten some gems too

  2. Mess and merlot Reply

    Personal keepsakes like this are so lovely aren’t they? I’m quite ruthless when it comes to throwing things away but Spud (8) is sentimental and keeps certain things ‘for memories’ 🙂
    Flump (5) is just an all out hording nightmare! I keep ‘special’ cards, tickets etc but have to have sneaky clearouts when she’s at school!
    The idea of one decoration a year is a nice one because you actually get them out and look at them once a year unlike most keepsakes that end up in a box in my garage! 🙂 #TwinklyTuesday

  3. Wow what a fantastically comprehensive list! I love the idea for the school year box, also the christmas decorations. I’m not very good at documenting the little things and do worry that one day i’ll look back and regret that if I can’t remember something I know was important at the time. x #twinklytuesday

  4. I love this list. I have the quotable kids journal too and it’s fab for recording the things they say. Love your idea of the hanging folders for each year at school – very tempted to use that one myself. We have a folder for artwork and I keep pieces that I particularly loved or that showed a new skill being achieved. If it doesn’t fit in the folder, I photograph it. I also kept welcome to the world cards, first birthday and christening cards and special ones for other birthdays – mine get cut up and put in a scrapbook. #bloggerclubuk

  5. I love keepsakes! There are so many ideas here that I’d never thought of! My daughter has a stick / rock collection but what a great idea to date them! I’ll definitely be doing that in the future. I love the christmas decoration list too, oh and the lollypop sticks too. #BloggerClubUK

  6. serenityyou Reply

    oh I love all these ideas so much!!! We did the memory jar and saved all their school stuff, but really like the idea of the toddler journal

  7. Mummy I a whale! This is such an adorable memory and one you could have forgotten had you not scribbled it down! I, too, love writing down the memories and hope that this blog and my vlog will help serve as a wonderful keepsake. I have boxes and boxes of first drawings and birthday cards and written notes from the children – really so special but you sound like the total expert! #BloggerClubUK

  8. Notaneffingfairytale Reply

    My eldest had a journal which I kept up until he was 3…my youngest hasn’t been so lucky! I must do more to keep the memories. #bloggerclubuk

  9. thefrenchiemummy Reply

    So many things to keep! But I suppose you want to be able to remember everything. We already have tonz of Baba’s pics and he is only 8 months old #BloggerClubUK

  10. You have a great selection there! I purchased cheap art portfolios for each child and to store their art work, then at the end of the year I select a few to keep and place them in an A3 clear folder. I like your hanging folders for their school memories. #bloggerclubuk

  11. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons Reply

    Wow, what a list! I love keepsakes and always had a box to keep my memories in when I was growing up. I have a beautiful keepsake box for my son, but it’s starting to get full! I think I’ll need to make that a ‘first year’ box, and expand the ways using some of these. We are doing the memory jar, but that pebble one is inspired – my son loves a stone too! #bloggerclubuk

  12. We have quite a few of these (my wife is a memory hoarder too haha), but the quotable kids notebook on Amazon we’d never heard of and it sounds great. They say so many funny things that you can’t possible remember them all, so we’ll definitely be investing in this. Thanks for sharing.
    Potty Adventures
    #BloggerClubUK

  13. These are lovely ideas and I will steal some for sure. I already have an email address in little one’s name. I send emails and photos to it. Something for him to read in a few years when I give him the password. I think it will be a great way for him to know how I’ve felt bringing him up – the good days and the bad! #BloggerClubUK

  14. Ohhhhh these are some lovely ideas. I’m such a hoarder with bits already. Edith has a big memory box of things. I’m going to have to find a bigger box I think!

    #BloggerClubUK

  15. Ahh what gorgeous ideas! We tend to keep all sorts of things but they are all scattered about in different boxes and cupboards and there is no organisation whatsoever! I like to think of my blog as being a keepsake for the children when they grow, I try to record as much of our lives as possible so that one day they can look back and remember all of the fun we had together. #BloggerClubUK

  16. Jane Taylor Reply

    Lol. Theses are brilliant ideas. I wish I’d kept a book of their sayings…’Grandma, why is your neck falling down?’ is the classic from oldest when she was little. #Dreamteam

  17. I am useless at keepsakes. I have kept the first birthday cards but that’s it so far. My mum has some of their first outfits because she wants to make them into a cuddly toy for them both. I think I will keep their first teeth but I can see myself throwing them away after not too long. It’s not that I don’t treasure these things I just I have never been a very sentimental person. I actually wish I was. I’m conscious my daughters may be so I’m trying to keep somethings for them more than anything.
    #BloggerClubUK

  18. Oh I love personal keepsakes. I have actually written a post today about why it is important to take photos of the mundane as our keepsakes! Love this. A great list #bloggerclubuk

  19. diaryofuem Reply

    Wow, these are some brilliant ideas! Everything we have just ends up shoved in a box and then the box gets stuffed in the loft! I really love the idea of a stone jar, but I just know Oliver would demand to bring home the biggest stones he could find and make me carry it the whole way! haha
    I also love the Christmas ideas! Every year my mother-in-law buys a new tree decoration for her grandkids which is so lovely. I keep wondering if I should have written the years on them?
    #BloggerClubUK

  20. I keeo getting worse and worse at keepsakes. With my first I was militant- second…mediocre- third and fourth- I haven’t even started baby books yet. They.are.two. I need twelve more hours in a day I swear.
    #bloggerclubUK

  21. This is really lovely and so many nice ideas for keepsakes and memories. I love the idea of the a memory scrapbook for cinema visits and trips. #bloggerclubuk

  22. I really wished I had done the quote book. there are things that I thought I would never forget but I have. We have a lovely box with all sorts of bits that I choose to keep. My boys love seeing their baby clothes. They giggle wildly at the size of them. Great post #BloggerclubUK

  23. alisonlonghurst Reply

    I love all your ideas! I am nowhere as on the ball as you with keepsakes, but my eldest daughter started her own box of special things and every now and again she gets it out – she’s 17 now! All my daughters love reading through their baby books. I think it’s wonderful to keep memories – it’s just so hard to keep up the momentum. Good intentions slip…Thank you for sharing so many inspirational ideas. Alison x #BloggerClubUK

  24. Oh my goodness this list is so good! There was me thinking I would keep cards and drawings… you’ve put me to shame. Gorgeous ideas, I love looking back on photos from my childhood and one of my favourite things at Christmas is all the decorations my siblings and I made that my lovely parents still put on their tree ❤️ Your boys are going to be spoilt for choice when looking back on memories. #BloggerClubUK

  25. I am restarting my happiness jar which sounds a bit like your memory jar! I love the sound of the pebble jar too! #BloggerClubUK

  26. stressymama Reply

    What lovely ways to have keepsakes. I have a journal I keep for my little girl which I started while I was pregnant. I hope to keep it up and give it to her on her 18th birthday. I also have scrapbooks with her paintings and things like that in them ☺

  27. mummymiller Reply

    I love keepsakes, my mum kept so much from when I was a child and I have been keeping lots of bits for my son, he already has a box full and he’s only 7.5 months! These are great ideas and I will definitely be using some! #bloggerclubuk

  28. So many lovely ideas here! I’m trying to be strict with myself about how much baby stuff I’m keeping at the moment. It’s weird because my mum kept loads, and I know that I’m not at all interested in more than 0.5% of it. But still I think it will totally different with *my* daughter! 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  29. Double the Monkey Business Reply

    Such great and original ideas – I really love the christmas list idea 🙂 xxx #BloggerClubUK

  30. wow that’s quite a list! How on earth do you manage it all? I’ve got a memory box for each of my kids that includes things like birth tags, birth cards, airplane tickets etc. And I’ve recently just started keeping a journal logging all the new words my daughter says. It took her ages to start speaking, but at 22 months she just suddenly started says loads of new words. So much so I’m struggling to keep up! I sense I’m going to be collecting more and more things as the years go by. I’m so with you on wanting to have something to look back on in years to come. I certainly loved looking at the things my own mother kept for me and now she’s no longer here, I’m so grateful she did this for us too. #bloggerclubuk

  31. Wow I am so impressed! You have so many great ideas and keep so many lovely things for your boys. I am terrible at this, I’ve only kept all the essential bits for our little ones – hospital bracelets, cards from when they were born etc, but I’d like to get more organised and actually keep more first and milestone bits for them both. I love the quotable kids, pebble jar, toddler journal and places you will go book ideas and might have to copy a couple of these ideas. Its such a lovely thing for them to have when they are older. Thanks for sharing these, such a great post! Emily #BloggerClubUK

  32. Notmyyearoff Reply

    They’re lovely ideas and we definitely do one or two like keep all cards. I like the idea of a memory jar and I think that’s partly why I blog. So that I can look back at it all one day, which i regularly do 🙂

  33. Wow you are so organised! I started with a journal/scrapbook for both of mine but actually now have a large box for each which is full of tickets, certificates, invitations, school commendations that kind of thing for them to refer back to. I also have a suitcase of particular clothes from over the years, which includes the outfit they wore when they left hospital when they were born, their christening gown, any bridesmaid/pageboy outfits, sporting tops and the shirts with the signatures of all their friends when they left primary school. Cupboards are overflowing so maybe it is time for a sort through it all. #bloggerclubuk

  34. We all have memory boxed. My kids who are adopted came with memory boxes made by their foster mum, and we’ve kept it up. Now they are a little older they decide what they want to put in side. Many a rainy afternoon is spent rifling through memory boxes – they’re pretty essential!

  35. Not A Frumpy Mum Reply

    I love the idea of a Toddler Journal and really wish I’d done this for my little boy of all the places w have been. Must start one now! xx

  36. Heaven help me HOW good are you and how bad do I feel over how much I’ve thrown away now? With 3 kids the eldest of whom is now 12, I just got to the point where it was literally impossible to keep stuff. That said, we still have a huge amount of arts and paintings they’ve done at school over the years (we don’t do crafts at home partly because it’s just not me and mainly because it felt cruel getting them to make things that we then have nowhere to store). I’m relieved that even a self-confessed hoarder like you has nonetheless thrown cards away as I have kept almost every card they’ve received! Love the memory jar, we do a pebble ‘dish’, WISH I’d hung onto tickets of places we’ve been 🙁 and the Places You Will Go has just made me cry. Why didn’t your blog exist 9 years ago when my lot started school?! #bloggerclubuk xx

  37. That’s a great list! I love keepsakes and I want to keep everything, but I know it realistically isn’t possible. I have a box for each of my girls, but I know that will be full soon. I desperately need to get organised for all the things Alice brings home from school. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  38. ohmummymia Reply

    So many awesome ideas:) My boy is alreay 5 month and I feel that I should start keepsakes 🙂
    #BloggerClubUK

  39. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons Reply

    Just stopping by again to say thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove. Also that you’ve inspired me to get cracking on this year’s memory book already – so much fun sorting through everything!

  40. Lots of lovely ideas here – I have a notes page on my phone for funny comments and conversations with the little ones and I’ve collected some brilliant quotes over the years. I love your one! #BloggerClubUK

  41. Hi Clare, you have plenty of keepsake ideas there. There were loads of things I meant to do with my two when they were small. I really did mean to write down and record every daft thing they said, like the time my son said there was something spiky in hs mouth and after a mad panic I worked out he meant spicy! I do, however, have a file full of pictures they drew when they were little

    The lolly sticks memory box sounds like a fun idea and is perfect to look through in that lull between Christmas and New Year.

    #BloggerClubUK

  42. Ah… I am terrible at keepsakes. After reading your brilliant list, I feel like rushing off to get a better collection of stuff started. I do have this fab book that you fill in a big yearly entry for, for 18 years. It’s just remember to write everything! Thanks so much for linking up to the #DreamTeam x

  43. Jaylan - Diapers at Dawn Reply

    These are great ideas. I’ve heard of the email journal, I might have to do that, I suppose it’s making the time to stick to it x #BloggerClubUK

  44. Great inspiration! I currently have all these lovely cards and drawings and keepsakes and coming home from hospital clothes variously in the loft, above wardrobes, under the bed and in random drawers. No idea where daughter’s precious fallen out milk teeth may be, which is quite disturbing. MUST BE MORE ORGANISED AND DO SOME OF THESE THINGS!!!

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