Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

When my son was born, I took hundreds pictures, and I scrapbooked regularly. I have volumes of scrapbooks documenting his infancy and toddler years. Then Anika was born. For a while, I kept up, taking even more pictures of her than I had of Parker. Somewhere around the time she turned 6 months old and Parker turned 3, I stopped having – or making – time for scrapbooking.

Now, I have boxes of pictures, piles of scrapbooking supplies, and empty scrapbooks just waiting to be filled. If anything, though, I’m busier now than I was when I had five young kids making demands. Often, I just want to spend what little free time I have with my kids. The solution: Saturday morning scrapbooking!

The kids are old enough now that they can help me scrapbook. And since I’m not worried about perfection but rather enjoying the moment and making the memory, I’m not even worried how it will turn out. And, with winter weather heading our way, scrapbooking followed by hot chocolate sounds like the right way to spend a few Saturdays.

Not only will your kids enjoy helping you scrapbook, but there are plenty of suitable tasks for your children to be able to help you do – regardless of their ages. Give your preschooler a blank sheet of paper or cardstock, some crayons or markers, and a stamp or two. Let her pour her energy into her creative endeavor; the decorated page can be used as a background for a scrapbooking page – a much more original page than what you’d find at the craft store. School age kids can help by cutting out picture mattes and organizing pictures. They are also experts with glue sticks (acid-free, of course).

If you have older kids and teens (who don’t just roll their eyes and leave when you suggest scrapbooking), let them have creative control over a page or two – the results will surprise you, and the completed page itself becomes a memento. You may find that the project inspires your kids to be scrapbookers, and you’re definitely fostering the creative side of your kids. Before you clean up, use an ink pad or washable paint and grab your kids’ handprints –leave the prints to dry and they’ll be ready for the next scrapbook session.