8 Ideas for Creating Memory Keepsakes for Your Children
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
I don't remember much from my childhood, so it's always been very important to me to photograph my kids and write down their stories as often as I can.
Here are 8 ideas for creating special memory keepsakes for your children. Even if your kids are a bit older now, it's not too late to start up! You can either start from the age they are now, or find some photos from their younger days, jog your memory and create a 'backdated' project.
1. Writing Emails or Letters Addressed to Them
When I was pregnant with Zara, I stumbled on a Pinterest idea: to create an email address for your child, then send emails over the years with pictures and stories - and give them the password when they are older.
It was the perfect idea for me, because I love digital photos and I love the idea of not having to try to keep a physical baby book intact for years to come.
I now have two email addresses, one for Zara and one for Maya and try my hardest to make sure they have an equal amount of emails (trying to beat that Second Child Syndrome).
I started off sending an email every month for their first year and then every six months. It takes me ages to make the collages that I put in with their emails, but I know it's worth it.
I also enjoy reading old emails every now and then - and it helps fill in the gaps of my foggy mum brain memory. You can also write physical letters to your child instead.
Here is an example of the start of one of my emails, and then some of the collages I put in there:
If you combine a photographer on maternity leave with a very cruisy baby, you get a whole lot of photoshoots! My second baby was not at all cruisy, so I know how lucky I was.
2. Well Child Book
This is a nice and simple one. You were probably given a Well Child book when your baby was born and that is a great starting point. You can add your own text alongside the midwife's notes - and add photos as well.
This photo is from Stitch Tickles , they make special covers to customize your book.
A scrapbook album is a super cute and creative way to preserve memories. You can get very creative with this, or keep it clean and simple. You can even get your kids to help when they're old enough.
I love this idea from Blueberry Co to add funny things they say and do, because you don't want to forget those little quirks:
This image is part of a great article about creating backdated scrapbooks, so you don't have to start right from birth. Definitely worth a read if you're starting when your kids are older.
4. Monthly Photos for Baby's First Year
This one is a bit time-consuming, but it can be pretty cool to show how much your little bub can grow in one year. With my first child, I styled each month's photoshoot differently without thinking about what the photos would look like as a collage, but with baby #2 I had a whole vision in my head from the start:
You can also get cute milestone cards, milestone blocks or even a milestone blanket to use for each month's photoshoot. The Warehouse sells most of these at a great price.
Warning! If you do a 'lying down' monthly photo like I did, you will need some help in the last few months because once they can roll and sit up it can get very hard to keep them still.
Once they are past their first year, you can start doing yearly photos. I did a Cake Smash for my girls' first year photoshoot and then a cake-free Milestone shoot every year after. For Maya's second birthday recently we did the Mermaid photoshoot. You can see her smiling face here.
5. Yearly Family Photos
Another thing I love to keep track of is how our family keeps changing. I try to get my family's photos done at least once a year. Here is a look at my family over the last four years:
If you are due to have some family photos done of your own gorgeous family, have a look at the Family Portraits service here.
6. Video Compilations
Videos are amazing at capturing memories - the little movements your kids make, their voices and crazy antics. My advice for videos is to position your phone the same way each time. What I mean by that is that if you started taking videos of your family in portrait (vertically), then keep doing that. I always take videos in landscape (horizontally), because I know I want to start making compilations and I want to play them on a computer or a TV. I haven't found the time for it yet, but it's definitely on my list!
7. Memory Jars or Shadow Boxes
Okay, before I get to my favourite, I wanted to tell you about this very artsy idea I found on the internet:
These photos are from Martha Stewart's old blog . I have heard of people using shadow boxes to put baby keepsakes like clothes and hair locks in, but I hadn't seen it used for other memories. These are for memories of specific vacations, and that makes total sense, because sometimes we arrive home with some knick-knacks and stones and other items that would fit into one of these.
8. Photo Albums
The last one is absolutely classic, and I am very grateful my mum made lots of photo albums when we were growing up, because that is the only way I can really remember my childhood and all the fun things we did as a family.
It is a bit sleeker and put-together than a scrapbook, and a better fit for mums that don't like arts and crafts. Nowadays, you have a choice between printing your photos and sticking it into an album yourself, or getting a full ready-made album. You can choose to do an album every year, and/or you can create albums for special occasions such as a holiday, a party, starting a new school or a special photoshoot (I include around 30-100 digital photos depending on the type of photoshoot, so there is enough for you to make a full album).
Here is the one I made for my little girl's first year:
I prefer to have them ready-made myself. After my parents visited me and my family here in New Zealand, I made sure to get an album of their visit made through a website in the Netherlands so that they could pick it up in their local shop.
I know photo albums can be daunting, so my next blog post is going to be all about tips to make a great photo album, as well as some hacks if you are low on time.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to share this with friends and family. And if you have realised that you would like to get more amazing photos of your family at this very moment, get in touch to book a photoshoot!