Summer Time

Rebecca Cavanagh-Nelson

When I was a kid we played outside from sunrise to sunset. Our parents made Kool-aid and we drank it by the bucket. We didn’t wear sun block. We swam in ponds. We skipped rocks. We slept outside in tents with our other friends and our parents didn’t worry that we’d be snatched away in the night. “Times have changed !” Each generation can say that statement and each time it is said, it seems to be increasingly noticeable. Some things have changed for the better and some seemingly for the worse.

In an effort to make lasting memories for my own family, I offer you the following summer time suggestion :

Create a Summer Scrapbook

Chronicle vacation days and create a book of warm memories to share in any season.

Whether your child’s heading off to camp, taking a family vacation, or simply enjoying what our neighborhood has to offer, collecting and preserving summer mementos will give her a sense of time, perspective, and history. And assembling a scrapbook with your younger child will help you connect over shared experiences.

Focus on What Your Child Loves

Before you begin your project, ask your child to choose a theme. Scrapbooks don’t have to be decoupage and photo-filled extravaganzas, though your child may enjoy assembling one of those. Try to tailor the project to his interests — particularly if he’s more active than crafty — be it sports, travel, or bugs. 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 hang on his wall. Here are a few theme ideas :

  • All About Me
  • Exploring the Great Outdoors
  • My Team’s Spectacular Summer
  • Backseat Adventures
  • What I Learned This Summer
  • A Visit to…
  • My World Travels (Real or Imaginary)
  • Camp Life
  • All the Good (and Bad) Things I Did This Summer
  • Summer Is…
  • My Family, Friends, and/or Pet

Stock up on Supplies

With the enticing array of scrap booking supplies available, you can create a museum-quality masterpiece. However, try to be realistic about the scope of the project. If you spend $2 a sheet on hand-made paper, how will you feel when your 6 year old dumps a bottle of glue on it ? You can assemble a scrapbook with supplies you probably have around the house, like a three-ring binder, computer and construction paper, and magic markers. But to construct something more durable, you’ll probably want to buy a few basics. Choosing acid-free paper for anything that will touch valuable photos or mementos is a good choice since it protects them from yellowing. A few simple supplies include :

  • The Book

You can purchase a memory book, choose a binder you can cover with fabric or paper, or even use a blank book that’s already assembled. (This will make manipulating the pages more challenging.) Or, you might consider choosing extremely strong cardboard your child can decorate and bind to the pages with ribbon.

  • The Pages

Choose sturdy, neutral paper and be sure to check that the holes are in the right place for your book. If not, you may need an office or scrapbook-style hole-punch to assemble your project.

  • Glue Stick
  • Doublesided Tape
  • Decorative-edged Scissors (Pinking shears can work.)
  • Drawing Tools like markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Colored and/or Patterned Paper (Wrapping paper can be a cost-saving option.)
  • Glitter, Stickers, Rubber Stamps, etc.
  • Ruler
  • Photo Corners (They aren’t necessary, but can add a lot to the look.)
  • Photos and Mementos (Offer your child a disposable camera to capture the kids-eye view.)

Laying out the Pages

There are a million different ways to arrange a scrapbook. Help your child choose an order that makes sense with the theme, whether it’s chronological, by person or place, or by subject. Try to work through the project one page at a time, since that’s how he’ll experience it in the future. You can find ideas in craft books or on the Internet.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your summer time memories !

  • Autre

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