Kids love to be busy so smart grandparents look for a variety of interesting activities to keep them engaged — after all, kids who are occupied are far less likely to get into mischief! Memory books are fun for kids to create and when completed, are fun to share with family and friends.
Choosing a Theme
The main thing that distinguishes memory books from photo albums or scrapbooks is that memory books almost always have a specific theme.
Typically, memory books are created to document a specific event or a set period of time, for instance, “A Day at the Zoo,” or “My Holiday in Spain.”
When creating a memory book with grandchildren, grandparents can encourage the kids to tell them stories about the events that are the focus of the book.
Expressing themselves verbally not only helps children to bond with their grandparents, but storytelling is a good skill to hone.
The key to getting kids to open up to tell their stories is to ask good leading questions. When simply asked what they’ve been up to, kids are likely to answer, “nothing,” but given better questions, kids will show that they have plenty of great stories to share.
Grandparents can draw them out by asking questions such as, “What was the biggest animal you saw at the zoo? And the smallest?” and “What was the funniest thing that happened on your holiday?”
From Simple to Spectacular
Depending on the child’s age, artistic ability, and willingness to work on a project for more than a few minutes, memory books can go from simple to simply spectacular.
Grandparents should be on hand to offer their assistance, but should be careful not to “take over” the project. It can be a great help to provide a nice assortment of materials that will allow the kids to create memory books that are unique and colourful.
Of course, basics art supplies like coloured paper, glue sticks, scissors (be sure to supervise the little ones closely!), and a nice assortment of writing instruments are needed, but it’s the little extras that kids really appreciate.
Photographs (be sure to make copies before handing the grandchildren a bundle of photos to use on their memory books!), ticket stubs, brochures from places that were visited, and other memorabilia will help kids to create books so that they can share their special memories with others.
Making New Memories
Time spent with grandchildren is often precious to grandparents, and kids can sense just how much their grandparents love their time together, especially when the adults show a genuine interest in the children and their stories.
While kids are often noisy and messy, grandparents should try to be patient since a bit of mess is a small price to pay for an afternoon of fun.
Remember, as you sit together to create memory books, you are in fact making new memories, as well.
You may want to get the digital camera and take a few shots of the activity — those photos just may provide material for the next memory book, “My Afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa.”