10 Evergreen Ways to Keep Mementos of Your Little Ones
How many photos do you snap in a day? On average? The last photo in your album is probably what you had for dinner the other day. Or your kids making faces at the camera when you weren’t looking.
Did you know that the average person snaps about 20 photos a day? That’s 7,300 a year! No wonder my smartphone always seems to be running out of space! But I can’t remember when I actually last took the time to look through these thousands of photos.
As the minimalist will tell you, “Less is more.” Choosing which photos to keep and which to cull is honestly a discipline in its own right. The same goes for our kids’ artwork that they bring back from kindergarten and Sunday school— not to mention the old baby clothes that we simply couldn’t bear to throw away.
But fret not! Riding on the New Year spring cleaning momentum, let’s get our keepsakes sorted too. Here are some ways parents keep mementos of their children that will actually bring back memories of your little one’s milestones growing up.
1 Custom Prints
Sherlee’s parents are now proud grandparents and a canvas photo collage hangs on their wall to prove it. Sherlee took photos of her son growing up from his baby to toddler years and her hubby put them together as a gift for her parents.
There are plenty of online services that offer prints of photo collages on paper, canvas, wood and even metal. You could select a handful of the best moments and get them printed. And while you’re at it, sweep out those that don’t spark as much joy (yes, you can KonMari your digital space too).
Serious Prints does a variety of customisable mementos, like a Baby 12-months frame to celebrate your baby’s first year milestones, and a creative Photo Cube that you can flip to view various photos on.
Photobook Singapore offers a Baby Frame complete with clay kit to imprint baby’s hand and footprint, alongside customisable baby blankets and clocks.
2 Memento Box
While on the outside, Agnes’ memento box may look like any normal Korean red ginseng box, inside lies her precious collection of her children’s cards to her. She kept cards from special occasions, like Mother’s Day, and even when her kids noticed that she was feeling under the weather.
Really any humble ol’ box can be used for keeping your kids’ handmade cards. Mine’s an old shoebox that I just layered over with a faux wood vinyl laminate that I picked up at the ABC store.
Whenever you’re feeling down, you can open this box and read the kiddos’ sweet messages and remember all over again why you love them so deeply and do what you do as a parent!
3 DIY Bookmark
Alex had thousands of family photos stored away on his hard drive. Whenever they went on a family trip overseas, the photos would pile up, but he hardly ever got the chance to view them. He considered framing them up on a wall, but wanted a more practical way to display them. That’s when he got the idea to make his own photo bookmarks for his daughters.
You can easily arrange this on your word processing software and get it printed on 150gsm cardstock at your local print shop under the block.
If you’re a fan of printing your travel photos, you can also craft your own mini accordion album in a box like this one from Camille Styles.
4 Journals & Scrapbooks
I think we can all agree that children seem to hit new milestones in a blink of an eye. Do you still remember the day that your child was born? How about the day when they came home from the hospital? It might be even more challenging to recall the details of each of these milestones.
Having a journal, a scrapbook or just any book to keep records could be helpful for you to capture moments before they are long forgotten. If it seems daunting to start this practice, or to pick up the pen again, perhaps you may find it encouraging to know that every small effort counts! Just like in the case of how Parames, a mother of a primary school-going child, kept records of her daughter through a baby journal.
The baby journal already has prompts to record the family tree, her first day home, her footprints and many other interesting things. It is not as daunting because the journal can guide you through recording significant moments that you might have even forgotten about!
When your kids are older, you can also use a memory scrapbook, which will be for you if you enjoy expressing yourself in creative ways, such as drawing or pasting souvenirs.
Parames used this memory scrapbook to record their mother-daughter time. It is incredibly heartwarming because keeping these records allows for future bonding opportunities too. Till today, her daughter still loves to go through them with her from time to time.
5 Printable Calendar
If you happen to relate to keeping mementos of your child for posterity, then you might also find it worthwhile to consider making handicrafts and even gifting them to your family! Parames made calendars for the family with pictures of her newborn when they welcomed her into the family.
It’s a practical gift idea that shares the joy and warmth with other family members as well. It’s not too difficult to make as you can simply attach a picture or decorate it to make it more memorable for yourself. It doesn’t have to be fancy as it can be personalised!
6 Shrinky Dink Keychains
Immortalise your toddler’s drawings on your key holder. You’ll have to get the Shrinky Dink sheets, which are made of Polystyrene plastic, draw on it with a Sharpie and bake it in the oven. Just remember to punch a hole for your chain before you bake it!
Source: Messy Little Monster
Or take it up a notch with die-cut metal necklaces and bracelets by Drawnies.
7 Kids’ Art Tea Towel
Grab a fabric marker, a blank tea towel, your toddler’s latest masterpiece and get drawing! All you have to do is place your child’s drawing under the tea towel and trace with the fabric marker. Et voilà!
Source: Setting for Four
Alternatively, if drawing isn’t your cup of tea, you can get it custom printed on Etsy. I couldn’t find any local shops that print on this sort of tea towels, but let me know if you do!
8 Onesie to Teddy Bear
Don’t throw away your baby’s onesie just yet! You can convert your baby’s onesie into a teddy bear for your little one to hug to sleep! If you were keen about sewing during Home Ec lessons back in school, this project is for you. And it’s an environmentally-friendly way to upcycle your baby’s old clothes too. With the familiar scent and pattern on the new teddy, your kid is sure to love it!
Source: A Woofie & A Baby
We would recommend using a sewing pattern as a guide, like this Teddy bear pattern from PACountryCrafts, or you can freestyle it if you’re confident!
It doesn’t always have to be a teddy bear, of course. You could make Singapore’s favourite animal— otters— or pandas, giraffes or your even child’s favourite dinosaur.
Source: Elephants from NestlingKids
Plenty of shops offer their services to turn your children’s old clothes into soft toys, like these memory bears from simplyprettyposies— or how about a turtle from MemsMemories? The possibilities are endless.
9 Home Objects
Have you experienced racking your brain trying to figure out what to do with the artworks that your child has made? Wouldn’t it be great if there were a more practical use for it instead of just keeping it in another box? There are services such as Shutterfly that can help you to turn these artworks into home objects, such as mugs and candles.
Source: Wardrobe Hackers
Not only can you put your child’s artworks to good use, but it can also save you some headaches stressing over whether or not to discreetly discard those masterpieces lying around your house.
10 Storing Memories via Email
The last tip we have is a wallet-friendly option. If you’re looking for a method to keep many pictures and videos for free, perhaps you can consider creating a separate email address for your child to store all your memories. It might sound a little strange at first— I mean, sending emails to your child?
However, the rationale behind this is similar to parents creating a separate social media account for their child. Essentially, it is to help parents to capture moments for their child to look back on when they are older. Perhaps give this article a read before you decide for yourself.
This may even be a safer alternative compared to creating a social media account for your child, as you don’t have to worry about unintended recipients looking at your pictures. It also usually doesn’t take too long to send out an email— if you are worried about being too busy to keep worthwhile mementos. So, type away!
Well, in the end, you may still choose to keep those photos on your device.
Most of us may relate to Jess, whose gallery is filled with pictures of her daughter in softcopy. These photos may be “random” or spontaneously taken, but we can agree that they sometimes become some of the fondest memories to look back on in the future.
After all, this beats piling up blankets that her daughter used when she was a newborn.
So don’t be afraid to take more pictures of your children and keep them in softcopy either, because there isn’t a limit to the wonders of technology! That is, until your phone starts to prompt you that you have run out of space.
Liora Siau & Elina Lo
Morning Star offers The Incredible Years® Parents & Babies for parents looking to improve parenting confidence and support baby’s developmental milestones and safety needs (0 to 10 months)
Morning Star also provides highly personalised, face-to-face parent coaching sessions throughOnline Parent Coaching for parents with toddlers aged 3 to 6 years