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Memory-Making Projects

Try these crafty ideas for those long holiday vacation days.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Creativity
Social Skills

Holiday vacation is the perfect time to share memories and to start new traditions like creating a year-end scrapbook. Plan some time to clear off the kitchen table, heat up some cocoa, and make something with your child that will capture the spirit of family, friendship, and memories.

 

Ages 3-5:

Photo & Picture Book

Help your child celebrate this year's highlights!

  • Use a photo album with sticky pages or sleeves, and write the year and your child's name on the cover.
  • Choose about five categories to "remember" such as Dance Class, Birthday, Favorites (Story, TV Show), Holidays.
  • Cut drawing paper into a size that will fit into the album. Your child can draw pictures for each category, and you can put them in the book.
  • On the pages following each drawing, insert photos that fit the category.
  • Ask your child to tell you about his best friend, his teacher, etc. Write his thoughts down, and put them into the album.
  • Save a page in each category to write your own memories.
  • Decorate the book with fabric, artwork, or stickers.

Family Collage
Connect your child to her relatives as you create a family collage.

  • Gather pictures of different family members.
  • Help your child tape or glue the photos onto poster board.
  • Your child can talk to relatives to find out what they like: ice cream, golf, etc.
  • You and your preschooler can search through holiday catalogs and old magazines to find pictures that represent each relative's favorite things.
  • Glue the magazine pictures alongside the right person's photo.

 

Ages 6-9:

Thank Yous from the Heart

When the gifts are all unwrapped, there is only one thing left to do — say "thanks"!

  • Make a list of each relative or friend who gave your child a holiday gift.
  • Using heavy-stock paper, make a personalized thank-you card for each person on the list. Or use our template, and have kids decorate it with their own drawings.

Scrapbook
Pass on stories from your own childhood as you build a book filled with unique memories.

  • Help your child choose a theme for the book (baseball, animals). She can create artwork to carry the theme throughout the book.
  • Use heavy-stock paper for the book's pages and cardboard (cut to the size of the paper) for the covers.
  • Wrap the covers in fabric.
  • Punch holes along the left sides, and tie the book together with ribbon.
  • Glue the magazine picture alongside the right person's photo.
  • You and your child can write memories and thoughts on index cards and glue them to the pages too.

 

Ages 9-12:

Family Map

Put a twist on the traditional genealogy tree.

  • Pick a theme for your map. Instead of a tree, choose a symbol that has a special meaning for your family. Any V-shape or pyramid-like image will work: an Irish shamrock, a Native American wigwam, even a bowl with chopsticks!
  • Draw the symbol on a large piece of poster board.
  • Your child's name goes at the skinny end of the image with relatives branching out above or beneath him.
  • Where you can, add nicknames, dates of birth, or other facts next to a relative's name.
  • Your child can call and e-mail aunts, uncles, or grandparents to find out more about other relatives.

Family Newsletter
Keep faraway relatives up to date on what's going on.

  • Your child can use a standard word-processing program to write stories about family events from the past year: weddings, vacations, births, parties, and more.
  • Import photos into the document. Or narrow the margins to make a column of text, print, and glue photos onto the paper.
  • Make copies of the newsletter and mail to relatives.
  • Variation: create a family Web site with news and information for relatives.

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