Whether your child's heading off to camp, taking a family vacation, or simply enjoying what your 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.
- Stock Up on Supplies
With the enticing array of scrapbooking supplies available, you can create a museum-quality masterpiece. However, try to be realistic about the scope of the project. 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, such as glue stick, double-sided tape, decorative-edged scissors, etc.
- Save Everything
Just about any object can be something to treasure. Designate a box or basket in your house that your child can fill with everything she wants to preserve. Here are a few suggestions:
- Photos, stamps, brochures, tickets, postcards, invitations, letters and cards, luggage tags, receipts, travel guides, maps, flyers, newspapers, magazines, leaves and pressed flowers, drawings and writing practice, worksheets, notes, checklists, scraps of fabric (from a memorable T-shirt, etc.), journal entries, quote and jokes, facts about your child and home
- Lay 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. You can find ideas in craft books or on the Internet, but here are five general pointers to keep in mind:
- Be selective! Don't feel like you have to include every summer photograph.
- Consider matting photos and mementos (particularly flimsy ones) to set them off from the white page and keep the glue from seeping through.
- Write captions on construction paper before putting them in the book.
- Vary shapes and colors, and utilize pictures and patterns, on each page for visual interest.
- Preserve a little white space on each page so it's not too busy.
- Put It Together
Though adults may prefer to collect everything and assemble their scrapbook later, your child may enjoy creating it throughout the season. This will also focus the project on the process, rather than the end result. If she doesn't want to make a page permanent in case she wants to make changes, she can always lay out the pages without adhesive and then glue everything at the end of the summer.