Having a large family doesn’t always leave a lot of time to create lasting memories. Whether you have a big family or a small family, it is important to make time to create precious mementos of your children’s lives.
One way to do this is to get professionally taken portrait shots. Pick a photographer that is an expert in taking contemporary family pictures like Surrey photographers. Getting all the kids together every year for a photo is a great way to document how each child is developing and how the family as a whole is growing. It’s a lovely gift idea for a parent’s birthday or a Christmas time. You could even get a Christmas themed photos and use it as your holiday card next year! They also look adorable on the wall and make a great focal point in a room over a mantelpiece.
Baby’s first book
Another really nice way of making memories and honoring each child’s birth and the first year is to have a book dedicated to just them. You can buy books devoted to this purpose or use a smash book. In the book, you can stick in physical things like photos, a lock of hair, a first tooth or the bracelet from the hospital. You can also use the pages to record baby’s weight when they first open their eyes, smile, and crawl. Another really nice element of these baby’s first books is to get their siblings to write welcome messages in the book when a baby is first born. It’s a lovely way of getting everyone to welcome your new arrival and it makes great reading for the whole family when they are all grown up.
As a parent, you may well be drowning in a sea of kids paintings. While they are all precious, and sometimes hilarious, it just isn’t possible to keep them all. A great solution for this is to use them to create some stylish abstract art for your home. Take a geometric paper cutter and cut one shape from each picture. Make sure you choose an interesting and colourful part. Then stick the shapes in straight lines on colourful mounting board and frame. You get some lovely art to decorate with, and the kids get the satisfaction that their art is so good, it doesn’t just go up on the fridge, but up on the walls as well. Several together look wonderful. Don’t forget to date them and include the kids names, making unusual and decorative mementos.
Another cute DIY project to do with the kids is to preserve your their hand prints when they are small. There are a few ways of doing this. You can get special clay to do this with, but with a lot of kids, it’s sometimes difficult to find somewhere for them all to be displayed. You could expand on the painting idea above, and get the kids to press their hands in paint and then all over a long roll of sugar paper, which you can frame. This also works well as a tree design with fingerprints too.
Or you could do a Hollywood Boulevard style concrete hand press is the back garden. This is a very good idea if you plan to stay in your home for a long time as it’s a permanent memory the family will see daily. Make sure the concrete is safe to use. Support and supervise small children when doing this activity. Ensure they wipe their hands off quick after having them in the concrete. Get each child a stick or knitting need to write their name by their handprint to make it super special. Make sure you choose a day that isn’t too hot, or the concrete will set before everyone gets a chance to make their imprint.
If you have any talented crafters in the family, then you could have a go at making a quilt. They make a great gift for family members that are living away from home for a while. You could get each kid to crochet or sew a square if they are old enough. Or you draw round each child’s hand on some fabric, cut it out and sew them onto the quilt. If this all sounds like a bit too much sewing, why not do the hand thing but with different coloured fabric paints?
It’s definitely time to bring back the old tradition of marking your kid’s height on the wall or door frame. This is a cute reminder of when they are little and how they have matured. Its really fun for the younger ones to see if they have reached the height of their older siblings too. If you can’t bear to draw directly onto the wall, you could use stickers or get a wooden height chart, but we use to do it with a pencil back in the old days. Watch out for the cheeky ones, standing on tiptoes, though!
Another delightful way of making long term memories is to plant a tree for each of your kids in the garden. You can do it when they are born, as a whole family activity as part of their christening/naming day. Or you could wait until they are older and pick a particular birthday like 5, 10 or 13 and then get the child to choose the type of tree themselves.