How to Save Your Family's Special Summer Memories

Time goes by so quickly when you have children.  We only get 18 summers with our children, and perhaps only 11 or 12 when they are little enough to want to spend lots of time with us.  Doesn't that stop you in your tracks?  Read on for how to make the most of summer and how to save your family's special summer memories.

I've never understood the saying that the days are long but the weeks are short with kids.  We're with ours all day every day, and it seems that we no sooner get up in the morning than it's time to go bed again!  With all the things we do every day, if I didn't jot down some of the most precious moments they would be lost forever.  (By the way, I highly recommend the 5 Minute Journal for this, it really helps you focus on the little things.)

If anything, summer goes by even faster.  You blink and it’s time to get school supplies and get ready for another school year.  What you’re left with come September are lovely memories of a fun summer spent with the family.  Why not hold on to those memories by creating a family scrapbook or memory box together?  It will be a wonderful memento and something everyone involved will come back to again and again.

Making Memories

Remember that creating lots of great memories doesn't need to cost a penny.  Make the most of having the children at home this summer by planning lots of fun activities like day trips to the beach, forest and river; long walks and bike rides; and lots of fun down time like playing with water toys in the garden or exploring local woodland or nature reserves.  As fun as all the theme parks etc are, these simpler activities will be things your children remember for life.

And remember not to overbook yourselves.  Free days where you all wake up without an alarm and decide on a whim to do something exciting are the best.  Just keep your fridge stocked with plenty of picnic foods and you're good to go.  Remember to turn your phone off during the day to really connect with your kids too!

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A Summer Scrapbook

Take photos throughout the summer, save ticket stubs and other mementoes and turn them into a family scrapbook that records everything you’ve done this summer.  Whenever you get back from a fun event, take a minute to make a few notes about what you did.  Ask the children to draw pictures too.

Then once a week stick things in and write out a short report about your memories.  Add the photos, drawings and mementoes, and ask each child about their favourite memories of each day.  We do this on the way home, whether we walking or in the car, or at bedtime: What did you like most about today/this event?

Get everyone involved.  Creating the pages together, even if you’re not much of a scrapbooker will be fun and prompt lots of great conversations.  As time goes by, your summer scrapbook will become a family treasure you’ll go back to again and again to relive those summer days.

A Family Memory Box

If the idea of a scrapbook doesn’t appeal to your family, consider making a memory box instead.  It’s similar to the summer scrapbook, but instead of collecting images, stories, and ticket stubs in an album, everything goes into a box.  Old shoe boxes work very well for this, just decorate with gift wrap or scraps of fabric.

You could also decorate the outside with drawings, pictures, or paper that reminds you of summer.  Then stick various different things in your box.  The big advantage of a box is that it can hold three dimensional items that won’t fit into a scrapbook.  You can add a special rock or seashell your kids picked up for example.

Like an album, the box will be something you’ll fondly open from time to time to remember this special summer.  Create one every year and make sure you label each box well.  It also helps to have a few notes about what you did when to give each box a kind of inventory.

Digital Options if You Prefer

If you'd rather keep everything online, there are digital memory keeping options as well.  The easiest thing to do is to create a folder on your computer or hard drive, or use a dedicated flash drive to save all pictures and videos you’ve taken throughout the summer.

A nice addition to this would be a series of quick video interviews with each family member that includes their favorite memories from the summer.  You could also scan drawings and children's writing to save in the folder, and take photos of treasures they have found like pebbles, seashells, sticks or driftwood, and sea glass, for example.

Another fun option is to create a family blog that chronicles your summer adventures. Set up a free blog where you share what you’re up to each day or week, along with pictures and videos.  Not only is it a nice way to capture your memories for yourself, you can also share it with far-flung family and friends who would love to see what you’re up to all summer.

No matter how you choose to do this, spend a little time capturing and saving those fun summer memories this year. You’ll be glad you did a few months and years down the road when you can look back on the memories you’ve captured of this wonderful summer.

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