Creating Childhood Keepsakes — Without the Clutter!

childhood keepsakes

Some days, I dream of being that organised mum who has school lunches made the night before, bills organised chronologically in files, and toys sorted and stored neatly in separate containers. In reality, lunches are like the final minutes of a Masterchef challenge, bills can be found in amongst random piles of papers in the kitchen, and toys are the new carpet. I’m okay with that though — that’s life in a fun and busy family! Yet when it comes to childhood keepsakes, I want to be more organised.

A gallery of artwork comes home from kindy and school. We max out our phone storage capturing beautiful family moments. We hear lovely stories about our kids from teachers. And they surprise us with beautiful, hand-scrawled messages saying, ‘I love you Mummy’ and ‘You’re the best Mum ever’. These items are precious, but when kids are young, there are so many of them that it’s easy not treasure all of them. One day though, we’ll look back and wish we’d kept all of these things safe to enjoy and reminisce over.

So how can we create meaningful childhood keepsakes, without needing to hire a huge storage unit? Here are four great ideas to help!

1. Digital Artwork

Children’s paintings, drawings, collages and other pieces of artwork are by far the bulkiest items of childhood keepsakes in our house. We don’t want to throw away these carefully crafted pieces, but is it really practical to keep them all? Well, it is if you go digital!

One great idea is to scan artwork to make a digital copy, or snap photos of it using a phone or camera. Once you have all of the artwork digitised, it’s easy to create a lovely keepsake. Why not create a video montage or slideshow? You could even make a photo book showcasing the best items. Then you can condense whole piles of artwork into small and stunning books you can keep forever. You could do one for:

  • Pre-School Artwork
  • Junior School Artwork
  • Senior School Artwork

Or organise it by year or age. The options are endless!

What to do with children's artwork

What to do with children's artwork

2. Greetings Book

Kids often do the most amazing greetings cards for birthdays and Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, filled with cute messages and pictures. These are great, but who ends up keeping them all year after year? To make it easier, why not have a Greetings Book? Just buy a lovely hard-backed book with plain pages. Then, whenever you have a special occasion such as a birthday or Mother’s Day, your kids can write their message or draw their pictures directly into the book. That way, you have all of their beautiful messages in one compact place, safe to treasure forever.

Keepsake-idea-for-kids- digital artwork

Keepsake-idea-for-kids- digital artwork

3. Graduation Gift

When I heard about the idea of creating a graduation gift for kids, full of messages from each of their teachers over all the years of their schooling, I knew this was something I wanted to do for my own children. I bought a book for each of them. Then, at the end of every year, I secretly take it into school. I ask their teachers if they could possibly add a short message about them, as a reminder of their journey that year. All of the teachers I’ve asked have loved this idea, and their messages melt my heart. They’re funny and heart-warming and inspirational. I also add a couple of photos from the year to help boost these special memories.

These books mean so much to me, and I know they will mean even more to my children when I give them their gifts as they graduate from school. I think they’ll be something that gives them strength and encouragement for the next part of their journeys in life, and I hope they’ll be something they can turn to whenever they need to remember how far they’ve come and what they can achieve.

Keepsake-idea-for-kids - graduation / school book

Keepsake-idea-for-kids - graduation / school book

Keepsake-idea-for-kids - graduation / school book

4. Annual Albums

This one takes a little bit of effort to do, but it’s something that really does help to make lasting memories. It’s the traditional idea of creating annual photo albums, but in a modern way. Simply choose your favourite photos from the year and use an online site to turn them into a photo book. There are so many websites available with lots of affordable options. Most have helpful features to make the process as quick and easy as possible, such as auto-filling the photos onto pre-set templates. Within a short time, you can have a beautifully printed book to look back on with the kids and remind you of all the special things that happened during the year.

Keepsake-idea-for-kids artwork -- digital books

We hope these ideas inspire you to create some beautiful childhood keepsakes of your own! 

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