Five Ways to Document your Child’s Life

By Kathy Chin Leong


Parents are always looking for ways to capture that fragment of time when little Johnny scores his first soccer goal or when Brittany learns to ride a bike. Below are five ways to record these memories.


1) Scrapbook by topic. Choose a theme such as birthdays, sports or vacations. This way you can organize your photos and snippets in a more coordinated fashion. Save photos that parallel each other from year to year so you can see how your child has grown, such as the birthday cake picture or the soccer team photo. To save time, purchase several copies of the same scrapbook so you have an identical size that is easy to store. For ideas for art layouts or themes, visit your local scrapbook store or crafts retailer.


2) Videotape or audiotape interviews. Kids do say the darndest things, and when you can snag them on video, it’s priceless. Once your child can talk, pose as a reporter and ask him significant questions: What do you want to do when you grow up? What kind of person would you like to marry? What’s your favorite vegetable? What’s your favorite TV show? Ask the same questions year after year. Have her tell a story or sing a song. If your child plays an instrument, you can record the song. Don’t forget to transfer your findings to DVD.


3) Journal your thoughts as a parent. As your child matures, you also grow and react to the things that happen to him. The time he was teased by another child. The time he stole the show in the holiday pageant. You can give him the gift of your journal when he gets married or goes to college. Another approach is to write him in letter form each time you jot down your comments. Get started by picking up a beautiful journal at your local stationary outlet or bookstore.


4) Art and school work. Elementary and preschool years are wonderful opportunities for children to create classroom trinkets. Work together on projects at home – stepping stones, handprints pressed into rolled-out salt dough, crayon etchings. If things take up too much room, you can take photos of them and get rid of the originals. For large pictures, you can also make reduced color copies, laminate and create small magnets. Copy images onto fabric and create a wall quilt. For school work, edit fiercely. Keep only the things that represent his personality or interest. An old math paper or school bulletin really has no use unless you can attach a memory to it. Purchase a binder and use it to store your child’s certificates from summer camps, swimming lessons or piano recitals.


5) Ornaments or keepsakes. Select a Christmas ornament that represents your child’s interest or hobby that year. Was Molly a Girl Scout? Was she involved in tennis? Card stores have a plethora of ornaments of every shape and size. You can also start an annual collection of small tokens you can purchase such as crystal figurines or even freebies such as seashells found on the beach that remind her of that special summer.



Supply Stores

Michael’s Arts & Crafts, 561 Coleman Ave., San Jose; 408-975-9371.

Scrapbook Mania, 5415 Camden Ave., Ste. C, San Jose; 408-267-4289.

Craft it Inc. (scrapbook store that offers classes), 1139 Tasman Drive, Sunnyvale; 408-400-0765.


Web sites  – For layout ideas and designs.