Kids grow up so fast you never know what hit you. One day they’re sitting atop the counter with applesauce all over their little cheeks, and the next thing you know, they’re off to college, doing grocery shopping without you. While growing up is a fact of life that most moms have to gradually come around to, immortalizing the moments of their kids’ childhood is a great way not only to relive the lovely moments of motherhood but also to show their child how much they mean to them.
Keeping keepsakes of milestones is perhaps a habit all moms naturally acquire. After all, who would want to forget that unbelievable feeling of seeing their kids clumsily take their first step or dressing them up for their first day in school? These are fleeting moments that deserve a special place in your mom journal.
If preserving milestones is a lifelong project you’d want to do, you may as well get extra creative. Aside from photographs and video records, there are plenty of unique ways to document your child’s milestones. Here are some of them.
Write Them Down
Nothing still beats the sentimental value of good, old handwritten notes. In the same manner, journaling is still one of the best ways to document your child’s special moments. Not only are you recording what happened, but you can also pen down how you felt at that given moment so that reminiscing the experience becomes one that is shared.
Customizing a journal is an easy feat. There are many DIY guides online that you can draw inspiration from to create a fantastic journal. Fill it up with pictures each with dates and accompanying captions, pin down their first love letters addressed to Mom, or add colors by using crafty scrapbooking trinkets—your imagination is the limit.
Create a Custom Baby Book
There are just so many things you can do with a personalized book for your kids. If you want them to learn their first ABCs, you can curate a customized book on the introduction to the alphabet with each letter representing something that is already familiar to them. This makes learning easier by association.
If your goal is to get them started with doing art, you can have a custom board book made for simple coloring activities. Similarly, if your goal is to document their milestones throughout the years, you can have a custom memory book that showcases their best photos from infancy to present. You can use an “all about me” theme as well.
These personalized keepsakes can range from silly to hilarious, educational to sentimental. Aside from being extra personal, they also make engaging in learning fun.
Showcase These Milestones
Another great way to preserve your child’s milestones without practically putting them away is to place them in a display case such as a shadow box. Like a picture frame but meant for 3-D objects, a shadow box has a glass front.
The secret to a great display is to stick to a theme. If you have an existing shadow-box display of your latest travels, you don’t want to throw in your child’s first report card to the mix. Get creative with your ensemble, and make sure it stands out.
One advantage to shadow boxes is that they make great stories. They also provide great conversation topics for visiting guests, plus you get to change them from time to time.
If you’re lost on how to get started, check out this detailed guide to help you create your own shadow box.
Most moms are guilty of wishing their kids would just stay as they are: tiny, clumsy, and adorable. Nevertheless, it’s amazing to see these tiny ones grow month after month. Given your child can only be as young as they are now, you may as well bag a keepsake of these lovely changes. Handprinting is one creative way to do just that.
Handprinting projects can be done with different materials. You can use acrylic and canvas and hang the prints around the house. Just make sure the paints are child-safe and nontoxic. Take these awesome ideas, and feel free to paint away or explore a creative idea of your own.
Another way to get a great handprint is by using molding clay. Other moms have successfully used baking soda clay for these projects as well. The permanent, hardened prints make an interesting time-lapse display to your living room.
Creative Photo Shoots
In the age of Snapchat and Instagram, hiring professionals to take personal portraits is fast becoming outdated. Still, nothing beats the charm and quality of a professionally taken photograph.
There are plenty of creative photo-shoot themes you can draw inspiration from, such as this list.
These days, photographers have stepped up their game to outshine the readily available competition of filters and automatic photo fixers. Some even offer to photograph you at home so the pictures are more personal and natural. Others incorporate photo-manipulation tools to create special effects.
Use a Virtual Time Capsule
Although there’s no replacing printed photographs and handwritten love letters, there’s no harm in tapping the utility of virtual safekeeping tools like emails and cloud-based storage systems. Using these tools is an efficient way to keep track of photos that don’t make the print, perhaps store emails your sons and daughters have sent to you through time, or simply just serve as a backup of all things you deem significant.
You can have letters scanned and stored virtually as well. This way, you know all your good memories are in safekeeping. Having them easily accessible will help you take trips down memory lane with ease. And you can also send them easily to loved ones with whom you’d want to share.
Give Them Charm Jewelry
It may sound textbook cliché, but a custom-made piece of jewelry is a wonderful way of showing your love and appreciation for your little ones. It can be a bracelet, a gorgeous set of earrings, a necklace, even a hairpin or a little tiara.
Although jewelry may appeal more to girls, little boys can have their own charms too. A pocket watch, belt buckles, and even military-style dog tags are all unique, very personal gifts that they can wear anywhere and anytime instead of just being stored in a memory box or displayed in your living room.
This is a fun and adorable way to celebrate your child’s early years. Donning up kids in cute onesie outfits, you snap away and watch them blossom month after month in these quirky and charming getups.
Throw a bit of humor into each shoot by adding age prints on the onesies, maybe even using props that show what they’re into in that particular month. If you want to continue the tradition when they’re older, you can transition into dresses and other playful costumes that will show off their blooming character.
Build a Memory Box
A memory box is a great tool that ensures no memory is left to oblivion. Eventually, your shadow box will get outdated, your handprint paintings and castings will have to be replaced, your journal notebook will get filled. Using a memory box lets you keep everything in one place, which you can easily access anytime you feel like having a memory trip.
Design a memory box that is sturdy and resistant to wear and tear, preferably wood. It also helps to choose a size that you won’t have to replace after a couple of years.
Stephanie from WellNesting has a helpful post that may guide you in creating one of your own.
While the past is the past, there’s nothing wrong with treasuring memories, especially ones that meant everything to you for a great part of your life. Immortalizing your child’s milestones does not only serve a personal purpose; it’s also a great tribute to motherhood and a valuable gift to your child that only you as a mom can give.