Scrapbooking is a wonderful way to preserve photos and other memorabilia while at the same time creating a book of memories that is uniquely yours. Scrapbooks can be simple or quite ornate, depending on the artist, but no matter the style, one thing remains true: its all about you. Introducing kids to scrapbooking provides opportunities for parents or other caregivers to help children express themselves creatively.
Children as young as four or five can begin to learn how to make keepsake scrapbooks. In the beginning, keep it simple. You’ll need a few basic supplies and you are ready to go. What to get:
Album– a basic album is required and for kids, larger is better. Scissors– regular ones are necessary and it is nice to have a few specialty craft pairs that cut in creative patterns. Adhesive– you’ll need an adhesive of some type; glue sticks work best for young kids while older ones can usually handle other types without making too much of a mess. Paper– you can start with a small assortment of coloured and textured paper, but be sure that it is acid-free. Pens– an assortment of colors is nice, but one black pen will do. Photos– the most important element. Gather some favourite photos and get ready to make some memories!
Rather than merely assembling a variety of miscellaneous photos into a book, try to come up with a theme, which will give the book some consistency. Vacations, summer fun, school days, best friends, or family are all good themes for kids’ scrapbooks. While it’s fine to offer suggestions, allow your child to decide on the theme.
Scrapbooks are as unique as the individuals who create them, but the steps in making a page are pretty much the same every time. In general, there are five basic steps:
- Gather supplies and decide on photos for one page. If you are working with young children, you may want to protect the tabletop before beginning.
- Crop the photos. This simply means cutting the photo to include only the area that you want to use. You can crop pictures in traditional squares or rectangles, or you can trim them into heart, star, or other shapes to make them stand out on the page. Remember to make copies of photos so that you don’t ruin the originals!
- Matting is optional, and young children often prefer to skip this step. For older kids, however, placing a colored mat on the page behind each picture helps to highlight the photos and gives the page a more finished look. Mats are often cut with specialty scissors that leave a fancy edge.
- Journaling simply means to write a bit about what is in the photo. This can be as simple as a short caption or can be a detailed story. Encourage kids to express themselves in the journaling step since this is part of what preserves the memories.
- Mounting is pasting the mats and photos to the page. Show kids several ways to position the pictures on the page to allow room for the captions while making the page visually appealing.
- Embellishments are what really make scrapbook pages different than regular photo albums. Stickers and punch-art help to make the page come to life.
Keeping it Fun
When working with kids, it can be tempting to help them too much. Sure, their pages will probably not have a polished, professional look, but the important thing is that they have fun creating them. Lend assistance only if you are asked for it and keep in mind that you are building memories right now, too!