family fun

Keepsakes: Three Low-cost, Fun Ideas for Preserving Summer Vacation Memories

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a postcard, starfish and seashell on a sandy beach Preserving Memories—The following scenarios happens every August. Fresh from our family vacation, I have high hopes — "This will be the year I actually finish that scrapbook, upload all my vacation photos to Picassa, and mail those postcards."

And then life happens. The kids go back to school, work picks up, and before I know it, my good intentions have fallen by the wayside. Does this sound familiar?

Don't worry — there’s still time to capture those vacation moments even if Labor Day is just around the corner.

The gojam app lists loads of great activities for free days out with the kids which is a real help in the summer holidays.

Three Fun and Low-Cost Activities to Preserve Summer Memories

Put those unmailed postcards to work.

Keep a stack on the kitchen counter and use them as note cards. Start with “Remember when...”, complete the sentence with a vacation memory and stick the postcard in your child’s lunch-box for a fun pick-me-up. You can also create bookmarks, placemats, calendars and other fun projects with recycled postcards.

Create your own keepsake.

Why spend money on store-bought souvenirs when you can make your own? First, get your family thinking about their favorite vacation moments. Is your seven-year-old still talking about that fish she caught? Give her molding clay, Play-Doh© or Wikki Stix© to create a miniature replica of it. Add a loop of string to the top and you’ve got a fun holiday ornament to remind you of your summer fun.

Play vacation charades.

Grab a clean empty container (an empty cereal or shoe box, for example), markers or pens and some index cards. First, ask everyone to think back over the summer months. Did you learn something new this summer? What was it? What’s one special vacation moment that you’ll tell your friends about? What’s one activity you would like to do again next year? Next, ask each person to jot down a sentence or a few key words about their memory on an index card. Collect the cards and toss them into the box. Finally, create teams, play charades and have fun reminiscing.

Take the time now to savor the highlights of your family vacation and before you know it, it’ll be time for your next trip!

What are some of your favorite summer memories? In what ways do you preserve your summer vacation memories?

Postcard and seashell photo courtesy of Photoxpress.

Justine Ickes , a mom of two energetic vacation-loving boys, writes about culture, family, travel and people making a difference at and Her work has appeared in over two dozen publications, including Language Magazine, Litchfield Magazine, Matador, New Jersey Monthly and Scholastic's Parent & Child.

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Justine Ickes


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