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What Are 10 Ways to Involve Your Kids in Scrapbooking?

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Introducing our guest author, Jill Berry masquerades as Mom on the Run on her blog: Writing My Life One Blog At A Time. She writes for Type A Mom on mommy, children, preteen, and teen issues. She is also the Preteen Editor for Typeamom.net. She contributes to MomSpark.net, Blogher.com, and Addsyou.com. She is mom to Adventure Boy, 5; Sporty Daughter, 10; and Crafty Daughter, 13.

Let me just state at the outset that I love scrapbooking. I have created photo albums as far back as the 70s. My first album was a pink paisley album where I put the photos in the album in no particular order. This particular album brings back memories to me of (1) doing the album myself and (2) not recalling my mother telling me how to do the album. Surely, she must have wondered why I was placing my First Communion photos at the back of the album while my later in the year Brownie photos were front and center. My mother let me do the album any way I wanted to...because it was my album.

I started scrapbooking in earnest when my oldest was 4 and my then-youngest was 18 months old. I bought stickers, paper, and die-cuts for use in my scrapbooks. My oldest would watch me scrapbook. Sometimes she would ask to help. Once or twice I let her write her name, but for the most part I told her that I was doing the scrapbook. After a while she asked to do her own.

10 Tips for Scrapbooking With Kids

1. Camera—Give your child a disposable camera before a trip or special event or just for around the house. Let them take any photographs they want to, even if the photos are of shoes, the inside of the cabinet, or a nose.

2. PhotographsLet your child choose the photographs that he wants. If you are worried that your child will choose too many photos, set a limit. Tell your child that he can choose 5 or 10 photos per event. Kids need limits. Once you have told your child the rules, your child will follow them.

3. ScrapbookA scrapbook can be as elaborate as something purchased at Michaels' or a a few pieces of paper stapled together. Your child will not care what his scrapbook looks like. Remember it is her book.

4. Supplies—If you have many scrapbooking materials, decide how many our child will get to use. For instance, if you have expensive calligraphy pens, it probably would be a good idea to keep these out of reach. Let your child use markers instead. Give your child extra stickers from sets that you no longer need.

5. WorkspaceKids need a workspace to set out their photos and photo album. You could use the kitchen table, a coffee table, or the child's desk. If your child wants to work on his project on multiple days, consider placing photographs, scrapbook, and supplies in a Rubbermaid tub or
shoe box.

6. SupervisionScrapbooking is a great time to spend with your child. Talk to him about the photographs. Your child may not know when the photos were taken. help her put the photographs in order.

7. Teach—Show your child how to look for the most significant person, place, or thing in a photograph. Help your child crop the photograph with scissors, so that the most important person is shown. Show him how to paste the photos in the scrapbook with a glue stick or scrapbooking photo corners.

8. Journal—Show a child how to write on the scrapbook page. Depending on the age of the child, this may or may not be necessary. Older children will want to write the name of the place they visited or the people at the birthday party. Younger children may not have the writing skills necessary for this task.

9. Cleanup—Once your child is finished, it is time for cleanup. My kids hate cleanup more than anything in the world, but scrapbooking results in tiny bits of paper and photos all over the floor and table. A small Rubbermaid tub or a lunch bag is useful for collecting these bits of paper as the child works on his scrapbook.

10. Share—Once the scrapbook is completed, ask your child if they want to show it to someone: dad, grandma, teacher. Kids love to share what they have created.

Scrapbooking is a wonderful way to teach your child about life and
family. It is also a way to reinforce reading and writing skills.

Photos are examples of photos my children have taken with a disposable camera:
Wesson oil bottle, my son's feet, coffee pot, and Sesame Place mug.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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