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How To Share The Art Of Scrapbooking With Your Kids

Scrapbooking is one of the hottest crafting activities in North America and more and more people are jumping on board all the time. With “cropping” sessions popping up in many communities, scrapping supplies readily available, and a plethora of books and magazines dedicated to the topic, scrapbooking is quickly becoming more than just an activity for moms. It is now something that the whole family can enjoy together.

If you’ve always wanted to scrapbook with your kids, but haven’t got a clue where to begin, here are a few tips to get you started.

Getting Prepped
Handing your kids a bunch of pictures will not work. They need to feel emotionally “attached” to a project for them to stick with it and this means letting them scrap what matters to them.

If you are planning a summer vacation, let them collect their own souvenirs and snap their own photos. Their scrapbook is meant to show their own perspectives and the best way to ensure that is to allow them to capture their own memories.

Other unique ideas could include scrapping about their hobbies, sports activities, or unusual collections. If your son is a bona fide Star Wars aficionado, let him take photos of his prized collectibles. And, if your daughter hopes to be a prima ballerina, take snaps of her performing her best pointes and pirouettes.

Equipping For The Job
Your child will need their own supplies. This will not only give them the chance to select things that cater to their own tastes, but it will keep them away from your favorite paper and expensive embellishments.

Sort through your own supplies and relegate some of your own materials as “child appropriate” or head off to the store to let your kids make their own purchases while adhering to a pre-set budget.

They will need paper, non-toxic adhesive, gel pens, age-appropriate scissors, and embellishments.

Keep your child’s scrapbooking paraphernalia in a separate bin or storage container.

Select tools based on your child’s age and motor skills. If they are old enough to use your specialty tools, make sure that you teach them how to use and care for them safely.

When it comes to photos, never hand originals over to your children. Make copies and let them scrap with those, instead. And, make colored copies of other items like certificates, programs, ticket stubs, and souvenirs for scrapping purposes and keep the originals in a safe place.

Smaller albums like a 6’X6′ or 8’X8′ variety will be easier for them to work with and the pages are less intimidating than their traditional 12’X12′ counterparts.

You may also wish to buy a scrapbooking kit that comes with color-coordinated papers, embellishments, and journal tags, to get your child off to a promising start.

No-no’s For Mom
If you want your child to have a good time, express themselves, and stick with a project, you need to avoid doing a few things.

It is okay to make “suggestions,” but kids like to assert their independence. If you bombard them with too many “helpful hints,” no matter how well-meaning you may be, they may feel that you are trying to take over and they will be tempted to abandon the whole project.

If you want to encourage your boys to scrapbook, don’t call it “scrapbooking.” Scrapbooking equals “girly stuff.” Instead, invite them to create a journal. Thanks toWreck This Journal and Diary of A Wimpy Kid, boys will willingly take on the task of capturing their life in a journal form–even if it is, unbeknownst to them, a scrapbook.

Do teach them scrapping techniques, but don’t expect perfection. Remember, scrapping with kids will get messy and their pages will be far from flawless. The important thing is that you’re spending quality time together, they are learning new skills, and they are getting in touch with their creativity. And, you’re all having fun!

A Few Neat Ideas
If your child is not interested in creating a page of their own, but shows interest in helping you with your own projects, here are few ways to take advantage of an extra pair of little hands.

Have your child create a background image for one of your pages. Let them get creative and design a 12’X12′ sheet of their own.

Interview them and get their input on an “Age Page,” that captures who your child is at a specific age. Ask them what their interests are, who their best friends are, what they want to be when they grow up, and other questions to create an interesting and whimsical page.

Have your child write journal entries about themselves in their own hand-writing.

Invite them to create original embellishments for you.

Scrapbooking is the perfect opportunity for you and your kids to get creative and have a great time together. So let your imaginations go wild and get to work preserving those treasured moments. And create some new memories while you’re at it.

What scrapbooking projects have you and your kids embarked on together?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, avid blogger, and enthusiastic scrapper. She runs a scrapbooking organization that raises money for charity and loves cropping with her gal pals. She has written on a vast array of topics including WordPress plugins, financial software, social media marketing and online reputation management.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to create great memories with their kids.

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