Friday, February 18, 2011

Remembering your trip with your children

Every trip comes to an end, and when you come back home after traveling with your kids, it's a really good idea to put together something that will help them remember the trip.

Pioneer Embroidered Stitched Leatherette Photo Album, 9-Inch-by-9-Inch, Black Live/Laugh/LoveCloth Photo Album w/Frame 9"x9"
My best tip for how to do this is very basic, cheap, and not very flashy: buy a small photo album (small, so the kids can handle it easily themselves) and order some regular 4x6 prints of the best and funniest photos you snapped on your trip.

Don't just include the fancy photos of the sights, but also lots and lots of family photos: maybe some of the whole family looking jetlagged at the airport, unpacking your suitcases, eating a messy meal in a foreign restaurant, or just hanging out on the beach together. If you went on a trip to see family that you rarely get together with, then definitely include them in lots of the photos too.

Online photo albums are great for keeping and sharing photos. However, in my experience, kids (especially younger kids) really appreciate a "real" physical photo album they can carry around and flip through like a book. And when you look through it with them, you can tell and re-tell the stories of your trip together, remembering the details of a certain day, what you were eating, the jokes you told, how tired you were, how much fun it was to go to a certain place, and so on.

It's family storytelling at its best: telling the story together with your child, filling in the dialogue, colors, flavors, smells, and sights with them.

Doing this with kids really helps them remember their adventure, and they usually love hearing these stories again and again. My children still flip through the small photo albums I made of the trips we took when they were babies: visits they definitely do not remember themselves. And in some of those albums are pictures of my Swedish grandparents who have now passed away, but did get a chance to meet my kids once upon a time. In that way, even a very simple, basic photo album can become a very important book.
DCWV Scrapbook Kit in a Stack - Travel (8")Channel 1019Travel Mega-Pack 73-Piece Scrapbook Kit, Travel

And of course, if you are interested in scrapbooking or making collages or other kinds of more advanced and fancier kinds of photo albums, go ahead and do that too with your kids. Young children won't necessarily remember that amazing family vacation you took a few years down the road on their own, but if you keep looking through those pictures with them, they will remember some of it, even if it is more from your stories than their own actual memories.

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