Scrapbooking is a great hobby to share with friends, family, and even kids! Besides the obvious benefits of having scrapbooks (reminiscing, history, etc.), kids can also benefit from participating in scrapbooking activities by exploring new creative avenues, developing fine-motor skills, reflecting on the stories they’re scrapping, and proudly sharing the alums they’ve made with other people.
Today I’m covering some of the hows and whats of scrapbooking with kids . . .
- Pick a Manageable Project
Most young children won’t have the patience to complete a whole album, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t help with album projects. If your kid can only sit still for a few minutes, help them with one page at a time. Or if you have very young children who can’t or don’t want to, simply ask which paper embellishment to include on a page while you’re scrapbooking to help them feel involved.
For older kids who can handle a full album, consider a book with smaller pages, which will be a manageable than 12-inch albums. Look for the limited-edition 8-inch albums CM has at certain times throughout the year.
- Help Kids Plan
As kids are getting ready to scrapbook, help them brainstorm about how to put together their albums. Will the photos and stories go chronologically? Will the project be focused on certain events, like birthdays or family vacations? How much room will be needed for journaling? (Don’t let them forget to write the context into their albums! Capture these adorable examples of their young handwriting and spelling and the stories told in their own words.)
- Don’t Chase Perfection
Maybe you’re really demanding of yourself when you’re making pages — you want everything to be “ooh aah” worthy — but kids need to be creative and productive in their own ways. You can certainly offer your assistance when it’s wanted, but help your scrapbooking kids to be proud of their work by praising their completed pages, even if they don’t meet your personal standards for page perfection.
- Reserve Extra Stuff
You might need to guard against those “oops” moments (and avoid a kid meltdown) by having some extra supplies on hand that you can pull out. CM decorative paper and cardstock packs are perfect because they come with doubles — before starting a kid on a project, separate the pack in half and set aside one sheet of each design or color to save just in case he/she needs a re-do.
- Choose the Right Tools
Carefully consider which tools are age-appropriate for your kids before turning them loose on scrapbooks.
For example, even most young children will fairly easily use a Tape Runner or punch out shapes using the CM Shape Maker System (it requires less hand and arm strength compared to other shape punches) once you’ve given them a quick tutorial, but because of how sharp the CM All-Purpose Scissors are I would recommend that they be reserved for more mature users. (These scissors are absolutely fabulous, and I highly recommend that you have a couple pairs for yourself, but for safety reasons you should keep them out of tiny hands!)
- Keep Options Within Reason
With young children especially, it’s often more productive and less frustrating if only a handful of options are presented, rather than the whole wide world of scrapbooking possibilities. Maybe you would ask a 4-year-old, “Which of these two colored papers do you want to use with your pictures? Do you want to cut circles or squares?” And for a 10-year-old you might lay out three different tools to mix and match with a paper pack . . . but not get out your library of 25 punches and every piece of paper you’ve ever bought.
The most important part is to enjoy this fun hobby with your kids and anybody else you share it with! I hope you find that scrapbooking with kids gives you (and your kids) new opportunities to connect, understand each other, and celebrate your memories together.