Friday, June 1, 2007

Making kid-friendly scrapbooks that are a hit with young children


By Allie McComas

Okay, it was my fault. I can admit it now. It all started one day when I was in a particularly "crafty" mood one afternoon and decided to work on my scrapbook.

"My dining room was a disaster area."

I got all of my pictures, embellishments, stamping sets and paper out, and had a mini-scrapbooking station set up on my dining room table. I had about two hours of time before the kids would be home from school, so I happily sat down and started working on a 2-page layout.

"Look Mommy, that's me!

This particular spread was of my daughter, Caitlin. We had just come back from visiting the grandparents in North Carolina and I had some great pictures of her with her cousins. I was a scrapping fool! And, as any great artist, I had been totally engrossed in my work. Time quickly passed and before I knew it, I heard the kids walking, or should I say barreling through the front door. "Mo--om! We're starving!" they all yelled, without hesitation. So, I hung up my "crafty" hat and replaced it with my "mommy" hat and went into the kitchen to make snacks.

As the afternoon wore on, I had completely forgotten about my masterpiece-in-the-works. It wasn't until I wondered why I hadn't heard Caitlin in a while that I put two and two together. I ran into the dining room to find what I feared the most -- a complete mess! "Look Mommy, that's me!" Caitlin said as she held up a sticky cut-up picture of herself. I looked around and, to my dismay, saw that she had gone through my treasured scrapbook, and pulled off her favorite pictures and was re-gluing them onto the paper I had been working on. My dining room was a disaster area.

I should have known better than to keep all of my stuff within Caitlin's reach. She was notorious for getting into my scrapbooks and tearing them apart. I couldn't blame her though. She really didn't know any better. And, she just loved looking through all of the pages and seeing herself in pictures.

She thought it was the best book she had ever seen. But, for that same reason, I kept them out of her reach. I thought about it for a minute and realized that I had made a mistake. It would be like if I put her favorite doll up out of her reach because she loved it so much and would want to play with it, and therefore mess it up.

Something just for Caitlin

What I really needed to do was to make something just for her that she could look at and enjoy every day. After all, the point of making scrapbooks is for enjoyment and reminiscing. Caitlin wanted that too. So, I decided right then and there that I was going to make Caitlin her own kid-friendly scrapbook.