Perfect for creating beautiful books of memories, idea boards for weddings/parties and even gifts for friends and family to celebrate a special day, scrapbooks are no longer messy old bundles of paper that end up in the attic, but can be beautiful books that you’ll want to look at again and again. Not only is the finished result something to treasure, but there are a huge number of benefits to scrapbooking – both for children and adults – that you might not be aware of.
Scrapbooking is a perfect way to express yourself without constraints. You begin with a blank canvas and you can add anything and everything to create the desired effect. Whether it’s evoking a certain feeling through materials and textures, or arranging items in a way that tells a story. Scrapbooks challenge you to try new things and to think outside the box but they also allow you to discover a personal style that will reinforce your sense of self. This is particularly useful for children, who can explore new feelings and new experiences by representing them in a scrapbook.
A scrapbook is an entirely personal project, and so you simply can’t go wrong! If your child is struggling at school or is used to being overshadowed by a sibling then scrapbooking is the perfect project to help them gain some confidence. Whether it’s arranging items in an unusual way, picking beautiful colours, sticking items down neatly or simply telling a story; there will be lots of praise to offer a scrapbook. And with such personal subject matter to work on, we’re sure other family members will be really pleased to see days out at the park and visits from gran make it into the scrapbook, creating really positive feedback for your little one.
Many children and adults have described making sense of difficult times through scrapbooking. For example, making a scrapbook about a loved pet that has recently died encourages the creator to focus on the good memories by collecting together photographs, stories and keepsakes. The act of collecting these together and arranging them in a way that makes sense to you helps to process the story of your pet’s life and draw an end to that story. And at the end you have a wonderfully personal and evocative book that you can use to reminisce and fondly reflect on your pet’s life whenever you need to. The simple act of expressing an emotion on paper also achieves a sense of acknowledgement and acceptance. At difficult times it can be hard to identify and accept certain feelings such as anger or guilt, but by reflecting on emotions around an event and then expressing them on paper, it can create a sense of relieve and validation of these emotions.
Scrapbooking can be a solitary activity but it can also be a wonderfully social hobby. Parents and children in particular can enjoy quality time together sharing memories, talking about loved ones – both past and present – and creating something together. It can also be a great way to find out how your child is feeling and what interests them. If your child enjoys baking then why not make a scrapbook of recipes, with pictures of their creations, drawings of their dream foods and any funny stories along the way. Or if they’re more into history then collect leaflets and pictures from days out at the museum, pick up postcards from castles and other historic sites and take lots of pictures of games and adventures – even if it’s just the day you dressed the dog up as a noble steed.
Ideas and Inspiration
The summer holidays are the perfect time to get started on a scrapbook, and so we’ve gathered together some popular scrapbooking themes to help get you inspired:
Children love to collect leaves, flowers and anything of interest when out and about. Keep hold of these natural treasures and use them to create a scrapbook which gives a taste of the outdoors (although anything too bulky will have to be stored in a box). Supplement with photos taken on your smartphone or relevant postcards and images if your child’s chosen item isn’t practical to take home.
A family pet is a great subject for a child’s scrapbook. There will be plenty of content in the form of photos, favourite treats, funny stories and even rescue papers (if appropriate). Include anything that captures what life with your furry friend is like, and make sure to include photos of them as a puppy/kitten so you can see how much they’ve grown.
Your child may want to create a scrapbook about the people closest to them. Start with immediate family, but include extended family members on the pages too. This also helps to give your child a sense of who they are and their place within the family. This will also make a thoughtful gift for grandparents that they are sure to love.
Create an escape
As mentioned, scrapbooks can be used as a way to make sense of a traumatic event in a child’s life. Let your child be in control of what is included on the pages. The images and ideas on the page will help remove themselves from their situation and deal with things in their own way. Subtly steer them in a relevant direction by providing family photos if your child is struggling with an issue at home, or telling funny stories about a family pet if their dog is poorly.
Make it a gift
If your child gets the scrapbook bug then why not ask them to make a really special gift to give to relatives. This might be the perfect personalised present, documenting cherished memories that are sure to bring a smile to loved one’s faces. And conveniently, the theme will write itself!
A folding scrapbook is a wonderfully decorative way to introduce your child to scrapbooking. Made by folding a length of card into a concertina shape, photos and mementos can be organised into a narrative that is revealed as you move across the folds. This is great for shorter projects that will seem more manageable to first time scrapbookers.
Above all else, you want scrapbooking to be fun. Your child (especially if they are young) will not want to sit for long periods of time working on the scrapbook, so don’t force them to do so. Work on it together for 15-20 minutes at a time, once a day and see how you go. You may find that as the scrapbook grows in size, so too does your child’s patience and interest in it.
Take a look at our selection of scrapbooks online to find the perfect book to express yourself.
Does your child like to scrapbook? Share your ideas and inspiration in the comments box below.