Looking for the best and unique ways to preserve your family memories? Here are a variety of ideas guaranteed to keep those family memories alive for many years to come!
Finding the time to keep track of the “firsts” with your infant or the hilarious things your toddler says could be a career of its own. I mean, don’t we want to capture EVERYTHING?
Through the years, I’ve tried many methods to preserve family memories with my kids. I’ve tested various apps and stored pictures on my phone (and couldn’t find them when I needed them most). With some trial and error, I’ve found a few practices that make preserving memories easy.
I’m thrilled to share them with you. Yes, you can preserve family memories, without making it a career. It is possible!
This post is all about unique ways to preserve your family memories.
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7 Unique Ways to Preserve Your Family Memories:
Have you ever tried to take a video of your children from your phone, but the child is more interested in seeing what you’re taking a video of and suddenly stops doing what they were doing? It happens to me all the time! I couldn’t catch the organic moments because the phone became a distraction.
I grew up in a household where my parents connected their 1980’s camcorder to the TV and let it run as my siblings and I took over the house with our activities. Looking back at these videos, we’re always in stitches laughing at the weird, silly, mundane, and obnoxious things we used to do and say. These were such candid moments. Some of our videos lasted for hours. Even though I don’t remember these moments, I am always grateful that my parents captured them so we can appreciate our younger selves.
Fast forward to the 2020s. On my cell phone, I barely capture a 3-minute video at a time (that’s on a good day). The phone’s frame is small, so it captures only a portion of what I’d like it to, and I can never be in the video because I’m always aiming it at someone else. The videos are just of the kids, and the storyline isn’t there.
So I decided to take it old school. Using my camcorder (not the 1980’s one), I connect it to the TV and angle it so the whole room is visible. The kids can see themselves on the TV. They love it! They talk to themselves, play, make jokes, role play, give hugs, etc., and it’s all on record for their future selves to watch.
I don’t need to hold a phone. There are no distractions—just real moments that I can keep forever. You can do this for minutes or hours; there is no time limit.
The children will stay engaged for an extended period because—well, did I mention that children love looking at themselves?
Here is the camcorder I use. You only need something basic if you don’t plan on using it for anything else.
You will also want to make sure you have a micro HDMI to HDMI cable that connects your camcorder to the TV. Here is the one I have:
Have you ever read a book and then watched the movie and realized the book was just so much better because the details were so intense and you felt each character’s emotions?
When my kids were born, I created an email account for each of them. I use the email platform to write letters to my children. I don’t have a specified sequence or frequency in the emails. It’s really about raw emotions and milestones I know I will forget down the road. Writing it all down makes the moment last forever!
I talk about the good, the bad, and the best. You can write about anything you want. There is no timeline to follow; you’re in charge. If you’re laying in bed and aren’t quite tired, you can write your child an email. If you need to take a break and remember a moment worth noting, send your child an email in the middle of work.
I tried the Qeepsake app, but it didn’t work for me. As a Muslim parent, I don’t do what the average American does. I don’t celebrate Christmas in the way the culture promotes it. I celebrate Eid, but the app doesn’t allow me to capture those moments. The list goes on and on.
I needed an alternative. I didn’t want to lose out on those precious moments, or try to fit our life into a cookie-cutter approach of, “what’s your child’s favorite color, and what did they eat today?” Those are cute things to note, but I don’t want our children to forget how they grew up in a Muslim household living in the west, what their expression was when they saw their first snowfall, or how excited they got to take a walk to the mailbox and get the mail.
With this method, your children will have a slew of raw memories from you when they grow up. They’ll be able to experience their childhood memories through your eyes. This is my favorite way to capture memories by far! I get detailed, I include pictures, and it’s all from the heart.
All right, you might be thinking, “Really – a selfie stick?” And my answer is YES. How many times have you tried to take a selfie with your phone? You get your arm in the picture, and your head is five times bigger than you’d like it to be, and you’re only able to capture your face and shoulders and half of your child’s face? The angle is never flattering. We don’t always have someone around to take pictures of our kids and us, so how do you do it? The selfie stick is perfect for this!
When I want a picture with my kids, and I want all of us in it, I pull out that selfie stick. Not only do I get the right angle, but I also capture all of us and some background. The camera is facing us, so the kids love looking at themselves and are more inclined to smile. I call that a win-win!
I found a fantastic selfie stick that’s Bluetooth-enabled. It can even turn into a tripod if you want to take a more formal family picture. The tripod is sturdy and well worth the purchase!
In our home, we have a homeschooling setup. We’ve worked hard to make our home an oasis for children. From a young age, we have focused on developing our toddlers’ creative and artistic skills.
If you love to do arts and crafts with your kids or if your toddlers go to preschool and come home with artwork they made, then this portfolio is for you. Children make so many things throughout their lives. Instead of struggling with an endless artwork pileup—or worse yet, throwing it all away—why not be proactive and preserve them?
Typically, when my toddlers do a craft, we display it in our playroom for some time, and then we eventually replace it with new artwork. When we are ready for this transition, I place the artwork into the portfolio, and just like that, I’ve preserved their art for years to come. This portfolio allows you to stay organized, and your kids will appreciate it down the road.
Amazon has many craft portfolios for purchase; however, after extensive research on their durability and ability to support a lot of artwork, I found this one to be the best. This is most definitely a tangible way to preserve memories with your children!
5. Messages on Artwork
After my toddlers complete a craft, I usually write a note on the back. I include the date, the skill my toddler was exercising, how complicated the art was, how much they enjoyed it, and how much assistance I provided. Essentially, I write a short story on the back of each masterpiece. You can include as much or as little as you want. This allows you and your child to see their development through the years with actual dates to reference.
6. Cell Phone Picture Album
When I was pregnant with my first child, I took so many pictures of life, and in the mix of those were my weekly pregnancy progress photos. Whenever I wanted to go back and look at my progress, I had so many photos between each weekly shot that even scanning my phone pictures was time-consuming.
I noticed the same frustrations when I wanted to make my child’s “first-year” photo album. I was stuck navigating through my photos, and it took up so much of my time.
The process needed to be streamlined. It had started to become daunting rather than enjoyable. So, when I was pregnant with my second child, I created an album called “Baby #2.” I transferred my weekly progress shots into this album when I discovered I was pregnant.
Once my baby was born, I created another album for my baby’s first year. Every week, I committed to taking weekly progress pictures of my baby as I did with my first child. But after every weekly shot, I would transfer the photos to the album. On days I couldn’t do it right away, I would remember to do it during the week at some point. Finally, all the pictures were in one place!
When I started my photo book for that baby’s first year, it was such a seamless process! All I had to do was upload my pictures from the album. It saved me hours of sifting through images and the possibility of giving up on the photo book entirely.
This option is a little more difficult when you’re a busy mom juggling what seems like everything in the world. You want to preserve those memories—a one-year photo album, two years, three years, etc.—but don’t know where to start.
There are so many digital photo book options out there, but I never got the satisfaction I was looking for like I did with Picaboo. I love it because it’s fully customizable.
You can customize your pictures and your backgrounds. The quality is superb (depending on your photo quality), and the customer service is remarkable. The website is straightforward and makes the process seamless. Word of warning, though: this does take time if you love customizing things and making them your own.
And if you don’t like to customize, no problem! Picaboo offers lots of templates to choose from. They’re still fun and organized, but you don’t have to do all the work.
Another awesome thing about this company is its cell phone app. All you need to do is transfer pictures from your phone to the app, skipping the step of uploading photos to a computer. Again, it saves so much time!
Better yet, Picaboo often provides promotions and deals when you sign up with your email. I recommend doing this so you can save a few bucks!
Most of these ideas are easy to set up before you welcome your beautiful baby into the world, so you don’t have to do it while juggling the responsibilities of new parenthood. If you already have children, then squeezing some upfront time to employ these ideas will yield memories for a lifetime!
This post is all about preserving family memories with your children, tried and tested by Sabah’s Corner!
Do you have unique ways to preserve family memories?