Increasing Your Kids Creativity - Scrapbooking with Children
Historically, scrapbooking has been a tradition similar to storytelling, but with a visual and tactile, rather than oral, focus. Scrapbooking is also a method for preserving a legacy or history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabillia contained in decorated albums, or scrapbooks. The tremendous growth of the Internet has resulted in more creative scrapbook approaches as well as online scrapbooks. The digital photography revolutions has been accompanied by an explosion in creative scrapbook ideas.
You're never too young to learn the art of scrapbooking. In fact, teaching kids a few simple skills can help you create time in your schedule to scrapbook while still spending quality time with your family. Different ages can learn different scrapbooking techniques, but all ages should be able to help you make an album or produce albums of their own.
Even the youngest age group can learn beginner skills to scrapbooking. One way to get them involved is to have them try their hand at choosing colors and embellishments that they like. You may be surprised at how quickly a four-year-old picks up on concepts such as color schemes and layout design. You can also ask your child to help with the journaling. This works especially well when you create pages where your child is the main focus-ask for his or her thoughts on the day and include this in your journaling. You might be surprised at what they say, so be ready to write down some great quotes! Toddlers can also be given paper and markers to draw pictures about the event, and these can make heart-warming embellishments to your page.
There is no wrong way to scrapbook. Typically, the more creative and resourceful the person, the better the page. The main focus of each page should be the picture(s) or the letter or whatever is the most important to the creator. If you are interested in starting to digital scrapbook, or incorporate digital techniques with traditional scrapbooking, there are a myriad of Web resources available.
As your child learns basic motor skills, such as how to use scissors, you can let them practice at making their own pages. Let them use the doubles of your pictures or pictures from the roll that are fuzzy or otherwise undesirable for your own album. Scrapbooking paper can be expensive, so unless your child has a genuine love for the craft, you may want to have them use construction paper, which is not acid free but will help you save money if all your child wants to do is play. At this stage, your child may be able to help you choose all the elements for a page or look through scrapbooking layout ideas to pick some of his or her favorites that you can then create. As a pre-teen, your child may have the skills to begin creating his or her own album and using real scrapbooking paper and supplies. This is an investment that will depend on your child's particular interest and skill level.
If your child continues to scrapbook at this stage, he or she probably can handle creating a beginning album. A good start is to use the school pictures your child has surely acquired over the years from friends. Encourage your child to be creative and to design pages that interest him or her. If you do digital scrapbooking, this is also a good time to introduce your child to some of the programs available online. The love of scrapbooking may continue past the teen stage and into adulthood, and soon your children may be creating albums that rival your own and teaching their own children how to scrapbook.
About the Author: Michael Saunders edits a site on Creative Scrapbook Ideas and is president of Information Organizers, LLC.