Scrapbooking for Kids

I can understand why scrapbooking for kids seems to be getting more popular these days.
If your children are anything like mine they will love to have a go at anything that allows them to cut, glue and be creative. And scrapbooking for kids involves all this and more.

It is a wonderful thing to encourage your children in the activity of scrapbooking as it serves a number of valuable purposes.

Firstly, it is an activity that you obviously enjoy and you can share this enjoyable time with your child. Secondly, as they scrapbook an experience they have had, it teaches them to reflect and place value on the various experiences they have in life. And this can enhance your child's personal insight into the things they enjoy and are good at.

Scrapbooking for kids can also allow you to create values based teaching opportunities by helping them add words to their layout that relates to their experience. For example say you were scrapbooking a page that involved their first horse riding lesson.

And on that day your daughter was quite apprehensive and lacking confidence, but after a while she overcame her fears and got on the horse and ended up having a wonderful time.
You might add words to the layout like courage, persistence, determination or participation. If your children are a bit younger you might use smaller words like 'well done', brave, fun etc.

And then you can get involved in some wonderful mother and daughter conversations (and even mother and son conversations...think soccer, mountain biking etc) about their personal values and character traits that related to their experience.
For example this might lead to a conversation about other times she has shown great courage and why courage is a valuable character trait. Scrapbooking for kids can become a great self esteem building exercise as the child begins to reflect on the activity and their own positive character traits that they applied on that occasion.

I had the perfect opportunity to introduce my daughter and her kindergarten friend to kids scrapbooking recently. The conversation at the beginning went something like this.

"What are you doing mum?" they asked.
"I'm scrapbooking!"
"Scrapbooking?" they queried.
", why don't you have a go? I will print a photo of you two playing together and then you can choose a piece of card. I will put a selection of these embellishments out and you can then put your page together in whatever way you want."
And so they did. And they loved every minute of it.

I have a trash box that sits open when I am doing my own scrapbooking.
Into this box I place off-cuts of paper, bits of ribbon, words that don't fit, and any other embellishments and odds and ends.

Scrapbooking for kids is a really good way of using up all those bits and pieces that you have been tucking away.
Chances are you will probably never use those leftover materials anyway. If you are like me - you'll probably buy more new stuff and forget about all those bits and pieces.

You will find that if your children get to use items that they have seen you using, it gives them a real sense of being taken seriously and being able to do a page just like you – their hero!

You can also begin to buy the odd special item just for them. For example they may want to add an animal die cut or a Disney scrapbook sticker to enhance the page theme. You can now even get special kids scrapbooking kits.

When helping your child, the key is to offer the guidance but don't do the page for them. Let their own creativity flow! My daughter is fiercely independent so there is no chance that I will be doing the page for her. She says "Hey mum this isn't adult scrapbooking, this is scrapbooking for kids."

I am told by the Kindergarten teachers that one of the biggest challenges teachers have is when parents try to do things for their children and how this limits their learning.
It is much better for them to have that sense of achievement and knowing they have done it themselves even if it's not that good, than feeling that it wasn't really their project.

The type of help I offer my daughter is to make suggestions based on the way I work. My scrapbooking style is simple and ideally suited for children.

I suggest "Look at your photo and choose a colour of card to tone in with your photo. In the photo you are wearing a pink dress – so you could choose pink card perhaps." Next I suggest positioning her photo on their page. Then layout everything else she would like to use.

Remember with children they will want to use lots of different bits and pieces.
Ribbon and feathers seem to be very appealing to little hands. With their page layout done – I might encourage them to take a little time to move things around and see what they look like from another position.

Again don't be surprised if once they have put things down on their page once, the decision is final and there's no changing it.
It's important with any child's learning not to aim for perfection too much but rather aim primarily to have an enjoyable time and to encourage their artistic expression.
Give them the glue and let them stick on their selection of materials.

My child has now got the scrapbooking bug just like me!
It will be interesting to see how her pages will grow in style and colour. I know my pages have grown as I have learnt more skills and perfected different techniques and I'm sure hers will as well.

I trust you will be pleasantly surprised with what your young creative scrapbooker produces. Warning: Scrapbooking for kid is addictive.

(written by Julie Lassen and Allanah Davies)

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