Connect To The Youth In Your Family By Connecting Them To Their Family History

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Now That You Might Have Some Free Time...

That was kind of a joke, actually.  However, with most schools back in session all across the US (if not now, very soon), many of us parents and grandparents tend to sigh a big sigh and think, "Now I can finally get back to my personal projects."  Just me?  I thought there might be a few others out there who are feeling the same as I am these days.  So, naturally, I hit up my trusty Pinterest account for some excellent go-to ideas that some folks might have a moment to tackle.  I am particularly fond of this one, which I happen to think would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a baby or toddler.  If you start now, you could probably have an over-the-top amazing version ready and wrapped before Halloween.  Hallelujah, anyone?

This adorable idea comes from and I have to say, I really love it.  The link will take you to the page where you can purchase the pattern to make yourself, if you choose.  However, a handy-dandy Google Search rendered an amazing amount of similar projects that had my intergenerational-linking-heart going pitter-patter!  You can see some amazing examples here, here, and here.  Or, just do a search for family picture quiet book and go from there.

I actually did something like this for my own children many a moon ago and seeing all of these great versions above got me searching through my own closets.  I had a moment of happy reminiscing as I flipped through these old books that my children toted to church and used so often.  As you can see by the pictures below, the apples on our family tree have long since been lost and the book was well loved.  When it comes time for me to be a grandma, I will be remaking new versions of these books and I will definitely be utilizing some of the fun ideas above, not to mention revisiting the originals shown below.

Well worn and well loved by my children.
We had apples that attached to the tree but I couldn't find them.
Something else that I did when my children were young was to pick up little dollar store flip-book photo albums and I just rotated out family pictures as I printed them.  Such a little thing but such a big impact for my children who loved seeing pictures of themselves, mom and dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and so on.  It was such an easy thing to update and replicate with three little ones.  Little picture books can be very involved or very simple and the effect is the same--young children love seeing the people who love them.

This idea would make a really lovely gift or a fantastic surprise to tuck away in a diaper bag (sort of an ace in the pocket for a particularly rough moment).  More importantly though, it will show a young child or grandchild that he or she is part of something bigger.  Starting early, the security that comes from knowing that there are many people who love us and are invested in us has the power to set our personal "self-talk" in positive mode from the beginning.  That in an of itself is a pretty potent cure for future bumps in the road of life.  So, if you are looking for a way to plant the Family Tree Seed early in a loved one's life, I can't imagine a better starting point than baby's first family scrapbook.

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