Cool tools for kids
With all the cutting, gluing and coloring going on, scrapbooking sometimes feels reminiscent of kindergarten. So it’s natural for the kids to be drawn to the dining room table when you’re working on your albums. What a golden opportunity to have fun with your children or grandchildren and get them in the habit of preserving their memories. Here are some products just for them:
Bright, funky and playful — that’s the best way to describe Colorbok’s new 2 Grrrrrls line of scrap-booking products. Girls and teens will love the colorful, boldly patterned papers, stickers and die-cut frames, like the ones used for the page above. There are also craft punches, decorated albums and scrapbooking kits. Prices range from about 30 cents (for a sheet of paper) to $24 (for an album). For more information, visit <www.2grrrls.com>.
No more kids stealing your favorite scissors! Fiskars has introduced kid-sized, pattern-edged scissors in 12 animal-themed designs, including worm, alligator, hippo and whale (shown here). KidZors are designed for right- and left-handed use by kids ages 5 and up. Each three-pack costs $6.99. Now who will be invading whose scrapping supplies? For more information, visit <crafts.fiskars.com>.
For young journalers, making a journal can be just as fun as writing in it. Reynolds’ journal and locking diary craft kits let your kid do just that. Each one comes with J a blank book and everything a child needs to decorate it: foil papers, holographic stickers, adhesive, a gel pen and an idea booklet. Look for the kits at craft stores or find out more at <www.reynoldscrafts.com>.
No matter what your family’s heritage, your children can find stickers that look like them. A Kid Like Me sticker sheets from Me & My Big Ideas feature cute kids with a variety of skin tones, hair colors and ethnicities, including Hispanic, Asian and African. Priced under $2.50, each sheet contains 12 stickers of kids playing, going to school and doing other things kids do. See <www.meandmybigideas.com> for details.
Your refrigerator is papered with finger paintings and school art projects. How to save them all? Some ideas from scrappers we know:
- Take a photo of your little artist in front of the fridge or holding up his favorite drawings for your scrapbook.
- Color copy special projects at a reduced size. Ask the artist to tell you about her work, then incorporate her words and the photocopy on a layout.
- Keep flat art projects in a pocket page, created by gluing half of a page to another full-size sheet. Or just keep the projects in their own page protector.
- Use drawings to create greeting cards, wrapping paper, papier mache picture frames or calendars for Grandma and Grandpa.
When it’s time to clear the fridge, have the children help you select a few works of art to keep on display and a few to save. Pitch the rest or, if you can’t bear to, put them in archival storage.
SCRAP SPEAK: “ABC ALBUM”
A theme scrapbook arranged not chronologically, but in alphabetical order with one page of photos and journaling per letter. For example, an ABC album about your child’s favorite things might include pages like A for applesauce, B for his blankie, C for coloring and so on. It’s a fun way to organize an album for kids who are learning their letters.
Picturing a Pedigree
Kids may have a tough time keeping all the branches of their family tree straight, especially when your pedigree stretches back centuries. Illustrate the relationships by creating a pictorial family tree together. Start with a simple paper-pieced tree like the one shown here — kids will love cutting out leaves and crumpling brown paper to make the bark texture. Collect photos of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Color copy them so you won’t damage the originals, then crop the copies into apple shapes and mat them on red paper. “Hang” the apples on the tree and write the names on the leaves. Add a tire swing just for fun.
For ways to embellish your kids’ pages, explore <www.dltk-kids.com>, where you’ll find clip art from popular kids’ cartoons and stories, cultural coloring pages and craft projects, kid-themed poems and other craft ideas. While testing projects with her two young girls, Webmaster Leanne Guenther has learned a few lessons about scrapping with kids. “I have a habit of making lovely scrapbooks, then locking them away so they don’t get ruined,” she confesses. “My girls love to leaf through theirs every week, share them with visitors and take them to school to show their friends. Let your kids make their own books and keep them in their rooms.” Include photos of the kids enjoying their albums in the official family scrapbook that’s stored safely away.
Rather than instruct your children on using your nice papers and stickers, Guenther says, purchase less expensive supplies — or print out paper and clip art from your computer — and let kids use them however they wish. Get doubles when you have film developed and give the extras to your children. Kids aren’t acid-free or photo-safe, Guenther adds: “If you worry that the children’s scrapbooking creations won’t last forever, you’re probably right. But their happy memories will — and that’s really the whole point of scrapbooking.”
A GRAND TALE
Children will discover why scrap-books are treasures in Grandma’s Scrapbook (Gingerbread House, $16.95). This beautiful story by Josephine Nobisso takes place as a girl pages through her grandmother’s memory album, describing the keepsakes Grandma lovingly preserved and remembering their times together. Read it with children to celebrate memories and family ties, or to inspire them to start their own scrapbook. Grandpa Loved is a companion tale about a boy’s memories of his grandfather. <www.gingerbreadbooks.com>
A version of this article appeared in the October 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine.