It’s a cliché, sure. But kids grow up so quickly, that blink and your new baby is suddenly taking her A-Levels and applying for uni. The rollercoaster is fun, but it’s all too easy to lose track of those special memories.
To help you keep track of all those joyful, happy moments, we’ve teamed up with Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons to bring you a fabulous array creative ideas to hold onto your most cherished events.
1. A memory quilt or cushion
Those gorgeous toddler dungarees, that sweet baby dress with matching nappy-cover pants, your child’s favourite soft T-shirt they insisted on wearing every day? These are the clothes imprinted with memories that we can’t bear to give away. Rather than abandoning them to a dust covered box, cut the fabric into quarters and stitch together a patchwork quilt or cushion, for yourself or your child.
If you’re not a confident sewer, or can never find the time, Patchworkcastle.co.uk will create a bespoke quilt from your child’s cherished clothes for £150. So sweet.
2. Make a memory display
How about a unique collage wallpaper made from your photos for a real talking point? Collagecompany.co.uk can create a unique wallpaper to your wall size specifications.
Many stores sell display box frames that you can fill with a combination of photos and special mementoes, like that heart-shaped stone your child presented to you on the beach.
3. Create your very own Memory Lane
Brilliantly modern, you’ve got to try the Buttons Memory Lane tool. Using amazing 360° technology, upload your seven favourite shots of you and your little one, using Facebook or your phone’s camera roll. One you’re done, a bit of magic is worked, and we’ll send you your personal immersive album so that you can stroll through all the good times whenever you want. Share with friends and family, so they can love it too.
4. Keep a memory box
An A4 box file for each child is an easy way to store memories as they happen, from Mother’s Day cards to lovely, hilariously phonetic notes from your child. Your child will love customising their own box with drawings and a label to make the box of treasures extra special.
Make sure you keep all their baby things from the first ultra scan, teeny tiny hospital anklet to first teeth and plaster cast mini feet moulds.
5. Keep a note
Keep a little notebook with you to scribble down your child’s best sayings and funny anecdotes as they happen. It’s amazing how quickly we forget unless we capture it straight away.
Alternatively, write down your child’s best questions and malapropisms on any scrap of paper to hand, put them in a jar and once a year read them out at a family celebration. Cue much hilarity and refreshed memories.
6. Loving letters
You could also write a letter to your child every year (or whenever the mood takes you) detailing all their loveable characteristics, passions and achievements and how they enrich your life on a daily basis.
You can create a digital time capsule by making an email account dedicated to each child, perhaps with videos and photos of cards and artwork too. When your child is old enough to appreciate, or might be going through an unconfident patch, show all the loving letters, each with the date stamp.
6. Make a memory game or jigsaw
Remember playing the traditional game Memory, when you turn over cards two at a time and try to remember where each pair of pictures is? Now you can create your own family Memory game by uploading pictures from your computer, or your Facebook or Instagram account. You can choose a game from 24 cards - 12 picture pairs - to 72, with prices starting from €24.90 from Myravensburger.com.
You can also make personalised jigsaw puzzles of anything from 49 to 2000 pieces using your own pictures. Little children will love piecing their own face together and remembering the occasions when photos were taken.
7. Create your own YouTube channel
Seeing your child’s former mannerisms and hearing their baby voice is surprisingly emotive, whooshing you back in time. From bath time to birthday parties, make sure you record those special moments, because you’ll love watching them over and over again through the years.
You can set up a private YouTube channel, accessible only to you and family and friends you invite (unless you’re looking for Charlie Bit My Finger fame and fortune, in which case you can make it public) where you can store all your phone videos in one place.
8. Make a modern photo album
Cheaper, easier and less faff than printing out separate photos and sticking them in an album, it’s super easy to make a photo book. A square extra-large book from Albelli.co.uk costs £34.95 for 24 pages. Upload photos from your computer, arrange them in the book (you can also add in text) and you’ll be sent a beautifully printed copy within days.
9. Display favourite photos
The days of painstakingly sticking photos into albums may be over, but it’s a pity to miss out on the pleasure for you and your growing children seeing old pics. Rather than letting those precious moments languish on your phone, set aside a little time to choose the best ones and do something creative with them.
Calendars with a photo of your children on each month make fabulous presents for doting grandparents and you can keep a copy for yourself each year. Coasters, mugs, mobile phone cover collages, photo book, key rings, digital photo frames, the list of ways to use your photos is seemingly endless, as are the companies offering to store your memories from Snappy Snaps to online boutiques.
Make sure you use favourite photos as your screen saver on your home computer too.
10. Keep track
Measuring your child’s rapidly increasing height with the age and date is an age-old tradition, and one children adore. They love seeing just how small they used to be, how they’ve grown in short spaces of time and how siblings compare. Memories of Growing Up sell 2 metre tall tape in different designs for £10.99, so when you need to repaint or move house you’re not back to blank.