Build a memory box

Kirsty Prankerd is Managing Director of the keepsake company Write From The Heart. Here, she shares her top tips for putting together a memory box with your children.

Due to the precautions we’re all taking to slow the spread of the coronavirus, schools are now closed, and your children won’t be able to see their friends or play outside of your home for a while. Of course, this is a difficult time for us all, but if there’s a silver lining to the situation, it’s that you’ll get to spend a lot more time with your kids over the coming weeks.

After a while, you might find it harder to come up with new and exciting ways to keep your little ones entertained, but have you thought about putting a memory box together? You could use it to document all the fun things you do at home, as well as in the weeks and months after the lockdown is lifted. If this is something you would like to do, here are Kirsty’s top tips for putting together the best possible memory box.

Choose the right box

In order to preserve your memories properly, you’ll want to choose a box that’s going to keep them safe for years to come. It can be tempting to use any old shoe or carboard box that you have lying around, but these will start to look tired after a while. Instead, I would recommend using a box made from a sturdy material like wood or plastic. If you don’t have anything suitable, you can always collect everything and put it into a temporary box for now. Then, when we’re all able to return to normal life, you can buy something that’s perfect.

You’ll always want to think quite carefully about the size of your memory box. While you’ll need it to be big enough to hold plenty of bits and bobs, you’ll also want to be able to store it quite easily for years to come. So, try to get the balance right.

Decorate the box together

If you already have a box that you’re planning to use, start by decorating it with your children. You’ll want your kids to really value your keepsakes, and making their memory box more personal with some decorative details will really help with that.

Get all of their long-forgotten paints, glitter glues, stickers, and felt tip pens out, and put them to good use. You could add your names to the box, or cover it in handprints. It’s also a good idea to add the date somewhere, so you’ll always remember when and why you put the box together.

Pick your keepsakes carefully

While you’ll want to fill your box with sentimental pieces that will bring back happy memories, it’s best to choose little things that your kids aren’t going to want back. For example, don’t ask them for one of their current favourite toys, but you could include one that they used to love but don’t play with anymore. This will hopefully prevent them from wanting to raid your memory box to get their prized possessions back, but the toy you do add should still remind them of their early years when they’re older.

It’s also a good idea to use your memory box to celebrate your child’s achievements. For example, have they received any certificates from school, was their report particularly impressive last year, or is there a project they’ve been especially proud of? Birthday and Christmas cards from your nearest and dearest can also make great additions.

Finally, make sure you include some photos of yourselves! You mightn’t notice how quickly your little ones are growing up when you spend every day with them, but having pictures to look back on will help you to remember just how tiny they were. We all share photos on our social media accounts, but there’s still something very special about being able to hold and rifle through images that show a glimpse into the past. And, in a few years when you reopen your memory box, you’ll be glad you took the time to add some good old-fashioned photographs.

You probably didn’t expect to be home-schooling and entertaining your kids for the foreseeable future, but it’s important that you make the most of it. Creating a memory box will help to give you all a fun activity you can bond over, and you’ll have something really fun to look through in a few years’ time when you want to be reminded of your kids’ younger years.

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