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Scrapbooking With Your Kids 
by Graham Johns

In this fast-paced, electronic-based world, it''s difficult to find an activity to share with your children that doesn''t involve the television or the computer. Scrapbooking might help to bridge that gap of having fun but staying interested. The hobby helps stimulate conversation and keeps your kids away from technology. You and your kids can enjoy some time together and reconnect over a common hobby.

If your kids are small, such as preschoolers or young elementary school children, they probably do not have a lot of photographs of their own that they want to have in a scrapbook. You can help them think of a theme to scrapbook to get them started. You will also need to provide their photographs at the beginning.

A good theme might be to do a scrapbook about the grade that they are in at school. Help your kindergartner; for example, develop a scrapbook showcasing the highlights of their first school year. You will do most of the work for this scrapbook, but your child will help every step of the way. This is a great opportunity for them to practice gluing and cutting skills. Have your child do the journaling about some of the pictures and memories, and do not forget to include school projects in the album.

When you are done creating a school memory album, you will have taught your child some of the fundamentals of scrapbooking. You will also have spent time getting to know your child''s creative side. As the child gains confidence and skill, allow him or her to start working on pages with less help from you.

Remember that kids will not be able to work on scrapbooks as long as you will. The younger your child is, the shorter their attention span will be. The important thing is to make the scrapbooking fun and exciting, not tedious. When your child starts to get bored or distracted, put the project away for another day.

Do not be afraid to let your children make some decisions on the scrapbook. They need to have the opportunity to experiment with colors and textures as they develop their skill and tastes for the craft. Even if they choose something you do not particularly care for, remember that it is their scrapbook. Encourage them in another direction, but avoid the temptation to stifle creativity by forcing your own ideas about their pages on them. This is the quickest way to kill your child''s interest in scrapbooking.

If your children are older, give them the supplies and let them go with their own ideas! You will be pleasantly surprised by the creative streak that almost all upper elementary children possess. Give your children disposable cameras so that they can capture some pictures of their friends and activities on their own. This is the best time to teach them about how to properly handle photographs and negatives. You can scrapbook together, working on your pages while they create their own.

While you are saving memories with your children in your scrapbooks, you are creating more memories as the books are created. They''ll look back and remember how much fun they had while cutting and pasting pictures or decorations. Enjoy the family time together and let your children explore their own creativity. So go ahead and grab that paper, dig out the markers and the crayons, and maybe add a little glitter while you''re at it. Start a scrapbook together today!

Graham Johns runs and writes regularly for Easy Scrapbooking Ideas where you can read many more articles on scrapbooking journals.

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