With schools closed and most of us now on furlough or working from home, it's likely you're spending a lot more time with your kids at the moment. As they won't be able to meet up with their friends or play away from home, you might be running out of ways to keep them entertained.
A great way to keep everyone occupied, while creating something you'll appreciate in the future, is by putting together a memory box with your little ones. Here, I'm going to outline my top tips for doing this so you and your children can get the most out of the experience as possible.
Use the right box
You'll want to preserve your memories for years — or even decades — to come. So, while it might be tempting to use a shoe box that you already have lying around, this is likely to look very worn after a short while. So, it's best to use a sturdier box made from wood or plastic. Of course, if you don't have anything suitable at the moment, there's no harm in using a cardboard box for now. Then, when things start to get back to normal, you can shop around for a more permanent solution!
Getting the size of your memory box right is important, too. While you won't want it to take up too much room in your home, you'll want a box big enough to hold plenty of momentos. So, make sure you get the balance right.
Choose your keepsakes wisely
While you'll want to fill your memory box with lots of little bits and pieces that will remind your family of this time in your lives, you should make sure to choose items that your kids aren't going to want back. The last thing you want to do is close your memory box, store it in the loft, and then realise that you've taken away a toy that your little ones still like to play with. So, if you are going to use any of your children's possessions, make sure you only go with ones that they won't miss.
It's also a good idea to add some photos of yourselves so you can look back on this time and truly remember what it was like to live through it. Most of us regularly share photos on social media, but there's something really special about taking the time to print them out so you can physically flick through them. You and your kids will be happy you took the time to do it when they're all grown up. You can decorate the box or its contents with stickers or colour it in.
Mark your memory box with the date
Whether you're filling your memory box with items that will remind you of what's going on at the moment, or you're using this time to collect mementos of your children's lives so far, make this clear on the box. You could add the date to the outside of the box so, in years to come, you'll still be able to tell exactly when it was made. Or, you could add your children's ages to remind you of this particular stage in their development.
While the coronavirus outbreak is the biggest thing going on in all our lives at the moment, time moves very quickly, and you could still forget when this all happened. So, it's a good idea to put a date on your memory box, so you won't have to play any guessing games further down the line.
Putting together a memory box is a great activity that will help to keep your little ones entertained while they're off school and can't play out. Plus, it'll give you all something to look back on in years to come.
Kirsty Prankerd is Managing Director of the keepsake company Write From The Heart.