Family time is all about making memories and with the advent of camera phones, you probably have hundreds (if not thousands) of photos of you doing just that. But how often do you actually go back to enjoy those moments and what gets forgotten along the way?
One of our favourite solutions is a family year in review book featuring all of the milestones and moments from the last 12 months. It’s not only a great way to showcase the year that was but preserve exactly who your child was at that moment in time.
A year in review photo album can include not only images taken over the last 12 months but also artworks, awards and quotes. With a little bit of effort, you’ll create a treasured resource that you and your kids can look back on in years to come to remember the highlights of family life.
But if that all seems like a daunting task, don’t worry! We’re here to help with some of our top ideas for getting you started. Creating a year in review photo book takes a bit of organisation (and some forward-thinking) but the rewards are more than worth it!
First things first, you need the initial page to be something special that sets the stage for what lies ahead. Perhaps it’s a bullet point list and photo highlights from the year (think the first family trip to Disneyland or baby taking their first steps). Or maybe it’s a letter from mom to her kids about why that particular year was extra special. You might want to create a collage of some of your favourite photos from the year and let them do the talking or ask your family what their most treasured moments were and include their responses.
A simple starting point for your family yearbook is to showcase memories from all of the celebrations that have taken place over the last year, from birthdays to anniversaries and the holiday season. Include photos of your family in the pumpkin patch during the fall and opening presents on Christmas day or classic shots of your children blowing out candles on their birthday cakes. If the inspiration takes you, why not include short descriptions about each of the events to help jog your memory down the track.
Momentous school milestones
School plays such an integral part in kids’ lives that it would be amiss to not dedicate a few pages of your family yearbook to their educational milestones. Include photos from their first day of the new school year and action shots from the sporting carnival, as well as their official school headshot. Throughout this section, you might want to include information about their teachers and classmates, together with their favourite subjects or lunchbox snack. In years down the track, all they will have to do is flick through the pages to remember what were some of the best days of their lives.
Create a trophy case
Aside from school awards and medals, you don’t want to forget those from extra-curricular activities, whether it be sporting related, musical or from the boy and girl scouts. You can include photos of your child holding their trophies and certificates or take a shot of a class assignment that they completed with flying colours. You can also create a trophy case for parents, with shots from company awards nights, promotions or that black belt you’ve just earned in karate.
Add some art
If you’re ever struggled trying to figure out what to do with the mountains of artwork your child produces, a year in review photo book is the answer. Rather than including the artwork itself, you can just take a photo of each and create a gallery space, complete with funny captions inspired by those found in art museums. Rather than mixing all of your kids’ artworks up, we recommend creating a separate page for each (you can even write an artist bio to accompany the works!)
Create a writers “blog”
The changing style and vocabulary of your child’s writing is a direct reflection of their development, so don’t forget to include some samples of their writing from throughout the year. It could be a short-form story, a Mother’s Day card or a spontaneous scribble, complete with all of its funny mistakes. In the future, you and your kids can look back and see just how far they have come. Who knows, you might even have a budding author in the family!
As humans, we are constantly changing, with evolving interests and ideas about the world. That’s what makes a yearly questionnaire so intriguing, with the same questions asked every year to each family member and showcased in your year in review book. It might include things like “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and “what is your favourite TV show”. Reading the answers back in years to come might reveal a few surprises!
You know those moments when a family member says something that has the rest of you in stitches? These are the quotes you want to include in your year in review photo album. This takes a bit of forethought and organisation, so we recommend creating a notepad in your phone where you can jot them down as they happen. In some cases, the quotes can stand alone without any explanation, while in others, you might need to include a backstory and/or photo for it all to make sense.
A year in review family album doesn’t just have to be about photos but can also incorporate physical mementos that you have collected over the last 12 months. It might be your entrance tickets to Disneyland or the completed contract for your new home. It’s all of those things that you feel are too precious to throw away and are worth more to your family story than just gathering dust in a box.