No – that is not just a pun – scrap-booking is a great family activity and creates special bonds between moms and kids. Dad can “play” too. Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” has said “If more couples created scrapbooks together, there would be fewer divorces.” And I can hear you now -”How can we find time?” “My children are different ages – how can that work?” “This is too complicated.” I have answers for all of these.
In order to make simple scrapbook pages that add our faith, we begin with our family events. Weddings, babies, birthdays, even the every day are gifts from God. We usually have photos of these experiences (well, maybe not the every day events – so take some of those photos too!)
If you have never scrap-booked before, you will need to gather/acquire a few things: photos, a paper trimmer, a scrapbook/album (prefer a photo -archival type where the page covers will not destroy or discolor photos over time), card-stock (you can buy some simple kits with all you need to start) and an archival pen. Sharp scissors are very helpful – and don’t forget adhesives (again, archival, your choice.) Kids love their own scissors and stickers or embellishments to add to pages. If you have never scrap-booked you can check big chain stores like Target, Wal-mart, or craft stores like Michael’s or JoAnn’s or your local scrapbook stores for kits – or get acquainted with the various on-line scrapbook vendors if those stores are too far away- and purchase a kit which includes the scrapbook and papers, to go with the paper-trimmer, scissors and adhesives.**
Now select photos of one event – recent or past – and decide on a title that describes the photos – and this is where faith comes in – perhaps your title comes from a Biblical phrase - such as one I did for my youngest - the title is “A light unto my Path” and it is about his fascination with flashlights. Or maybe you make a simple title and find a great verse to add.
So let’s say you chose to do a layout (1-2 pages of photos with the same theme) about your daughter’s birthday party – you put 6 or so photos on 2 pages. You want to honor God in your child’s life – how do you title it? You could pick a title from a Bible verse – maybe Luke 2:40 – “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” So my title could be Strong in Spirit; Filled with Wisdom; Another Year to Grow. This is one way – or maybe My Birthday Wish for You. Then you can add the Bible verse I quoted above. How can your child help? If they are 8 and older, they can crop and add photos to the page, pick out embellishments and add them – if they are younger, they can help pick out embellishments and add them to pages, select their favorite photos for the page and help remind you of who is the photo….you get the idea. Kids can write their ideas, thoughts and journaling on pages too. If they feel they can’t write well, you can help them type their thoughts out, change your printer to “grayscale”, print out their journaling or verse and let them trace it with an archival pen. Handwriting problem solved!
How can dad pitch in? On the birthday lay-out we were talking about above, we could have both parents write a letter to the birthday child – including important Biblical verses and ideas and add them to the lay-out in separate envelopes on the back of the scrapbook page with a little tab to show the child where to pull out the letters and read them in private. Make a pocket to add to the page and fill the pocket with the cards the birthday child can look at later.
Dads can add their own pages as they might want to – to congratulate the child on a special award, acknowledge their growth, encourage them to stay in the Word. Men make great scrapbookers and design some great pages.
You may be asking how you can find these Bible verses if you do not already own them- I suggest you go to Bible.com or some site you may have used to help prepare for Bible study or to find other information – a devotions site, such as Proverbs 31 Ministries or Women of Faith, or your own Bible concordance. I use my Bible and the above referenced devotional sites and a great little book “Fingertip Scriptures” compiled by Merry Graham and Rachel Bye and set up in easy-to use topic settings.
Children love to spend time with mom and dad doing any activity – make this a regular in your schedule – 30 minutes 1-2x a week make this a great family activity that everyone can join in on. What a great way to spend a rainy or snowy day sharing family time indoors with something wonderful to show for it later! So sit down with the kids and get started – it can bind our hearts and minds to one another and even more to our Lord.
** For anyone seeking quality supplies to start out with, check out the catalog at our web-site and the catalogue at “Close to my Heart.com” and if there is anything you want to order, let me know – as a consultant for over 15 years, I will be happy to help you place an order for the basics and more!