Oh summer! My absolute favorite time of year, but it goes by so fast, doesn't it? Come Labor Day, everything is a blur of sunscreen scented pool towels, fireflies, long car rides, and ice cream -- and it all fades so fast when the focus turns to the new school year, slip-sliding right into the holidays. Ahhh! I take a zillion photos all summer, but most of them never even end up getting printed out.
You don't have to be "crafty" to do any of these things, you just need to want to keep some of those special summer memories preserved for ever. They're worth it!
1. Send Yourself Postcards
Even if you don't go on a trip this summer, you can still send yourself a postcard every week, recounting the adventures you've had. This is a fun one to get the kids involved in too. (And makes checking the mail part of the adventure!)
2. Take One Photo Every Day
So easy to do now that our phones are cameras! And many, like iPhones, allow you to set up albums right in your phone, so you can just name one "Summer 2013" and choose only one per day to go in there, then upload the whole thing to a photo-printing site in the fall. If you're an Instagram user, you can use a hashtag to easily sort these one-a-day pics, and there are a ton of places online where you can turn your Instagram pics into a photo book.
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3. Write-On Picture Frame
Get yourself one of those photo frames that you can write on and some nice pens (like colored Sharpies), and add a note or little drawing to the matting at least once a week, like "Building sandcastles with Grandma at the shore," or "Firefly-spotting on our Tuesday night ice-cream run." You could also write a big "SUMMER OF 2013" at the top or along the bottom. By the end of the summer you'll have a wonderful frame filled with memories -- all you'll have to do is choose a photo to put in it!
4. Sentence a Day Mini-Journal
Committing to writing a page or more in a journal every day might be too much, but you can make it an easier, more fun task by downsizing it! Find a small notebook and plan on just writing the day, date, and just one sentence or so about your day as often as you can. For example... "Tuesday, June 18: Isabella made new friends at the pool (MARCO POLO) while mama lounged in the sun reading. Bliss!" You can buy a journal for every family member and keep them as a set, or keep it simple with just one!
5. Make Memories, Add Them To Your Memory Box
Even if you're not "crafty", you can still make a memory box, especially if you add to it a little bit all summer long. Just get a nice, sturdy box (many places sell them as "photo storage boxes") and add photos, postcards, tickets, and other mementos to the inside as you have fun this summer. Of course, you can get creative and decorate the outside too -- you can glue on any of your flat mementos, and there are a zillion fun stickers and embellishments in the scrapbook section of any arts and crafts store.
6. Messages In a "Bottle"
Ok, a bottle would make this hard, but a pretty glass jar with a wider opening and a lid will do the trick! Then, make sure you have some pens and a stack of index cards or notepaper handy. Through the summer, the whole family can jot down special memories or fun times, fold them up, and pop them into the jar to read later. You could get creative and add some seashells or other special treasures from your summer!
Images ©iStock.com/firemanYU; courtesy of the author; ©iStock.com/scyther5