Road trips are fun. Now, wait - don't roll your eyes at the thought of driving cross country with your family. It's a forced togetherness, to be sure, but some of the strongest memories I have from my childhood involve driving to Missouri to visit my relatives, in my parents van. Stopping for lunch at a rest stop, making duck bills out of Pringles chips with my sisters, drinking warm orange juice as we went uuuuuppp the hills and back doooowwwnnnn the hills and - well, let's just not talk about what happened next.
Suffice it to say, I still don't like orange juice.
Not all memories involve queasiness, though. Spending time with your family is something that your kids will remember for their entire life. One of the greatest way that you can do this is allowing your children to create a scrapbook. I'll admit - I wasn't a big believer in this until a few years ago, when my own mother brought over the scrapbooks that she'd made with my children when she'd taken them on various trips. I'd seen those scrapbooks in passing and not put too much stock in them - simple spiral bound notebooks that my kids had journaled in, glued in and markered up, they seemed childish and unimportant.
To me, as an adult, maybe they were. To my children, those albums were priceless treasures. My daughter opened one, pointed to a picture and started laughing. "Remember all those ladybugs? Remember how afraid of them you were?" And just like that, they were off, talking about the memories that they'd made on this trip or that vacation.
Going away this summer? You can pick up a scrapbook quality book for not much money. Hand it over to your child, and give her free reign. Of course, you can buy stickers, borders, fancy papers and the like - but quite often, kids don't need that. As a special bonus, creating a personalized scrapbook both keeps your child busy and allows you to see the trip through your child's eyes. You might be surprised at what is the highlight of the trip for him.
Not traveling this summer? You can create the same memory wtih at home plans. Gluing in movie ticket stubs, museum pamphlets and maybe a shell from the beach will have the same effect, and help your child to create a memory that is stamped on the heart forever.
These scrapbooks are treasures that will last a lifetime, and the reflection that will happen when you review them with your family - well, that is priceless and without equal.