(Written by Becky Olivier) When was the last time you had your family all dress up and sit down for a nice family picture? Was it worth it? Between the squirming children, the forced smiles, and the price of a photographer, chances are it might not have been the best experience. But don’t give up! There are any number of great ways to preserve your family memories, that are also fun and entertaining. Here are a few suggestions on how you can keep track of the best years of your life, while still being able to enjoy them.
1. Make an audio recording
The days of the scratchy sounding audio cassette are long gone. With today’s technology, you can record in high definition exactly what every member of the family sounds like, so that you can all listen to it years from now and make fun of each other. All you need is a computer, a microphone, and some easy to acquire recording software. Once you’re all set, sit down with your entire family and have everyone answer a list of fun questions. You’re sure to be laughing together in no time, and your future selves will enjoy it just as much when you listen to it years down the road.
2. Make a video recording
If you’ve got a smartphone, then chances are you’ve tried your hand at some amature video recording. But instead of just capturing Junior’s soccer game or Suzie’s dance recital, record some candid interaction with your entire family. Maybe set the camera in an out-of-the-way spot before dinner, and save for posterity all of the laughter, tears, and utter insanity of an average evening meal with your spouse and children. It might not be pretty, but it will be real—which, in the end, is worth a lot more.
3. Keep a journal
Whether you write everything down on paper, or you keep it all online in the form of a blog, a family journal will allow you to record not only special events and dates, but also the inner feelings and thoughts that accompany them. Make it a point to sit down at least once every other day and write down all of the noteworthy things that have happened. Did the baby learn a new word? Write down what it was, when she said it, and how it made you feel. These little things will become the most precious memories as your children age, so be sure that they don’t get lost to time.
4. Make a time Capsule
A time capsule is a powerful way to allow your kids to connect with their future selves. Just get some sort of small container, and have each child write a short letter to themselves and place it inside. They could also pick out a few special trinkets or items that are currently important to them, and include them in the time capsule. Then, bury or pack away the capsule for a predetermined length of time (preferably 10 years or more). Once the time has passed and your kids have gotten a bit older, have them open the capsule and read the letters inside.
5. Get an old-timey family photo
As was previously mentioned, conventional family photos can be a real pain. However, few things are more fun than getting everyone together for an old-timey style picture. Special portrait studios around the country feature classic backdrops and costumes for the perfect family portrait set in a bygone era. You can even make it a fun family activity. Peruse the local thrift shop to find the right outfits and snap the portrait yourself. Download some photo editing software and watch a few tutorials on how to digitally age a photo yourself. From the rough and tumble old west, to the propriety of the Victorian era, your family will have a blast playing dress up and getting photographed, and you’ll finally have a family picture that everyone can enjoy.
About the author: Becky Olivier is a mom of three kids and freelance writer for her own blog and many of the top blogs in the blogosphere. She enjoys photography, reading, and hiking.