MUM SAYS Making keepsakes for my kids

Mum of three Ng Hooi See suggests easy keepsakes to make and share with your littles.

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1. Photo book
When you have young children, you may feel that there is never enough time, since you seem to be living from day to day. One way is to upload all your photos into a thumb drive and bring it to a photo-editing store, where the photos can be printed as a photo book. Another is to download photo book-editing software. Put aside 30 minutes each week or month to select your favourite photos and add them quickly to your photo book.

2. Photo calendar
If the idea of a photo book is too daunting, a photo calendar may be an easier project to tackle. This makes a lovely Christmas present, too. When we were living overseas years ago, we would create personalised photo calendars for both sets of grandparents back home. Apart from favourite shots of the children, I even added special dates such as anniversaries, birthdays, and so on.

3. Videos
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million. My husband had countless videos growing up: As a young boy playing Chinese chess with his beloved grandfather; performing magic tricks at his sister’s birthday party. Also, a friend sent me a link to this video where a first-time father took one-second clips of his newborn son daily, from birth up to his first birthday, then compiled them into a pretty incredible video. You can do it yourself: Simply take a one- to two-second video clip daily for at least six months, a year or more. Then compile it and you’ll have a breathtaking video keepsake.

4. Memory blanket
Several friends surprised me with a baby shower when I was pregnant with my eldest child. I received the most amazing patchwork blanket from a friend who had received a similar one on her 21st birthday. Every piece of cloth used in her blanket was a favourite item of clothing from her life, growing up. What a unique way of remembering one’s childhood and passing on the memories!

5. Journal
When I gave birth to my second child, Amelia, a close friend gave me a set of two leather-bound journals. I began to write in the journals, one to Linus and another to Amelia. I write to the children as their adult selves, three to four times a year, describing major events and milestones in their lives. I also compile a list of my children’s favourites — movies, books, friends, things to do, phrases, toys, games, hobbies at a certain age, and update these each year. Sometimes, I share my thoughts, dilemmas and struggles in raising them, such as my struggles over choosing one school over another for Linus — things I would never have dreamed of telling my then-6-year-old. I also add advice and encouraging messages. I even include drawings and photos of the children taken over the years. I plan to present the journals to the children on their 21st birthdays as a keepsake of their childhood. It may seem like work now, trying to catalogue and store those memories in an orderly manner, but solidifying these moments is a labour of love they will cherish for years to come!

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Ng Hooi See, a part-time business development manager, is mum to Lucas, 3, Amelia, 6, and Linus, 10.