How do you remember all the things you did with your children as the years pass and you add to your family? The pace of life these days does not lend itself to the instant recall of the many places you took your child as babies, infants and toddlers and the things they said and did.

As an adult I remember asking my mother about details of my early childhood and she found it difficult to recall the finer details. I wanted to know the silly stuff like:

What had I said that had made them laugh while I struggled to learn language?

Which toy did I fall asleep with in my arms at night?

Where did they take me and how did I react as a child to people and places?

The list is endless, believe me. Years ago there wasn't such an interest in preserving memories for future generations and so many of the memories of my childhood, and I'm sure many others, are lost and forgotten in time.

Today I have two small children and since their birth I have kept almost everything from their birth cards to tickets to places we visited together. I have a box for each of them and every time we visit a museum, go on vacation or receive a report card from school I put the evidence in their box. Their boxes are full of tickets, cards, certificates, badges and even the letters we wrote together to Santa. One day I will give them these boxes and as we look through them together, these items will help me remember what I did with them as children.

It’s important not to forget because their early years are a vital part of who they are today. It has been said that between the ages of 2 to 6 is when most of your child’s intelligence and social characteristics are formed. If this is correct then these trinkets of their childhood are priceless as they go a long way to explaining who they are as a person.

For me, the benefits of keeping such souvenirs are really two-fold:

1) It helps me to remember more clearly our family memories in terms of time and place. Quite simply it’s a memory jogger and as such I can only hope it will unleash a story they will love and cherish hearing.

2) Its a part of their childhood they can share with me over and over and then take away with them to show to their own children when the time comes.


I hope I am also teaching them by example the importance of preserving memories and their place in our lives. That these memories are what shapes us as individuals and they should not be forgotten or discarded.

I feel that reliving old memories of what we did together as a family and the fun we had, will strengthen our family bond further and keep us close as a family unit. We have a meaningful shared past and the aim is to continue that into the future.

Children and adults alike love to hear stories about themselves as babies and toddlers. They love to hear about the silly stuff they said and did. They simply cannot remember most of these early years and so I believe it’s our responsibility as their caregivers, to remember these times for them so that they have the missing piece to the puzzle of their lives.

Suggestions of things to keep for your children:

Hand & Foot Prints
One of their early toothbrushes
A favorite pacifier
First tooth
Hair from first haircut
First movie tickets (they normally show date, time and price you paid)
Tickets from any shows you went to with your child
Any certificate of achievement e.g. swimming certificates, soccer prizes, etc.
Leaves, shells, pine cones, etc. from walks together
Plus any other items that show you went somewhere, shared time together and made a memory.

Even the smallest, most insignificant items can spark a whole bunch of memories when the time comes to open the box together.

So find a box and start today. Fill it with momento's and souvenirs you can share with your children throughout the journey of their lives. Now you are making memories for your children....

Author's Bio: 

Maureen Stewart is the author of The Personal History Book and The Tribute Book, both available at