OHbaby! memory-keeping expert Michelle Sokolich is passionate about inspiring parents with practical ways to capture and treasure memories of their kids' childhoods. Here she shares with us her latest clever idea - an annual questionnaire:
Am I the only one who keeps meaning to write down all the funny things my kids say but never quite get around to it?
Sometimes when I’m browsing on Pinterest I get a little freaked out by all the other mums who seem to have every second of their kid's life documented…when I’m still struggling to get my youngest one's baby book done. And she’s nearly four!
So I started thinking about a yearly questionnaire. Things I could ask the kids every year to capture them growing and changing…. with minimal effort! I find it’s good to use New Year as a prompt; it makes it easy if you anchor it to something that happens every year. And it’s also a time when us adults are reflecting on the past year too.
So busy that this sounds all just too hard? Just click on the image below and print out a stack of our done-for-you forms (you’re welcome!), ask your kids the questions and pop the finished questionnaires in a shoebox at the back of a cupboard. One day when the kids have left home you’ll be cleaning out that cupboard ('cause you actually have the time!) and you’ll probably be slightly teary when you find it. Ok, a LOT teary.
Or…maybe you’re super amped about this idea and ready to take it to the next level? You should totally film your kids answering the questions! It doesn’t have to look flash – just film it on your phone, put it somewhere safe on your computer, then sit back feeling very pleased with yourself.
Up for even more? How about editing it together using my free iMovie tutorial, and uploading it to a family You Tube or Vimeo channel? I promise, this is not as hard as it sounds. My girls LOVE to sit and watch our family Vimeo channel even more than Netflix! One day maybe you could even edit all the years together – how amazing would it be to see them change as they grow?
So here’s one I made of my three girls (click on the image below). Now feel free to skip watching this video….it’s ok, I understand, no one else’s kids are as entertaining of your own (although mine are the coolest you’ve seen, right?). But if you do watch it, don’t forget I do this for a living…promise me you’re not going to say ‘I could never do that’ and let your inner perfectionist stop you even starting.
Because just as we love looking back on faded, badly taken photos of our own childhood – your kids will still love looking back on this if it’s shot on your iphone.
So whether you just print out the form and do it once, or film your kids every year and edit it into something to embarrass them with at their 21st – don’t just think about it, get into it! I would love to see what you end up doing so please do leave us a link in the comments if you manage to get it online, or tag us in on social media!
Michelle Sokolich is a filmmaker and photographer who truly believes every moment should be treasured. When she's not enjoying time with her three feisty girls, you can find her crafting family movies and teachind inspired DIY types to make their own. Michelle writes a column in OHbaby! Magazine and you can also get her best tips and guidance over at lovethelittlethings.com