Children have such an innocent and simple way of viewing things. As I look at the artwork my children have made throughout the years, I realize that all I need to know about scrapbooking I learned from children:
Use your imagination.
Children are full of imagination. Give them a piece of paper and a crayon and they’ll start coloring right away. They don’t need to look through magazines or websites to see what the other kids are drawing. They just draw.
I’ve learned that sometimes I need to stop looking at what everyone else is doing and just start creating. Scrapbooking can be whatever I want it to be – a collection of photos, stories, drawings, mementos… anything.
Children are not afraid to be themselves. The little girl in the grocery store wearing green rubber boots, a pink ballerina tutu, fuzzy orange gloves and a huge smile – she’s proud of her look. So what if it’s sunny and hot outside?
I’ve learned to create scrapbook pages that make me happy, regardless of trends or design rules.
Stories should be read over and over.
When children like a story, they want to hear it over and over and over and over.
I’ve learned to write stories that are as fun and entertaining as the stories in children’s books.
Details are important.
Children can spot every tiny detail of an illustration. While someone is reading a book to them, they’re carefully studying the artwork on each page. They love to find the hidden pigeon in Mo Willems’ books and they love to add details to their own drawings.
I’ve learned to add details to my scrapbook pages, whether it’s a small sticker or a tiny trinket.
Use what you have.
Children use whatever supplies they have available. (Probably because they can’t drive to the store yet). They’re happy to create with whatever art supplies they are given.
I’ve learned to use what I have on hand instead of putting off a scrapbook page until I have the perfect product.
If you like something, use it.
If you give children a sheet of stickers, they’ll use all of them on one piece of paper within five seconds. They don’t think about saving some of them for later, and they don’t spend an hour deciding exactly where the sticker should be placed.
I’ve learned not to save all of my pretty scrapbook supplies for later. Use them.
Use your best handwriting.
Part of the charm of children’s artwork is seeing their name printed on it. I especially like the handwriting that starts out huge and then gets squished at the end because they ran out of room to write.
I’ve learned to include my own handwriting more (which is less intimidating now that I’ve made it into a font).
Finish what you start.
When children start an art project, they finish it. They don’t have a pile of partially completed drawings because they lost their inspiration, and they don’t stop halfway through and start questioning themselves. They finish and move on.
I’ve learned to work on one project at a time and see it through.
Proudly display your work.
For children, the refrigerator is the ultimate showcase – a place where everyone will see their wonderful artwork every single day.
I’ve learned that scrapbooks are meant to be taken out and enjoyed regularly.
The people who love you will think your creations are the most beautiful things in the world.
No matter what.
(Background alphabet image courtesy of melstampz.)