Taking time to create a memory box really increases a child’s sense of belonging. By telling the stories of their life through little souvenirs from happy days out, you’re helping your child piece together their own autobiography and reinforcing their position as an important member of the family.
How to begin…
A memory box doesn’t have to be beautiful or expensive. It could be a shoebox or a box file – which allows you to continue adding to the collection each year with a new section.
What to include?
Memories can be quite elusive, but having something tangible reinforces them.
Ask your child to choose a small selection of things to go in their memory box. Special things that they have loved or that have been important to them, things they’ve created or things that remind them of fun days out. These could include:
Photos of friends, family and pets
Parts of a school or sports uniform
Dancing or sports shoes
Stories they’ve written
Prints of their hand or foot
But you can also include things yourself? You could add any letters you received or wrote about your child, write a story or fun anecdote about them or even add the list of possible names you were thinking of calling them before they were born.
Creating a memory box can take as little or as much time as you like but the process of creating one opens up the possibility of talking to your child about things they hold dear and encourage a deeper level of conversation. This can teach you something more about your children and enrich your relationship and bond. “Children with a strong sense of identity are resilient, and they become well-adjusted adults," says family service counsellor, Di Stubbs. "And helping to instil a sense of belonging is surely a good use of a rainy afternoon”
Remember that making the memory box is only half the fun. The second part comes when you return to open the memory box in years to come, so make sure you store the memory box somewhere you’ll be able to find it.
For a range of keepsake boxes, take a look at