How to Plan Ahead for a Great Year-in-Review Photo Book

Here we are. Mid-January already! We’ve sent out our holiday thank-you notes, and we’ve finished our photo books from last year (right?). Time to turn our attention to the here and the now – and the next-up. If it was a scramble to finish out your end-of-year projects – or if you bailed on them altogether, it’s time to think about how you can plan ahead to make the process smoother next time. With photos gone digital, hard drives that fill up fast, and awesome technology that allows you to create beautiful, personalized photo books to last a lifetime, there’s every reason under the sun to make those books and have them printed. You want to look back and remember, and it’s important that your kids get to have that experience too. Below is a checklist of what kinds of photos and scans to collect over the coming year. The list is followed by four byproducts of following through with your resolution to actually print that year-in-review photo book this year.

Year-in-Review Photo Book

Year-in-Review Photo Book Checklist: 

  • Vacation photos Vacation Photos
  • Monthly photos with age placard for babies
  • Letters from grandparents
  • Letters to grandparents (before they get sent!)
  • Apology notes
  • I-O-Us
  • Pictures with friends Friends
  • Scans of craft projects Art Projects
  • Photos of art-class sculptures
  • Photos that demonstrate milestones, whether that’s rolling over or riding a bike!
  • Tooth fairy letters
  • Report cards
  • Birthday party pics Birthday Party Photos
  • Pics of extracurricular activity photos: sports, music, art, camp, etc. Soccer team
  • Snaps of baking with loved ones
  • Photos of tree climbing, bike riding, skateboarding – kids doing kid things :) skateboarding
  • Documentation of volunteering efforts

Positive Byproducts of Making Your Year-in-Review Photo Book

You teach compassion. One of the most profound and surprising uses of year-in-review photo albums I’ve found is the response I get when my kids look back. It’s more than just happy memories. My kids realize that they were little(r) once too. Especially for my older son, the benefit is that he has a lot more compassion for his little brother when he can look back and see that he was once his little brother’s size. Seeing photos of himself up to the same nonsense his sibling is into now helps him have a little more patience.

Year-in-Review Photo Book Ideas

You underscore what’s important. Guess what? It’s likely that your child won’t find photos of Minecraft, Clash of Clans or Angry Birds in their photo album. They will find photos of themselves with grandparents, participating in school events, finishing a race, and sharing hugs with friends and family members. You could call it a benign form of revisionist history. I prefer to think of it as underscoring what’s really important in a way that kids will notice.

Year-in-Review Photo Books

You build confidence. Looking back and reflecting on everything that one has accomplished in a year is a great way to strengthen self-esteem – for adults and kids. There’s something about seeing it all in one place that makes you profoundly aware of all you have under your belt.

Year-in-Review Book

You solidify happy memories. Hello. It’s 2014! WT#? We’re all acutely aware of how fast time flies. And while time might not fly for kids the way it does for adults, it’s still key to solidify all those happy childhood memories by putting them in a book they can page through from time to time for, well, forever. Printed on archival paper, your Mixbook albums will last a lifetime. And if they go missing or get damaged, you can print a new one anytime.

Year-in-Review Photo Book Ideas

If you have more ideas for things to include in a year-in-review photo book, we’d love to hear about them!

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