photo credit: Marilynn Lerum
We’ve all heard the adage: “The days are long, but the years are short.” My guess is that if you’re raising little humans, you can relate. The years may pass by, that doesn’t mean you can’t curate simple and easy ways to celebrate your child’s milestones as they come. This doesn’t require a lot of fanfare, simply a heart open to capturing and saving memories. Don’t know where to start? Try these three steps and you’re on your way.
Turn Milestones Into Lasting Memories
We often set the bar high for celebrating those big moments, from the first day of school to the first soccer game. It’s helpful to remind ourselves that it’s the small things that count. You don’t need to go all out for every milestone, simply find special ways to turn each one into a memory you and your child won’t forget. A few ideas:
- Choose-Your-Own-Adventure – Celebrate that high test score or school achievement by letting your child pick her own adventure. To keep it manageable, give her three options to choose from: park, beach or pool. She’ll love that she got to make the decision and you’ll love that it was your choice to start with.
- Treats – Favorite snacks can do the trick, but so can heading out for ice cream or burgers after the big game. When I asked my son what he wanted for Christmas, he said, “Candy.” Again, it’s the small things!
- Document – It’s as easy as taking a photo of the moment and sharing it. If you prefer not to use social media, you can text the photo to a grandparent or friend who can share in the excitement with you. You can take it a step further and print the photos or upload them to your favorite photo app using Artifact Uprising, Chatbooks or Shutterfly. Upload enough and order a photo book to capture all of your child’s milestones in a particular season or year.
Create a Keepsake Box
We all have that ultrasound image and special cards we’ve kept. Why not put them all in one place with a keepsake box or basket for each child? Add in any sentimental items of your choosing. For our daughter’s basket, I created smaller groupings of items and finished them off with a bow.
Items included: baby shower cards, baptism mementos, a letter from a dear friend to remain unopened until she can read, the book, “Little Women.” Add in special touches that bring you joy each time you see them. Tip: Try this, and you’ll be more likely to keep it up. But again, this doesn’t need to be a big ordeal. Simply add in keepsakes as they come and beautify them when you have time. It’s about saving and cherishing the most joyful moments.
This is a fun one! It’s standard to plan something special for your child’s birthdays, but what about half-birthdays? If you’re not familiar, a half-birthday is a day approximately six months before or after the anniversary of a person’s birth. The best part is that it doesn’t require much time or money. A little cake goes along way. Here’s how you can make it memorable:
- Half-cake – You can make this, buy it or even prepare a cupcake with an inscription of how old she’s turning (for example: 1½).
- One gift – This isn’t required, but it makes it festive. Buy something small and meaningful, such as an activity set you’ve been eyeing anyway. This way, you’re helping spur on their development and making the day extra special.
- Late bedtime – Let your little one stay up an extra half an hour past their usual bedtime. An easy one for both of you.
- Invite friends – Invite your child’s friends to come for dinner and stay for cake! Want to go the extra mile? Pick a theme. Whatever you do, remember casual and small and casual is OK and not any less meaningful than a large and extravagant party.
Start with these ideas to help you get started, but don’t be afraid to get creative. There’s so many more ideas out there. However you choose to acknowledge those milestones, your kids are worth celebrating!
Kristin DeCou, founder of Modern Refresh and certified KonMari consultant, helps moms declutter and organize their home, channel their inner-Marie Kondo, and create space for what matters most. For her, that’s spending time adventuring with her husband, Rob, and two kids: Hudson (3) and Kalea (1).