Like most kids, my six year old daughter wants to do anything I do. And since what I “do” is often scrapping, she always wants to join me. So, for the past year and a half or so she has been scrapping a few pages a month. When people come over, she is quick to show them all the pages she has made. She keeps them in her own special album!
Scrapping with kids is a great way to share something you love and also teach them a pretty cool skill. My ability to navigate Photoshop has opened up all sorts of opportunities for me and I love that she is learning at such a young age. I’m sure one day she will leave me in the dust!
Don’t let the idea of scrapping with your kids get you scared. It’s easier than you think! Here are my top tips:
1. Let them sit on your lap
Having your child (assuming he/she is under the age of ten or so) on your lap makes scrapping a lot easier. Your help will be needed in lots of areas at the beginning so both of you having access to the mouse and keyboard is essential.
2. Start with a simple template.
By working with templates, you already have the “design” of the page and you don’t have to make as many decisions. For the page my daughter made today, she chose this template from my final grab bag.
3. Use just one kit
By using a kit, it takes the guess work out of it. The child still has a lot of choices, but not so many that you spend all your time rummaging around your digi folders. Alaina chose this gorgeous kit by Zoe Pearn, Chasing Rainbows. She didn’t like they yellow alpha so she used the alpha from Zoe’s Shabby Sugar kit.
4. Teach one new skill at a time.
Learning a photo editing program is intimidating for anyone — especially a child! Start by teaching one “skill” at a time. For example, the first time my daughter made a page she learned “COMMAND G” (Control G on a PC). The clipping mask is central to using a template, so I thought it was a good place to start. Each time afterward, I would teach her one new skill: rotating elements, resizing, reordering the layers palette, changing colors, etc. By learning one new skill each time, the child can build their knowledge slowly.
5. Let them guide the page.
As much as your eyes may be hurting and your sense of design cringing, it is important to let them lead the way. Their artistic sense is different and they need the ability to express it. Remember, these aren’t YOUR pages. I mean check out these beauties :) At least the FUN DAY page isn’t so bad! — and I love how she added their ages under their pictures!
6. Encourage them to journal.
One of my favorite parts of my daughter scrapping with me is hearing what she wants to say on her page. Her point of view is precious at this age and I want it preserved. When she was younger, she would tell me what she wanted me to write and I would type. Now that she is older, she does most of the typing with me helping with spelling. You will end up with some hilarious pages like this one which reads, “This is me jumping rope at disney world. I was being really nice by letting disney workers swing the rope while I jumped. I jump roped while I was waiting for the parade to start. before I got my seat for the parade I saw Chicken Little.”
7. Be prepared that with every new skill they learn, they will want to overuse it.
My daughter has gone through phases of wanting to change the color of EVERYTHING, of tilting and skewing every element, and of putting things on the page just so she can take them off. She went through a “painting” stage and a time where every page had to have staples on it. Don’t worry, this is part of the learning process. Who cares if they have ten of the same element on a page? At least they know how to duplicate layers 🙂
8. Help them out with some shadowing
For the sake of the page and not letting colors run together, add some shadows after they are done or show them how to run some shadow actions. It really helps paper and elements to stand out a bit. Great shadows aren’t the goal, but having SOME shadow helps keep items from getting “lost.”
9. Be patient!
Scrapping with kids takes time and patience. Give them both!
10. Don’t forget about the boys!
Don’t assume that the little men in your life won’t want to give it a try! My five year old son is just getting started and I love to see the world through his eyes as he creates a page. His attention span is shorter, so we sometimes start with a quick page and add a title and journaling. Other times, we start with a template, like with this page. Check out his journaling!
Why not take a chance to share your love for scrapping with your kids?