3 Ways to Traditionally Document Your Child’s Life in a Digital Age

By Erin Blaskie (@ErinBlaskie on Twitter)

I remember when I was fourteen years old… printing pictures all of the time, adding them to albums, documenting my life as a fourteen-year-old.  It continued through to my early twenties and then life happened, things got busier, digital cameras and Facebook came into play and the documentation of my life slowed (at least a physical documentation of it did).

Now that I have a daughter, I think about this often. I rarely print photos of her – why would I?  They are on my computer, on Facebook, on Instagram, on my blog… In fact, there are thousands and thousands of little documented moments abo her online and she’s not even three yet. We have some photos on the wall but not near as many as we do in digital format and some of my favourite moments are stored on a hard drive.

I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately: how can I document her life in a way that will be meaningful for her in the future?  I know I can’t predict where things will go technology-wise but I do see value in still having tangible things that can be held in hand, so this is where my ideas have come from.

1. Create Photo Books

Using a service like Shutterfly, you can create gorgeous photo books for all of your favourite moments.  I am currently in the process of creating a first-year and second-year book for Willow and will continue to do that until she’s old enough to not want a photo book of herself documented.

The photo books also make wonderful gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or even birthdays.  They look amazing, while offering a fantastic way to preserve your memories. The bonus? They won’t require your children to lug around heavy photo albums. Learn more at http://www.shutterfly.com/.

2. Create Beautiful Canvases from Instagram and Facebook Using CanvasPop

If you already use a service like Instagram to document your day-to-day moments, you might find a service like CanvasPop to be exactly what you need.  CanvasPop offers a simple and easy way to print Instagram photos to canvas, and the results are beautiful.

If you can’t imagine a smartphone photo looking good on a wall canvas, think again. You can print your Instagram photos on canvas up to a 20” x 20” size.  All images are stretched on a quality wood frame with a bulletproof matte laminate for added finish.  The final product is gorgeous.  What a perfect way to preserve your favourite moments while also creating wall art that can be handed down to future generations! CanvasPop offers a print-from-Facebook option as well! Learn more at http://www.canvaspop.com/options/print-instagram-photos/.

3. Turn Their Artwork Into a Real-Life Stuffie

When I first heard of this service, I bookmarked and pinned it instantly.  The company, called Child’s Own Studio, creates stuffed animals and dolls that are based 100% on your children’s artwork.  You submit a photo and the designer creates a custom doll.

The price is between $90 and $140, plus shipping, but the end product is absolutely fantastic.  Your children will be blown away at seeing their artwork come to life and it is the type of keepsake that they will have forever. Learn more at http://www.childsown.com/.

Erin is one of the co-founders of Ottawa Valley Moms.  She is a work-at-home mom with a 20-month-old daughter named Willow. She and her husband, Steve, have been married since 2005 and they live in the suburbs of Ottawa. Erin is a CHEO Moms & Dads blogger, a Kellogg’s blogger, a YouTube partner, the founder of a virtual assistance company and the founder of an online marketing firm. When she isn’t working she enjoys reading, couponing, going to the movies and gardening.

Visit Ottawa Valley Moms at http://www.ottawavalleymoms.com/ and follow Erin on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/erinblaskie.


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