When Sofia was a few months old, we got her a passport. We knew we’d be traveling out of the country with her before she turned five, and the prices were about to go up, so we got one (she’s going to be so embarrassed when she’s four-and-a-half and her passport picture is of a baby). It got me thinking, though — what about keeping track of different states where she’s been? As an adult, I occasionally try to think of the different states where I have been, and I usually fail. My memory is not great, and my sense of direction is worse. And so The Only Crafty Thing I’ve Ever Done That Was Worth Talking About was born:
What you will need:
- Small paper notebooks (this is potentially make-able on your own, if you are more crafty than I am) — I ordered these from Amazon for $11.29; kind of pricey for a DIY, but there are 12 books in there, so I made a set for my daughter, my nephew, and my two nieces.
- A way to mark individual states (also potentially make-able on your own) – I ordered these stickers from Amazon for $7.50, because I have terrible handwriting.
- A picture of your kid (it does not have to meet U.S. Passport requirements)
- A date stamp — I like the self-stampers because they are easy to contain and they just feel so official.
What to do:
- Tape a picture of kiddo to the front of the book. That way, nobody can steal the passport and sell it on the black market.
- Put some info on the first page. I put “Passport holder” and her full name, and then “Passport issued” and her date of birth.
- Mark each page with a different state — really easy to do if you use the stickers. The passport books I got from Amazon only have 22 pages, so it took three books to get a page for every state. There are leftover blank pages at the back of the third book which can be used for places in Canada, or as Sofia gets older, she might want to add some specific destinations (grandma’s house,
McDonald’sWhole Foods, etc.)
- Decide on
houseinternational rules for consistency. Our rules say that your feet have to actually touch the ground in the state for it to count, and we sometimes put in descriptions next to the stamp (Aunt Elenor’s house for Christmas!).
- Revel in your awesomeness.
One thing that I had planned to do, and still might do when she’s a bit older, is have her draw a picture next to the stamp for the state. She’s still too uncoordinated for that to be feasible, but it’s an additional idea. Also, I’m considering adding pictures of her in the states to make it even more of a memory keeper.
This craft is easy to do, easy to make look decent, and is something that can be kept up with forever. Sofia just turned two, and some pages (the states in which we’ve lived) are filling up, while some others have a lone stamp. It’s already one of my prized possessions.