When I was a child I had a scrap-book. In it I kept various souvenirs and mementoes. I thought this would be a nice thing to do with my own child, so I bought a scrap-book, then felt guilty ever after for not having got round to putting anything in it, and since my child hasn’t shown much interest, it has fallen by the wayside.
Then, someone told me about the treasure box. Rather like a scrap-book, but without any pesky sticking, and able to contain items of a shape and size other than very thin and flat, the treasure box is a place you can keep, well, anything you like.
Favourite cot toy from babyhood.
Once favourite book now grown out of and cast aside.
Tickets from first train, plane, bus or boat ride, or any rides you like.
Random photos that people have given us and I was never quite sure what to do with.
Selected congratulations cards from when child was born.
Mementoes of special family events; an invitation to Grandad’s 70th birthday party, the birth of a cousin, a wedding….
Selected things my child has made that he was particularly pleased with and likely to remember.
Entry tickets from days out.
A pebble or shell from a day out at the beach.
Achievements; badges and certificates.
Select photos of milestone events – first started to walk, first mastered scooter/bike, first sleepover at Granny’s, first camping trip…….Nowadays we tend to store all our photos electronically, so opportunities to look through photos together, whilst still perfectly possible, just don’t present themselves as readily, so it’s nice to print some select ones out, for the treasure box or for the walls.
If you move house or redecorate you could keep scraps of the old curtains, wallpaper or carpet. It might sound a bit odd but think about your early childhood memories. Think of the home where you grew up. Think of the sights, smells and sounds that you experienced and still remember. Can you remember the colour of the curtains in your bedroom or the pattern on the wallpaper? What could you see from your bedroom window? What sounds did you fall asleep to? What else can you remember that sticks in your mind? All these things, subconsciously at first, make us feel secure and attached.
But the treasure box is not just about attachment and security. It’s about celebrating your child’s life, their unique identity, and helping them build a positive sense of self. It helps develop a sense of passing time and focusses on the many positive aspects of your child’s experiences. Plus, getting the treasure box out and spending some special time together looking through it and talking about it can be a wonderful connecting experience, and a very positive experience for your child.
What’s more, it’s something a child will really value in years to come. Every adult I’ve talked to about the treasure box says how much they’d love to have something like that from their childhood.
So decorate an old box today. Together.