I love when I actually DO something with our massive digital photo collection. Anything! Email them. Back them up. Frame them. And if its something the kids can use in their play, even better.
This is my favorite way to create baby’s first family photo album:
I’ve made a lot of these as 1st birthday gifts. They are perfect for the 6 month to 2 year old in your life. Go ahead. Do it. Get thee to Marshalls or a toy store. Buy a puzzle ($7 – $14). Print some photos at home or at the drugstore (no glamour shots needed, cell phone shots will do just fine). Cut. Glue. Go nuts when your baby giggles like crazy to find you under the triangle piece.
If you are still thinking about it, I’ll show you just how easy it is…
Start with a cute puzzle with chunky knobs – something easy for little hands. Someday we’ll make our own puzzles, just not today. I like this basic puzzle because the pieces are large, making it easy to cut the photos to size. I once used a Winnie the Pooh puzzle for this project and it was exhaustingly tricky to try to make Mom fit into Tigger’s body and Dad into Eeyore’s.
Count the number of pieces (you can get a little one to help you here). Pick a theme for the photos (immediate family, baby’s playmates, neighbors, etc.) and print some photos. Figure out a layout. It may take a few tries and you may need to crop and zoom a little or switch a photo’s layout from portrait to landscape.
I’ve tried a few methods for trimming the photos to fit in the puzzle space. You can use a pencil or chalk to trace the puzzle piece directly on the photo and then cut along your trace line. I’ve found it quicker and just as neat to simply hold the puzzle piece directly up to the photo and trim around.
Once you’ve trimmed all the photos, set them in their designated spaces and make sure you are happy with the layout.
Adhere photos directly to the puzzle. A little glue holds the photos in place (too much can make the photo bubble a bit). I used white Elmer’s. Let dry before you try to insert the pieces, just in case the glue oozes a bit.
These knob puzzles are no longer challenging for my little guy, but I think I can stretch this one a bit longer if I write the names of each family member on the top of the puzzle pieces, as Noah can now find his own name and a few others (Ryan, Mom, Dad, Nana, Papa). Today should be a good day for him to learn Gigi (that’s Great Grandma), Grandma and Hey Babe (that’s Grandpa)!
Have older kids at home too? Print the same photos for them in 8 by 10 or on 8.5 by 11 inch paper. Slide into plastic sheet protectors (or ziploc bags) and let the kids doodle on glasses, facial hair, bow-ties, etc. with washable or dry-erase markers.