Make sweet, original vacation mementos with your kids.
Display vacation mementos that are too bulky for a book in a pickle or pasta-sauce jar instead. Paint the lid, label the jar with the time and place, and fill it with trinkets from your trip -- including photos, sand, ticket stubs, even a tiny prize from the boardwalk arcade.
Ask your child to draw a picture of her favorite vacation moment. Use a piece of tracing paper to copy the image with an embroidery transfer pencil ($2; joann.com). Transfer the drawing to a tote bag with an iron and use embroidery thread to go over it with a simple running stitch.
Turn an old sneaker box into a souvenir suitcase. Paint it in the style of a vintage trunk or cover it with a collage of maps and tickets. Glue on grosgrain ribbon to make two straps on each box. Add a sturdy handle by gluing a 1/2" piece of cardstock to each end of another length of ribbon and fasten it to the box with brads. Stow all your memorabilia inside and pull it out during the winter to reminisce.
Transform vacation photos into a homemade version of Colorforms. Snap full-body pictures of your child, along with her toys and the beach. Print them on magnetic photo paper (Avery Magnet Sheets, 8 1/2"x11", $14; amazon.com). Use the beach as the background, cut out the rest, and watch her relive the fun.
Originally published in the August 2012 issue of Parents magazine.