How to Capture Childhood Without a Camera

I’ve never been one to take many pictures, or scrapbook, or keep up on a journal for longer than a few weeks. Even with social media, I lose momentum after a few months. In fact, I recently just realized that I had created (and abandoned) an Instagram account nearly three years ago (and I had only posted one picture). I guess I just get too caught up in things to stop and record what’s going on.

This is a shame, though, especially since I have kids and would actually like to capture something from their childhoods. And while I do have pictures and videos stored on my phone and in the cloud, I have found that I’ve taken fewer of these as my girls have made the babies-to-kids transition.


It’s for this reason that I was inspired by LOOK AT US NOW, a creative family journal by Bernadette Noll. A mother of four, Noll acknowledges both the need to record the fleeting moments, yet also recognizes the simple lack of time most parents are fighting on a daily basis. Her book doesn’t require dutiful record keeping of each lost tooth or milestone made, but rather engages all family members with prompts that help them paint a picture of daily life – one that is often missed by our cameras.

Until you go out and get this book for yourself, try these prompts with your kids the next time you all are gathered together:

  1. Imagine you’re seeing your family for the first time. Describe:
  2. A typical Saturday morning looks like:
  3. The last time we laughed out loud, it was because:

Here’s a page my 6-year-old filled out: Draw a Family Selfie:


~Post by Kelli, nonfiction reader, skeptical spiritual seeker, reluctant Pisces, and blocked artist
9780399176821These tips were taken from LOOK AT US NOW, available at these retailers:

Barnes & Noble
Hudson Booksellers

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