Traditionally, I ask my kids their 20 Questions on their birthday each year and then add a recent photo to the opposite page. We updated them at the beginning of June - as we always do since they are two years and two days apart. As they've gotten older, I've realized there are so many more things that could be added to these annual interviews. I have done several layouts over the years that document change (like this one of Morgan and her progression of missing teeth and this one of our house through seasonal changes) and they are among my very favorite additions to a project.
Here are five things you can do to really make your child's 20 Questions book your own.
REPLACE THE PHOTO WITH A DRAWING
If your child is artistic, add a recent drawing (or self portrait!) to the spread. This would be cute in addition to an actual photo of them for comparison.
ADD THEIR HANDWRITTEN NAME
Ask your child to write their name in it each year. Use the margins in either the printed book or the printable to have your son or daughter write their name. As a lover of all things handwritten, this is something I have enjoyed seeing change and improve over the years of my young children.
LET THEM FILL IN THE BLANKS
Also, consider letting them write their own answers. This probably wouldn't work well in the really early years, but depending on your child's interest and temperament, is also a fun option for getting their handwriting, mis-spellings and all, into their book.
INCLUDE A QR CODE
If you are tech savvy, shoot a video of your child answering the 20 Questions, upload it to YouTube and create a QR code you can print and add to the book. If you've never done this before, I promise it's easier than it sounds! Check out my tutorial on how to add a QR code to your memory keeping projects here. I don't know how long QR codes will be popular, or how this technology will change over the years, but I love the idea of not only getting their face, but also their voice into this project.
DITCH THE BOOK AND ADD IT TO AN EXISTING PROJECT
If you are already maintaining some sort of scrapbook album, consider forgoing the idea of keeping a 20 Questions Book and just use the annual interviews in a traditional scrapbook layout or Project Life. Some parents express concern over keeping a dedicated book for a variety of reasons :
- They worry that they will forget to do it each year
- They worry as their child gets older they won't be as eager or cooperative to answer the questions and want the option to skip a year.
- They want to start later than age 3 and don't want the gaps in the print book from missing those early years.
Instead, incorporate the interview printable into projects you are already doing!
Have you been doing Project Life for years? Great! Add the interview as an insert in the corresponding month / week of their birthday.
Are traditional scrapbook layouts your go-to form of memory keeping? You can use the printable to create a 2-page scrapbook layout (and add other items like the ones listed above to the page).
Do you keep a school themed album for your kids with their photos and latest academic achievements? Include the annual interview with each school year as a way to remember their favorites.
After my kids complete the interviews, the best part is going back through past years and seeing how much they've changed (or stayed the same!) It almost always becomes a conversation starter with requests to tell them more about what they were like "when they were little."