The Kissing Hand: A Family Photo Book

Love From Home Family Photo Book | Mama Papa Bubba

This little ‘love from home’ family photo book has come in handy in so many situations.  While I originally made it to help Miss G cope with heading back to Kuwait after a particularly lovely summer filled with family and friends, she’s held it close during all kinds of potentially difficult transition and separation periods – while I’ve been in Dubai for the weekend, while Brad’s been out of country for conferences, while missing her cousins back in home in Canada, while having troubles falling falling asleep, or after a bad dream – it’s provided her some comfort.  

Now that she’s just begun Kindergarten {today was her very first drop-off day – sob!}, it’s currently being kept in the ‘just in case pouch’ of her backpack {along with a spare set of clothes and a non-sugary treat for when unexpected treats are brought into the classroom} to help ease the transition.  I think just knowing it’s there is helping her feel more comfortable about being away, but she also knows that if she’s feeling a little sad or lonely, she can ask her teacher if she can get it out to hold.

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The idea came from one of my very favourite books for little ones – The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  If you haven’t read it yet, you must.  It’s absolutely perfect for little ones starting daycare, preschool, or Kindergarten, and I don’t think I’ve ever taught a year of Kindergarten without reading it to my class within the first couple of days of the year.  It’s the story of a little raccoon who’s headed off to school for the first time, but is feeling very anxious and worried about the transition.  In order to ease his fears, his mother shares a family secret – the kissing hand – with him and sends him off to school with some love from home tucked into his little paws… Truly heartwarming!

Our heart-shaped family photo book was inspired by that same idea…  A little love from home to ease the worries of an upcoming transition.

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To make it, I gathered up a few very simple materials…  Some red construction paper, scissors, a pencil, a glue stick, some cardboard from the recycling bin, and a photo of each of our immediate family members printed off on a regular home printer.  First up, I cut out two heart-shaped templates, one slightly larger and one slightly smaller, from the cardboard.  Then I used the larger one to cut out a red construction paper heart for each photo I wanted in the book and I used the smaller one as a guide when cutting out my photos.

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The trickiest part was making sure not to cut anyone’s head off {eek!} when transforming the photos into heart shapes, so I lightly traced the hearts right onto the photos with pencil and then just made sure to cut just inside of my pencil line afterwards.

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Next up, I glued the photos onto the red hearts…

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And printed off a little name tag of sorts for each person in the book {though this part could very easily just be done by hand using a fine liner}.

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Next, I decided on an order for my photos and glued the name tags onto the backs of the red hearts so that Gracen would be able to see both the person’s name and photo when the pages were open flat.

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Oh, I should mention that I created a quick cover for the book using a photo of Miss G and some simple text that reads ‘Love From Home’ too…

Then I simply used an inexpensive home laminator to laminate each of the pages.  This part can always be done at a copy centre, but if you’re someone who enjoys making different types of resources to use with your kids, I highly recommend investing in one.  I used the one we had in Kuwait constantly and am now deciding if I’ll replace it with this Scotch, this Scotch Pro, or this more heavy-duty looking Apache {all of which have really good reviews} for here in Canada.

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Once my laminating was done and cut out, I punched two holes in the top corner of each of the pages and threaded them together loosely with some embroidery floss as a temporary solution…  Later I replaced the string with two very small book rings found at a stationary / office supply store.  The pages now turn beautifully and the book opens up flat without any page bending, so I’d highly recommend finding the book rings if you make your own version of this  photo book.

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And there you have it…  Our little family photo book inspired by The Kissing Hand.

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Miss G just loves hers and it’s still in pretty much near perfect condition, even after a year of being trekked all over the world, slept with, and read time and time again.

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2 thoughts on “The Kissing Hand: A Family Photo Book

  1. This is the sweetest thing I have ever seen! I have heard of this book and am now so inspired to get it to read to my 2.5 year old and also to make this for my daughter! I got teary reading through this post. Thank you!

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