50 Jar Gifts: idea #16 “Children” Story Prompts

Children’s Story Prompt Jar

This is the fourth in a series of story prompt jar gifts with questions geared for kids. The idea is a set of questions in a jar that you can pull out to help a child to remember and record some of the events from their lives. I printed it on chipboard but they could be printed on cardstock. There is a different color on each end of the question so that once you have answered it you can turn it over in the jar and keep track of which questions you haven’t answered yet. The questions are intended you spark kids memory and lead them to other thoughts and memories. Let their ideas flow and see where they take you.

back of story prompts sheet

The first sheet in the file is the back of the story prompt. This sheet is optional but it helps in keeping track of which set of story prompts the question comes from and adds more color to the jar. I start by printing four copies of the first page (full bleed if your printer has that option) and then feed these pages back into the printer to print the question pages. (You should refer to your printer manual to know the right way to feed these into your printer.)

story prompts question sheets

The next four sheets are the questions. After printing these pages need to be cut apart by cutting the sheet in half (the long way) at 5.5″ and then every 1 1/16″ to finish cutting the questions apart. I also like to use a corner rounder on each question but that is optional. Though it looks nice and will help the questions not get so dog-eared with use.

story prompts question sheets

story prompts question sheet

story prompts question sheet

The last page has an insert for the canning jar lid (wide mouth quart or pint and a half work great) and a set of tags to tie on to the jar with simple instructions. There is a journal cover so that you can also give them a place to record the memories for sharing and future reference. Cut another piece of chipboard or heavy cardstock for the back along with some blank or lined paper for the inside. Then bind them together by your chosen method. I’m lucky enough to have a wire binding machine but you can get the journal bound at your local copy center. This sheet isn’t strictly necessary but it helps pull the gift together into a nice package.

jar lid, tags and journal cover sheet

I am putting the jar and journal in a gift bag along with some treats to munch on while answering the questions to help get them started on recording their memories.jar gift logos17

Feel free to use these files for personal use and gifts. You can download pdfs here.

Questions come from those at StoryCorps.org.


20 Questions – Favorite Things Book

20 Questions

I found this simple little book today. I so love this idea. It is so simple but gives such an interesting snap shot of growing up. It is just a list of questions about a child’s favorite things to be answered each year from age three to eighteen. Here is how the author, Nicole Reaves, describes her book.

Capture memories from your little ones childhood with this birthday interview book. Here is how it works :

Every year, on or around your child’s birthday, you ask the same 20 questions listed within the pages of the book and fill in their answers. Questions like : What is your favorite color? What is your favorite song? Then, add a photo of the child on the opposite page. Easy, right? Repeat next year and for the next 14 years. 16 years in all.

Think of how fun it will be to look through this memory book in your child’s teenage and young adult years! See how much they changed from year to year. When it’s full, keep it for yourself, or give it to the interviewee.

This book was designed to be a fun way to record and remember simple memories from the childhood of your kids, grand kids, nieces, nephews, godchildren, or any little one in your life.

20 Questions (Pink)

Gift Idea #42 – Family Coloring Book

idea numbers42I got this idea from a neighbor of my parents. They put together simple coloring books to tell the story of an ancestor. They have done one every year to share at their annual family reunion. They now have nine coloring books. Each book tell a simple story with clip art for the kids to color that goes along with the story. I love this idea. I can’t wait to put a coloring book together too. I’ll have to add it to my list of future projects.

If you would like to see their coloring books you can find them here.

Gift Idea #22 – Flash Cards

idea numbers22This is another idea inspired by Pin Hole Press. For the younger family members flash cards with pictures of extended family members or ancestors would be lots of fun. The ones on Pin Hole Press are way cute but you could make your own with a little time and effort. I think flash cards would be fun way to teach family and the many people who make up your family.

You could include places or objects that have significance to your family too. With some brainstorming I’m sure you could come up with a lot more ideas than you realize. Each card could have a story or stories that you can share with the little ones about the person, place or thing.

Pin Hole Press Flash Cards


Gift Idea #7 – Children’s Story Book

If you have followed my blog you know how excited I am about the illustrated children’s story book we are working on about my great-great-grandmother, Mary Taylor. Even though we won’t have this project finished for Christmas it would make a great gift. (Our deadline is actually for my mom’s 90th birthday in March.) With the Mary book I try to imagine it being used as a bed time story for Mary’s many descendants.

Do you have a family story that would lend itself to a story with illustrations? The pictures could be simple drawings or you could set up a photo shoot and have “actors” dress up to illustrate the story. The text doesn’t have to be complicated or long, the illustrations will help tell the story. Publishing could be as simple as printing it on your computer and/or taking it to your local copy center to make copies and have it bound. Of course a print on demand service such as Blurb or Lulu would also work. I think this project would be a perfect way to share one of your family stories with the next generation. Plus I think that even the older members of your family will take the time to read a short illustrated story when they would never take the time to read a long family history book.

Olive Us

A new web TV series started this week that I want to share with you. I think it is a great example of another way to look at telling family tales. I really like the concept behind Olive Us and it got me thinking about new ways to look at sharing what matters to us. Stories aren’t just about events they are also about the values we live by. First watch Ben’s explanation of the concept behind the series and then watch the first episode.


Aren’t the Blair children amazing. Ben and Gabby live next door to us in Provo about 15 years ago when they were just starting their family. My, how grown-up they are now. Such a fun family. I’m looking forward to upcoming episodes of Olive Us.

What family values do you want to capture? Do you have any ideas on how you want to share them?


Candy Sculpture Class

Tonight I taught a class at the Gale Center. The purpose of the class was to expose potential candy artists to the basic principles of creating a sculpture out of candy. We ran into a couple of challenges. There was no requirement to register so we had no idea how many people would come. We prepared for 20 and about twice that showed up. The second was the kids. We had lots of kids show up. Actually most of the participants came as families. There was lots of scrambling to get the needed supplies and power to all of the glue guns but everyone seemed to have a good time. There was lots of chaos and all thoughts of teaching how to make the little snowman step by step disappeared after the first set of instructions. The students all seemed to have trouble with getting the snowflake sprinkles I had to cover the Styrofoam balls to stick. But they were all very creative in how they did their hats and other parts of the snowman. I think we will be doing more classes in the future but we will require registration and have separate classes for adults and kids/families.