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Keeping Family Close For Little Ones

Our older son grew up with grandparents, aunts, and uncles all within an hour of our home.  He was truly raised by a village of people!  However, before the birth of our second son, we moved four hours away from our amazing family support system.  We knew, though, how amazing those relationships with extended family were, so we came up with a way to help our younger son identify his kin as he grew older.

We took pictures of all of our relatives and printed them out on sheets of photo paper.  Then, we mounted these pictures to magnetic sheets.  Next, we cut out each individual person (I cut close to the outline of the person to make them “paper dollish”) and cut out names for labels for each person as well.  Our refrigerator and dish washer are decorated with smiling faces of family and close friends, and our sons both love to “play” with their family.  When we talk to relatives on the phone, the boys can look at that person they are talking to and make a connection with them!

Bridging the Physical Gap for Families

When my older son was little, we lived within 20 minutes of all of our relatives – both sides of the family.  He spent the first four years of his life being immersed in extended family.  But, due to a job change for my husband, we ended up moving about four hours away, creating a huge gap in our families’ lives and our son’s.  We found a way, though, to keep family close while still miles away.

In our new home, we created a “family tree” wall.  We framed pictures of all of our relatives, each person with his or her own individual frame.  And, along the hallway leading to my son’s room, we hung these photos.  Each night, as my son finished his bathroom duties and headed off to bed, we said, “goodnight” to all of our family.  It was (and still is) a wonderful way to keep him in touch with those that were such an intricate part of his first few years.

As an alternative, take a group photo the next time a large number of family are together and frame this.  Keeping it in your child’s room will be a nice way to keep those family members close to your child.  It is a great way to keep loving faces familiar (and names, too).

NOTICE: A Freebie For Everyone!

Clorox has teamed up with Heidi Murkhoff, author of the What to Expect book series, to provide a guide for families entitled What To Expect Guide To A Healthy Home.  It gives practical advice on keeping your home clean and healthy.  And, it is provided free of charge from  To order your own copy, go to and follow the link.

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