It’s back to school time for families all over the US, and especially here in Maryland. One thing that parents forget to do is to update the ID packs for each child.
With all of the smart phones that the average family has, and thousands of photos and videos on each phone, it’s hard to remember that updating ID packs for children is super important to do. So, after you put a reminder on your calendar to do this this weekend, read over these tips to help you put together a packet that will help you, just in case something happens to your family members.
- Have an Inking Party! Get a stamp pad, easy to find at any craft store or on Amazon, and have each child line up to do finger and thumb prints on paper. There’s a template at the bottom of this newsletter, easy for you to print, and fill out.
- Handwriting assignment! Have your child write a paragraph on the same page, that has their handwriting, with their signature/handwritten name, and have them answer a couple of basic questions, like what their favorite color is and favorite animal. Older kids can write about their favorite music or shows on tv. Take a photograph of the page.
- Have a photo shoot! Getting down to your child’s eye level in a well-lit area, take some photos of your child with different expressions. Have him or her give you a happy look, a sad look, a mad look, a thinking look. Have him or her dress in clothes that they would wear regularly, a school uniform, or their outerwear. If there is an unusual birthmark, scar, or other “mark” on your child, photograph that as well. Remember, this should be updated every 4-6 months, as kids grow quickly, get their hair cut, get glasses, etc.
- Create a video production! This should be fun, and then saved in DropBox, OneDrive, or some other cloud-based product, so it’s easily accessible. Like the photos, these should be updated every 4-6 months for the same reasons, a growth spurt, a hair cut, or new glasses. The direction that you should give your child is to tell a story, so you can get a basic speech pattern. Then tell a couple of knock knock jokes to show how that child interacts with something funny, have him or her sing, and then video him or her walking, running, tumbling, sitting down, standing up, going up and down the stairs. You never know what kind of movement your child does that will help to identify your child in the case that something happens.
- Next, print the photos of your child, and place in a page protector along with the sheet that your child filled out with writing and fingerprints.
- Take the photos and video that you have created and place in its own album on your smart phone. This way everything is together and easily accessible.
This is something I came up with many years ago, after my son and I were separated at Six Flags back in 2005. One of the scariest moments of motherhood is to lose a child, so I turned this experience into a great lesson. This happened before digital cameras were a real thing… but I used my camera to photograph him, my video camera to take video of him, and did his fingerprints and had him write his name and… well, I never needed it, but I had it.
It is my wish that you have this page and use it as often as you want to update. I hope that you’ll never have to use it, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have this done.
I hope that you have a wonderful beginning to the school year.