Between home movies, school art projects, childhood books and all the other things worth holding on to, the average parent has amassed 1,293 keepsakes—so you don’t need to lament not doing more to preserve memories of your kids’ childhoods.

A new survey looked at parental sentimentality and examined all the things that moms and dads treasure—long after the chicks have flown from the nest.

Photographs make up the bulk of items that have been deemed worth saving, with moms and dads putting an average of 21 photographs of their children on display in the home.

Many keepsakes revolve around a child’s “firsts”; more than 6 in 10 parents surveyed have hair from their child’s first haircut, as well as baby teeth and ultrasound images.

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The study of 2,000 American parents of school-aged children, commissioned by Canon U.S.A. and conducted by OnePoll, found that it can be hard to part with items of sentimental value.

The average household has five boxes of keepsakes, and six in 10 parents wish they had more of those items on display, instead of stashed under the bed.

For instance, children bring home an average of 47 art projects a year from elementary school, and parents report keeping 35 percent of them. If only those projects were in frames and not in the closet!

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With all the keepsakes parents have amassed, half of them plan to make a scrapbook or place their printed photographs in a photo album.

Parents hold on to keepsakes for a variety of reasons, but 71 percent reported collecting them with the intent to show their children later in life. Many plan to eventually give the collected keepsakes to their child.

The items serve to remind parents of happy memories—and looking through the collected items can immediately make them feel proud of their children.

Maybe that’s why, even with all the keepsakes parents do have, 53 percent of those polled regret not having more.

Be Sure And Share The Research With Your Fellow Families On Social Media – Photo by Studio 7042 from Pexels


  1. My Mother kept a folder for each of us kids. In it were report cards, any certificates (meaningful ones), and a sample of something from each year, usually an art project. When I graduated high school and went to college my Mother gave me the folder and I added to it during college. I even had occasion to go back to it for some sort of documents. I still have it. She has my baby teeth and a lock of hair but I have my baby book, which she religiously kept up all the while I was growing up. Little foot prints and everything. I also have a few stuffed animals and toys, although most were handed down and destroyed by my younger siblings. My sister’s baby book isn’t as thorough as mine as by the time it came around to her my Mom had three kids, was tied and kinda over it.

    I’ve kept little puppy books for each dog I’ve had and I have a few keepsakes from each one.

    • That’s so cool, I think. Really endearing. My mom did the same, and when I had kids, I already had the idea to do it with them, because of how special it made me feel to know she cared.

      So funny that the later kids had less dense books. It happens almost inevitably, as moms have more and more to do with increased number of babies. 🙂

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