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Photo Print Fun: Make Your Own Jar of Smiles

14th April 2021

Just like that, we’ve passed the one-year mark of putting life on pause as we once knew it! As we have started to adjust to a new normal, it’s made many of us appreciate the small moments and time spent with those who mean the most to us. In several years’ time, we will look back on this unusual time and be amazed at what we endured through, in addition to what we did to keep us busy.

Lifestyle photographer and mum-of-two, Lucy Warner, thought it was a great idea to create a time capsule with her children to remember the past twelve months in a positive way while looking forward to what’s to come. After printing off a collection of their favourite photo prints from across the year, along with drawings and notes on the things that made them smile, Lucy sat down with her two boys, Alfie and Hudson, to create their very own ‘Jar of Smiles’.

Read on to discover how she came up with this lovely idea and get inspired to create your own lockdown Jars of Smiles. It’s a great activity to enjoy with your children, friends and other family members to look back on this strange time in future with positivity.

“The past year has certainly been mentally challenging for us all – especially for the children! With schools and nurseries closed across the country, both Alfie and Hudson have been through all kinds of emotions, every single day. Looking back, the first lockdown was pretty novel – it felt like a holiday in parts, with the sun shining and all the time in the world to hang out as a family, from exploring woodlands to playing in paddling pools and having plenty of fun in the garden.

Alfie and Hudson are both very active, sociable, fun children. They usually spend a lot of time with grandparents every week and enjoy playdates with their friends. My partner and I actively take them out on adventures every weekend, wanting to do as much as we can with them whilst they are young. This is why the unfolding lockdowns across the winter months felt very different as we weren’t able to explore the outdoors like we did in the summer.

Last summer, the boys did amazingly well and enjoyed being together in our little family bubble. But then it sunk in when they had to do it all over again… They started to become more aware of the limitations and began to ask every five minutes why it was happening and when things would change.

Whilst spending more time together as a family than ever before, our bonds deepened; we laughed, and we cried. As expected, it came with many challenges, but we wanted to make sure that we look back on this unusual time in a positive way. We started to document this unprecedented event they’re living through, bringing together the memories we created to look back on in future and share with friends and family when we are reunited again.

And so the Jar of Smiles was born. We filled their jars with all sorts of things that were important to them, right at that moment. There were countless times when the boys would ask me whether they could visit people they missed or to go out on adventures – the jar was a wonderful way to channel these questions, writing them down on a small slip of paper that will give us plenty of ideas and things to do when lockdown ends! It was a place for them to add their hopes and dreams, all the things to look forward to that would make them happy, as well as to remember the happy times of the past year.

The boys added pictures they drew, paintings they did to thank the NHS, along with some of their favourite small toys. One afternoon, we sat down and painted some rocks they found on a woodland walk, writing words and feelings that make us smile – the perfect addition to our Jars of Smiles.

My favourite part was adding a selection of photos, especially of the family and friends they miss. As a lifestyle photographer, I love capturing the most authentic emotion and actions possible, which made a great addition to their jars. I ordered a range of Photo Prints and Mini Prints with Boots Photo, from pictures of them bonding together as siblings, to stepping out for daily walks as a family. They also wanted to store all the things they wanted to do after lockdown, so I printed photos of past holiday memories, playdates with best friends, theatre visits and family they miss.

The Jar of Smiles is a great way for the children to pick out what they're most looking forward to when everything gets back to normal again, as well as appreciate the little things and moments they got up to during lockdown. In future, they’ll be able to look back over this unusual time and see what they got up to!”

Create Your Own Jars of Happiness

You don’t have to be a professional photographer or have children to get involved in this fun activity. Whether you celebrated a milestone moment, birthday or occasion, or simply want to remember the happy moments from across the year, print your special memories with Boots Photo and create your own Jar of Happiness. Any meaningful moment that made you smile, regardless of how big or small it was, will make a great addition to your lockdown jar that you will love to look back through in future.

If you’d like to find about more about Lucy and her lifestyle photography, head on over to lucyewarner.com or give her a follow on Instagram at @lucyewarnerphotography.

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