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Making Memories: Simple Home Improvement Projects With Heirloom Appeal

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Most parents have been known to occasionally lament the speed at which their children change from cuddly cherubs to young adults, busy with their own lives. Pictures, videos and a box full of keepsakes help families cherish these memories, but sometimes a more lasting tribute is needed. If you would like to document your children's growth in a more permanent and visible way, the following home improvement projects are sure to provide heirloom appeal for generations to come.

Sidewalk Art Complete with Signature

Families who plan to live in their homes for a lifetime can create special memories by having a new sidewalk installed and allowing each child (or grandchild) to "draw" on the wet concrete before it cures. To make sure the project goes smoothly, consider having the children practice drawing on a sheet of craft paper, cut to the same size as the concrete section of the sidewalk.

The same stick figures, trees, cars, and sailboats that pre-school through early elementary school children often draw at school will create a unique piece of art for the front sidewalk that is sure to spark pleasant memories and conversations for generations to come. Older children can draw more complicated designs or add a favorite poem or song lyric. Make sure to have each child add their initials, hand prints and the date, to make their heirloom artwork even more special.

Individual Stamped Concrete Stepping Stones

Families who will be moving at some point can also enjoy making this type of memory with their children by making individual stamped concrete stepping stones for a backyard path or for decorative effects along a patio or existing walkway. Choose a design that will be large enough to give children a suitable surface to create their masterpiece, yet still be small enough to be easily removed and taken along when the family moves to a different home. As in the other project, make sure that the children initial their work, add a hand print, and the year to each stone.

Since individual stepping stones take up little room and can be arranged in many different ways, consider having an annual "Stepping Stone Celebration" where children can design a new stone each year. This is a wonderful way to capture snapshots of their growth and artistic development down through the years.

Before beginning either project, take time to consult with a local concrete contractor who specializes in stamped concrete sidewalks, patios, driveways, floors, and porches. They will be able to help you plan the project and choose tints and protective finishes and glazes that will enhance and protect the projects for a lifetime.

For stamped concrete services, contact a company such as W C Lowery Inc.