The Best Memory Books for Grandparents to Give to Grandchildren of 2022

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Asian grandmother and grandchildren looking at photo album

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You can give your grandchildren something that no one else can: a gift of your memories, recorded in a special keepsake book. It's important to select the book that fits your situation and life experiences, as well as the size of the book that you are comfortable writing in. (Sizes are approximate.)

Here, our picks for the best memory and keepsake books grandparents can give their grandchildren.

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The Grandparent Book: A Keepsake Journal

The Grandparent Book: A Keepsake Journal

This is a cute, modern take on the traditional grandparent journal. It is organized by sections, from childhood to grandparenthood. The questions are in easy completion format. This book is by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the author of numerous children's books, whose "You May Want to Marry My Husband" letter went viral just weeks before she died of cancer.

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Grandma, Do You Remember When?: Sharing a Lifetime of Loving Memories

Grandma, Do You Remember When?

Designed for a grandmother, this book features beautiful artwork by award-winning illustrator Jim Daly. In hardcover, this book comes in a generous size. This book is perfect for a grandmother in a traditional family of faith. It would not be as suitable for a divorced grandmother or someone with an unconventional lifestyle. One other drawback is that it does not have a spot for a family tree or designated areas for photographs.

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Grandpa, Do You Remember When?: Sharing a Lifetime of Loving Memories

Grandpa, Do You Remember When?

Much like the grandmother journal reviewed above, this grandfather journal is best suited for a traditional family. The illustrations are beautiful, but they often depict scenes that seem to be set a hundred or so years ago. In other words, they don't realistically depict what a modern grandfather's childhood was like. If that doesn't bother you, though, this book is a great choice.

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Memories for My Grandchild

Memories For My Grandchild

This book is one of the largest formats available, so if you are looking for a book that's easy to write in, consider this one. Specifically for a grandmother, it features a family tree and many places for photographs. The vintage-style illustrations are perfect for old-fashioned grandmothers.

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Questions to Bring You Closer to Grandma and Grandpa: 100+ Conversation Starters for Grandparents of Any Age

Questions to Bring You Closer to Grandma and Grandpa

This unique take on a grandparent's journal is actually designed for a grandchild to fill out. It contains questions for both Grandma and Grandpa. It's a perfect choice for grandparents who aren't willing or able to fill out a journal on their own. There are no fancy illustrations or other extras.

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Reflections: A Jewish Grandparent's Guide to Memories

Reflections: A Jewish Grandparent's Guide to Memories

Designed for a Jewish grandmother and grandfather, this journal is intended for grandparents who are willing to put a lot of effort into creating a valuable keepsake. The questions are very detailed, and there are spaces for documents, photos, and a family tree. It is perfect for Jewish grandparents who take their heritage seriously.

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Grandparents' Memory Book: Did You Really Walk Five Miles to School?

Grandparents' Memory Book: Did You Really Walk Five Miles to School?

If you are buying a journal for a grandparent with a sense of humor, you've come to the right place! This journal is designed for one grandparent of any gender. It features questions generated by real kids. It is illustrated with vintage photographs but has no space for grandparents to put in their own photographs. There's also no family tree. 

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A Grandparent's Legacy: Your Life Story in Your Own Words

A Grandparent's Legacy

This book takes a different approach to creating a keepsake. It is set up by months, with 12 questions per month. The idea is to cut up the task into bite-sized pieces so that the process doesn't seem overwhelming. Designed for one grandparent of either gender, the spiral-bound book has some room for photographs.

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Grandmother Remembers: A Written Heirloom for My Grandchild

Grandmother Remembers: A Written Heirloom for My Grandchild

This hardcover book with delicate vintage-style illustrations is designed for a grandmother. It features a family tree and many places for photographs. It's perfect for traditional, old-fashioned grandmothers but not particularly suitable for divorced grandmothers.

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I Want You To Know Me... Love, Grandma & Grandpa

I Want You To Know Me

This journal takes yet another approach as it is designed for both grandparents to fill out. There are, however, other editions for a grandma or a grandpa to fill out individually. Because questions avoid bringing up the past but focus instead on grandparents' personal characteristics and ideas, it would be suitable for grandparents with a painful past that they don't particularly want to share. There are places for one photograph of each grandparent.

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The Grandmother Book: A Book About You for Your Grandchild

The Grandmother Book

Lively language and sprightly illustrations make this grandmother book a winner. Specifically for a grandmother, it features a family tree and many places for photographs. A hardcover book with cheerful illustrations, it has a humorous tone, with some questions utilizing slang. Again, it is most suitable for traditional grandmothers and may not work for divorced grandmothers.

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Grandparent's Memory Book for Jewish Families

Grandparent's Memory Book for Jewish Families

This memory book for Jewish families combines the usual questions with questions about Jewish education and celebrations. Designed for one grandparent of any gender, it has some room for photographs or mementos. A lay-flat binding makes it easy to write in. It's perfect for Jewish grandparents who want a book that's simple to fill out.

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Grandmother Remembers Holidays: An Album of Memories and Photos for My Grandchild

Grandmother Remembers Holidays

Holiday journals allow grandparents and grandchildren to experience special times over and over. Specifically for a grandmother, this journal focuses on family celebrations. As such, it makes a nice adjunct to other grandparent journals. "Winter holiday" and "spring holiday" allow flexibility for families that don't celebrate Christmas and Easter. It features a family tree and many places for photographs.

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Grandparents' Journal

Grandparents' Journal

This journal is meant for a grandmother and grandfather to fill out together. It's perfect for grandparents with large, close families. A good quality hardcover, this book also features pockets to hold photographs and keepsakes, but there is no family tree. 

What to Look for in Keepsake Books for Grandchildren

Size and Layout

A keepsake book for your grandchild is a lovely idea, but if it’s too big or too small you might find it difficult to actually use. Make sure you buy a book that you are comfortable writing in, with a cohesive layout that works for the information you want to share. That might mean plenty of empty space to write about your memories or perhaps lots of writing prompts and questions so you can tackle the project in bite-sized chunks.

Reflective of You

You want your grandchild to feel connected to you through their keepsake book, so choose one that reflects who you are and your life experiences. You can do this by opting for cover artwork that you like, or one you can customize and make your own by providing space to include your own photographs or keepsakes. 

Perhaps you are of a particular faith, are divorced or known for your humor. If you feel that there are certain aspects of your life that define you or that you would like to acknowledge, choose a keepsake book that includes language or imagery that nods to these things. 

Family Tree

Not all keepsake books include space for you to chart your family tree, but this is the easiest way for you to tell your grandchildren about their ancestors. Even a basic diagram could help them piece together why they look like they do, where they might have inherited a particular interest or even answer the question of where their name came from.

Access to their family tree can give children a solid understanding of who they are and where they come from, so it's worth looking for a keepsake book that includes this feature.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should I put in a keepsake book?

    If there is anything you would like to share with your grandchild or want them to remember about you, include it in their keepsake book. This will likely be information surrounding your life and family history. If so, start with significant life events, such as where and when you were born, what your childhood was like, what your first job was or what their parent (your child) was like growing up. 

    Don't feel like you only have to share the good bits, either; research shows that coming from a family that has experienced adversity gives children a shared sense of resilience.

    You might also want to include any memories you have of when your grandchild was born, or recall special times you have spent together. You could also write about any hopes and dreams you have for their future or a piece of advice you would like to share with them.

  • What are the benefits of keepsake books?

    While family identity might not be hugely important to your grandchild right now, it almost certainly will be at some point in their lives. However, unless we write them down, our memories and stories only last as long as we do.

    By writing about your family's stories, you are ensuring that future generations will always have access to them. So, even if your grandchild already knows the basic facts about your life, a keepsake book is an opportunity for you to always be able to tell them about it in your own words.

  • Why is sharing your family history important?

    Access to their family history isn’t just a nice thing for your grandchildren to have. Research indicates that children with a firm grasp of their family’s narrative have better overall emotional health.

    A study conducted at Emory University in Atlanta asked children a series of questions such as, “Do you know where your grandparents grew up?” and “Do you know of an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family?” Their findings showed that the more the children knew about their family, the greater their resilience, self-esteem and sense of control over their lives. 

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  1. Bohanek JG, Marin KA, Fivush R, Duke MP. Family narrative interaction and children’s sense of self. Family Process. 2006;45(1):39-54. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2006.00079.x