Thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to ask this question. For those who are deeply into scrapbooking, we know about the chipboard books you can buy and then decorate as you want. You can find these at scrapbook stores or craft stores that have a good scrapbooking section. You can also do a Google search on "chipboard books" to find a place online to order from.
Chipboard is a stiff cardboard made from the same stuff that they make puzzle pieces with. So it's stiff enough for children to handle and play with. If you buy the kind that is held together with D rings or key rings, then you could laminate it. It wouldn't be completely waterproof but should last through sticky fingers.
If you laminate them you will need to keep it simple with no 3D embellishments. But photos, stickers, fun scrapbook papers should be slim enough to be laminated.
These chipboard books can be mini scrapbook albums but if you are creative, you could even make personalized children's books. For instance, if you want to teach your toddler to count you could take photos of things around your own house and then create a counting hard page book. So little Junior is learning to count with things he knows from around the house. For instance I have 5 dogs and I could use small photos of our 5 dogs for the number "5". Same with alphabet books. You can get real creative by making your own hardboard books. But remember they are being made for children who WON'T treat them like heirlooms. So don't overdo because they could be accidentally dropped in the bathtub, spit up on, or have things peeled off by little fingers. And don't put anything on it that could be choked on like buttons and little ribbons and such. It's pretty for us but don't tempt fate with children.
Another idea for my reader is a smaller regular photo album. You can buy one and fill with your photos. You can also have them made just like a picture book at most photo development places. You can order them online too where you can select your photos and arrange their placement and then order the book and it's very reasonable.
Or you can buy a regular photo album and place the photos in yourself. So it can be as simple or fancy as you like.
After placing family photos in the photo album then use it for bedtime stories. For instance one or two pages devoted to each family member so that when you turn to that place in the book it has all photos of brother (or other family member). This book would be used only under supervision and you could tell family stories with each photo. It's small enough to bring to the bed and for the child to handle (under supervision). For instance a photo of Grandpa and tell the story of Grandpa building his own tree house or a photo of Aunt Sue and tell the story of how Aunt Sue met Uncle Ben. This not only makes your child sleepy but gives them faces of the family and cements it with family stories. Soon they should be able to name the people in the album and even tell the stories. And I know you know different stories for each family member so it won't get boring.
I hope I've given you some ideas and thank you, again, for your kind comments and your question.