Travel Journaling For Kids/ Travel Scrapbook
Travel journals are magical things. They can transport you back to a different time and place and in the case of travel journals made my kids, they will showcase reflections of their young minds in years to come. Trust me when I say, travel journals become treasured keepsakes. My kids love to flip through their simple journal/scrapbooks and I’m sure your kids will, too.
Besides capturing memories travel journals are also great “keep busy” activities for car (or other) travel and for down time in hotel rooms. Kids annoying each other? Have them move to opposite ends of the hotel room and work on their journals.
A simple trip to the dollar store or office supply store will get you these materials:
- coiled subject notebook
- pencil case
- Small set of markers
- pencil and sharpener/pen
- glue stick
- (Optional) little stickers for decorations
- child safe scissors (To pack in another spot in the case of air travel)
*NOTE: If you fear siblings quarrelling, buy each child a notebook and make separate pencil case sets
I. BEFORE YOU LEAVE
1. Buy materials (listed above)
2. Fill each pencil case with needed supplies (taking note that if you are flying you cannot have scissors in the pencil case if it will be carry on).
3. Introduce the idea to your kids by showing them the supplies and book and explaining what they will be doing.
4. (Optional) Your children could decorate the front covers of their journal/scrapbook. Preparation often makes kids more excited about an idea.
5. (Optional) You could pack a manila envelope with additional things your kids could include in the scrapbook. Some examples might be printed online maps of your travel route (like from google maps or yahoo maps), coloring pages of things you will see or do, or coloring pages of the state/province/country flag or crest etc. (you can find some here http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/history-and-social-studies/social-studies-coloring-pages/ by clicking on Places on the left-hand side).
II. WHILE YOU TRAVEL/AT THE HOTEL ETC.
1. Have your kids write the date on a fresh page in their travel journal/scrapbook.
2. Next, help your kids brainstorm what they did or saw that day. For younger kids you can encourage early writing by having them write specific words (like beach, grandma and grandpa, ice-cream…which you will spell out for them) or you can have them dictate and you can write for them (I often have my sons then write the last word of the sentence). Grade school kids won’t need much help. Just encourage them to recall the day.
3. Kids can then glue in any mementos (like restaurant menus, museum or other entrance tickets, maps, brochures you’ve collected.
4. Kids can decorate the pages with stickers or markers or they can draw out something they’ve seen (good for younger kids who don’t write yet).
5. We always left room to glue in photos for when we returned home.
NOTE: This doesn’t have to be done each day but it might be nice to do each day as “unwinding time”.
III. WHEN YOU RETURN
1. (Option) Additional brochures, tickets or vouchers can be glued in upon return (busy work while laundry is being done, or rainy day or weekend activity).
2. (Optional) Look through photos of your holiday together and pick your favourites. You can print out photos from your computer or from a store and have your kids glue their favourites in. OR insert jpgs of your photos on the computer to create a collage or resized pictures and then glue in this page of have kids cut out the small images and glue throughout.
3. Look through the journal together and remember the fun you had together as a family!
HAVE YOUR KIDS OUTGROWN CUT AND PASTE CRAFTS:
If your kids have outgrown cut and paste crafts, never fear. It’s time for your older child/Tween/teen to move on to an old fashioned written journal.
Instead of buying a large coiled notebook, buy a smaller one or find a colourful one (dollar stores often have fun ones) or a nice hard cover one (we found some at a craft store or you can buy expensive but nice ones at book stores).
Encourage your older kids to write more details about what you’ve done and seen. What was their favourite activity. What did they see that was unique or different? What foods did they try that they’ve never eaten before? What funny things happened as you journeyed? What were the highlights of the day? Even if your child isn’t big into writing just encourage them to jot down in point form the things your family saw or did that day. Years from now, reading these books will spark memories and help them to remember long forgotten details of their holidays.
“The joy of the journey is equally divided between the planning and the remembering. “ - Unknown
A Travel Scrapbook/Journal becomes a treasured memory keeper!
Photo: C Wright
Older kids may prefer to write in a hardcover journal!
Some sample pages from my son’s Travel Scrapbook