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    « Unleash Your Art Supplies | Main | Pink Inspiration »

    Travel Journals

    For our travels last summer we  got 7 x 10" unlined acid-free "Sketchbook" journals with 70 lb paper and "85 point board" heavy cardboard covers. Made of 100% waste paper and quite sturdy. We decorated the covers with patterned cardstock and packed them up in a plastic box with kids (round tip) scissors, mini-stapler, tape and colored pencils. 

    The reality... we wrote in our journals for just 4 nights. Each night, the kids wrote a play-by-play of their days, but faced with the daunting task of trying to write "everything" they did in the journal, they lost motivation. The idea of capturing thoughts and highlights didn't click, they wanted DETAILS.

    Their journal pages are wonderful; their hand-writing, spelling, descriptions, sketches, what captured their attention.

    For the next trip, I want to give it another go! I think I need to focus their efforts, so that they don't feel they have to write everything down. It's like the All About Me" Board ~ limiting choice somewhat so kids are not overwhelmed by infinite possibility.

    I'm looking for thoughts on how to facilitate, coordinate, convince, bribe, coerce, negotiate, suggest, and otherwise make it more inviting and fun for them to write in a travel journal. I feel that when they are older they will be so happy they did.

    Some ideas so far...

    • Target the writing each day with a writing prompt
    • List the best/worst thing that happened each day
    • Eat jelly beans while writing in our journals
    • Do a treasure hunt, looking for three items to staple into our journals each night

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    Reader Comments (3)

    I am looking forward to reading the answers you will receive. We will be going on a long road trip in September, driving from Canada to Florida and on a cruise. I am planning on doing a little journal myself and would love to have some ideas for the kids to keep their own travel journal too.

    04.29.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

    Once again, your blog has inspired me!
    Thanks so much for sharing creative ideas :)

    04.29.2009 | Unregistered CommenterTrish

    hum, well I have tried this numerous times as well. We did paperbag journals when they were popular. My kids are 9,13,15 as of this summer. We have tried the daily and it never works more than a few days, they get to involved in where and what we are doing and then exhausted. I have had better success with a family journal. They love to give mom "stuff" sometimes they will write or draw in it, they don't mind being interviewed either - if I catch them 1:1 it can get quite interactive. Face it though traveling can be exhausting for all. I always have great intentions but reality is not always matching up. We did a Postcard a day- written to ourselves and sent home that worked out fairly well one year. My husband likes to go and see every minute and the kids and I like some down time but without the down time which we often do not get, there is no opportunity for the journaling, coloring etc.. last year it was finishing pre-drawn coloring pages- all three were engaged in this. Despite taking them to all the wonderful sights to be seen, I have faith that the creekside Picnic followed by rock gathering will be among the top memories. What do I suggest, don't give up, I don't. I have a art travel bag that has big plans always whether they materialize or not. A girl can always dream!! I do like the idea of writing prompts or Draw this or that- somewhat directed for tired minds and bodies! Maybe writing days, drawing days and gathering days - now that has some potential for my clan! I'll let you know how it pans out.

    05.5.2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

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