AJ has been keeping a journal for the last five weeks, specifically to share with my parents when they return from their overseas trip tomorrow. Every evening before dinner she has sat at the kitchen table and recalled the most important event (or two or three) of the day as she remembered it and has drawn it in her pink covered sketchbook.
Some days she manages a mere five minute scribble before dashing off to some other exciting activity, while other days she has taken great care to include tiny details and lots of feeling, as well stickers and the odd leaf or flower stuck in with vast amounts of sticky tape. Major events have been noted, such as the first hot day of the season accompanied by the joyful illustration of being able to wear shorts (above left) but also little things like choosing apples at the greengrocers, a cuddle on the couch and Daddy cooking risotto. I write in the date and a dictated description to finish the entry.
I can’t imagine AJ wanting to continue keeping a journal so regularly at this age, but because this had a point to it that she could grasp and because it was a nice way for her to think of her grandparents other than just missing them, it was a great short term project… and what we have is a wonderful snapshot in time of a month just before her fourth birthday.
Sometime soon I am going to scan in some of the pages and email them to AJ’s other grandparents who live overseas.
You could easily adapt this kind of activity for older kids – they might want to keep a photo journal, a highly decorated scrapbook or a more traditional written journal.
Useful tips about journalling for kids on the Hallmark site including “Don’t criticize, edit, instruct or imply that there is need for improvement.” which is sometimes tough when they are taking their entry off in a seemingly bizarre direction. Try and go with the flow!
Tips from the DIY Network on scrapbooking for kids.