By Leslie Lindsay
We’re heading on a good old-fashioned family vacation, but I wanted to make sure the kiddos were occupied, having fun, and learning something. All of those fun skills we hope to instill in our children all year long, but this one was actually inspired when I hopped into a craft store recently.
I grabbed a handful of vacation-themed stickers, including words I thought my kids could read and appreciate…fun, family, exciting, sweet, memories. Many of the stickers I found were on sale or clearance, too–an added bonus! Then I headed to the Scrapbook section. I ended up getting Smashbooks cause they were on sale. (oftentimes these stores have coupons for percent or dollars off if you subscribe to their emails).
If you try this idea:
- Get stickers that intentionally match your destination. I was amazed at vast variety of stickers…beaches, lighthouses, cacti, Disney, boats, fishing, the desert, nautical things…you name it, they’ve got it!
- If you have more than one child who will be keeping a travel journal, remember that many sticker packs contain two sheets. Divide ’em up instead of buying multiple (and sometimes, costly packs).
- Give them a small pack of colorful pens or markers that they are in charge of for using in their journal.
- Kids like small, portable things. Our Smashbooks are the smaller variety.
- If you’d like, let your older children have an inexpensive camera to take photos. Paste ’em in the travel journal. Also consider those disposable cameras if you don’t want to shell out the money for a camera.
- Collect things from your vacation…brochures, pamphlets, coins (the smash-a-penny things are very popular with my kids), sand, a cool rock, postcards. Paste ’em in your book.
- Give your kids writing prompts. What was the most fun thing we did today? Write about that using showing words (instead of telling words). Make it interesting. Or, try this one: Write down the schedule of our day. (what time we woke up, what we did next, and then…This skill works on sequencing and memory). Keep a food diary for day on vacation.
- Make the journal a daily habit. Also, give them some new vocabularly that may be regional to the area you are visiting (regionalisms). How about a ‘lobster roll’ in Cape Cod or ‘Uffda’ in Minnesota? A ‘bubbler’ in Wisconsin? What other regionalisms can you think of? You’ll be surprised if you start listening to the locals speak.
- Have fun!
- Look back on your journal often. Folks who have souveniers displayed in their home are generally happier.