About a year ago, I introduced our twins to the idea of a journal. It is an art journal that sits on the shelf in our art space. (Well technically while I’m writing this it sits in a box in a PODS container - but someday soon it will once again be on an art shelf). We have used these with varying degrees of success. They are still pretty young after all. However, as part of our moving process, the kids and I spent two weeks with family while Nick was in Mississippi starting his new job and waiting to close on our new house. This was hard on all of us and I thought having a way to talk about it more would help. Our kids are 3 and not quite capable of making their own journals so I did more of the creation than I typically do with our projects.
I invited the kids to join me in the kitchen and explained that we were going to make journals. They are game for such invitations, so they climbed up on chairs and eagerly started coloring the cardboard I labeled as their "covers." While they were working on that, I threaded a needle and prepared the paper for the inside. Note: Paper needs to be cut to fit inside whatever size cardboard you have chosen.
Once they were done, I pushed the needle through the paper and the cardboard sewing them together. I have no magical or talented sewing skills - just do your best. Tie it off with a knot at the end.
Using Your Journals:
From there we spent a little time each day journaling. Art invitations or journaling are often part of our morning quiet play routine, so this fit easily into that space. During the moving process, whether we were visiting family in Wisconsin, in the car on the way to Mississippi, or the first week while we were getting settled, the journals were available for use.
Here are some of the ways to use them:
*Free drawing/writing. Presented on the table with variety of drawing materials or at a restaurant while you wait.
*Tape a photo into the journal and then had child dictate their memories.
*Offer a writing/drawing prompt. Ex. What do you think your new room will look like? Draw your favorite part about visiting Nana and Grandpa.
*Bring them along to restaurants and use them while you wait.
Writing Utensils (Pens, Pencils, Colored Pencils, Thin Markers)
Large Sewing Needle
Dental Floss or Thick Thread
Scissors (for adult use)
* Make a new house journal to collect pictures and stories about your new home.
* Re-read your journals together later and share about your journey.
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