3 Reasons Every Field Trip Needs an Adventure Journal
Dinosaur skeletons were towering on either side of me as I fast walked through the Natural History Museum trying to keep up with my twins. I was starting to sweat, my shoulder felt like it was going to have a permanent strap mark from the weight of my bag, and I was frustrated. The dinosaur skeletons that I had lugged that heavy bag and two children on two trains to see were a blur as they quickly zoomed from one thing to the next.
We needed to slow down.
Towards the corner of one of the exhibit halls I saw a bench and quickly asked if they wanted a drink of water. Gratefully setting down the bag, I started hunting for their water bottles and saw something that might just give me a moment to catch my breath.
The adventure journals were about to save our day.
Since that morning our Adventure Journals (which I have since dubbed them because it just makes them sound more awesome) have saved many adventures and field trips. They have taken up permanent residence in that big bag of mine. In fact, they are one of the few things I don't mind lugging at all because of the wonderful things they do for us.
On that exhausting day at the museum I pulled out the journals with the water and ushered them onto the bench. I said we were going to sit for a moment and look around with our eyes.
What did they see? What was the best part of that room? How could they record that in their adventure journal so we never forgot what they saw? For about 10-15 minutes they sat and drew a picture or dictated ideas to me.
Those moments are nice, but more importantly when we get back up from these breaks they are often calmer. They still move quickly, but they seem to carry those questions with them and slow down to process what they are seeing a little better.
Anytime you can make writing meaningful it does wonders for encouraging literacy skills. Here they are capturing their adventure experience. They draw. They dictate labels and stories. It is important to them so they don't see it as work.
Now at 5 my twins are starting to write some of their own words down. They are inspired to record these ideas so they work with me to sound out words and carefully write them in their journals.
Travel with kids often includes a lot of waiting and sitting. In the car. On the subway. In lobbies. In restaurants. My kids end up waiting A LOT and it is not a strength of theirs.
With the Adventure Journals always tucked in my bag, we can use them to help us wait. We can draw or write about what we did. We can play drawing games - shared drawings are our favorites. We can stick stickers in there or write secret messages. They are one more simple tool to have to aid my kids during these times.
Find or Order a small notebook or journal (we have these cute monster ones) and gather some writing materials.
Put them together in a ziploc bag or some other small baggie or pocket of your backpack.
Bring them on your next adventure and pull them out occassionally. Your tired shoulders and antsy children will thank you.
Crayons or Colored Pencils
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