a Travel Journal for Kids
Smith (Road Trip Mom)
a travel diary or journal is a wonderful activity that will not only keep
your children busy in the car on a long trip, but it will preserve their
memories for a lifetime.
It doesn't need to be fancy
or complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. The only thing you need
is a big spiral bound sketch pad and a box of crayons or markers for each
child. Each day of the trip, or for each event along the way, have your
child draw a picture of what they did that day, and write about it. You
can also paste in souvenirs such as brochures, ticket stubs and other momentous.
If your child isn't old enough
to write, then Mom or Dad can help by offering to write a caption on the
page or a couple of sentences on the back. Remember that it's his journal,
so ask your child what he wants you to write. Then be sure to add the date.
I still have a trip diary
that I made on a big family trip when I was 9 years old back in 1976. The
memories in this journal are priceless (and my spelling is hilarious).
It's interesting to look
back and see what events impressed me the most on the trip at that age.
Here are a few excerpts:
Apparently our family van meant
a lot to me since it was the first thing I drew in my journal.
started our trip, and it rained. Before we left, people from across the
street put banners all over the car. And we traveled for 7-1/2 hours.
The next entry was about
a short stop we made along the way.
going to El Paso. And on the way we stopped at Monahan Sand Dunes and went
for a nature walk and looked at dinosaur bones. And then we slid down the
GIANT sand dunes.
Sometimes just the littlest
things meant the most.
got to San Diego and went to the biggest zoo in the world. My favorite
thing at the zoo was to see real baby chicks hatch.
Some days I wrote a whole
went to Disneyland. My favorite thing was the Haunted Mansion. At Disneyland
we went on a ride that was in a submarine and it was neat!! In the haunted
mansion we got in cars and rode through the mansion and saw glow in the
dark ghosts and things, and boy was it scary! We went on lots of other
And on other days, one sentence
said it all:
went to the beach and made a big sand castle.
My journal has been a wonderful
keepsake over the years. I read it to my own children recently, and they
were amazed that their Mommy is the main character in this book!
If your children are really
young you should help them preserve their journal by keeping it in a special
place when the trip is over -- until they are old enough to be entrusted
with it's care.
The important thing is to
keep it simple and let your children use their imaginations. Give them
enough suggestions to help them get started, but make sure the final product
is truly their own creation.
Smith is a former schoolteacher and currently a stay-at-home-mom who has
logged thousands of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom.
Visit her website for more than 101 travel games and activities for kids
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