Did you hear that? It was the sound of children cheering wildly
as school bells across Illinois rang for the last time this school
year. To celebrate the end of the school year and kick off the best
summer ever, assemble summer journal satchels with everything your
kids need to record their adventures.
The key to getting kids to actually keep a summer journal is
gathering together all the necessary supplies in one location so
they can get writing when inspiration strikes. Whether your kids
are summer camp-bound or just heading down to the local pool for
the afternoon, they are going to have lots of new experiences. A
journal encourages kids to take a few minutes each day to wind down
and reflect on their activities.
Turn a plain canvas backpack into a fun
Buy a plain canvas drawstring backpack and decorate with iron-on
appliques. Spell out your child's name and decorate with a fun
theme (such as flowers or sports). To attach the appliques, peel
one off and place on the fabric. Cover the appliques with a thin
press cloth or towel and apply a hot iron in 30-second increments.
Repeat until the appliques are securely attached. Once the
appliques have set to the fabric, turn the backpack over, slide the
iron inside and apply to the backside to seal the appliques. Be
patient with this process because it can take a while for the
iron-on appliques to attach completely. If you want to skip this
step, use fabric markers to decorate the backpack instead.
Once you have your summer journal satchel ready to go, stock it
with the necessary supplies. Include a blank, bound journal and
colored markers or pencils. Provide a disposable camera so kids can
capture images to add a visual element to their journal entries.
Then throw in some extras to keep the journaling process fun.
Options include summer or vacation-themed stickers, stamps and an
ink pad, and a glue stick. Provide plain paper bags or envelopes so
kids can collect and store mementos from their summer experiences
(like dried flowers, ticket stubs or cool postcards). The bag or
envelope can be glued right onto a page of the journal. Add
personalized items based on your child's interests. When you
present your children with a summer journal satchel, challenge them
to take 10 minutes each day to record their fabulous summer
adventures in this special journal.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
See more of Caitlin's stories here.
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