Make a Travel Journal

What You Need:

  • Empty notebook with unlined paper (try to avoid spiral bindings or perforated pages; a hardcover notebook with a sewn binding will hold up better during the trip)
  • Writing utensils such as a pen, pencil, and an eraser
  • Glue
  • Paint, stickers, and other materials for decorating
  • Flat souvenirs such as postcards (optional)
  • Computer printout map of your trip route (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Before you leave home, encourage your child to personalize the outside of the notebook. They could write their name on the cover, as well as the dates and destination of the trip. Your child may also want to draw or paint a picture on the cover or add decorations like stickers.
  2. Create and print an online map of the route you'll be traveling, whether by car or by plane. Help them glue the map to the inside cover of the travel journal and invite them to refer to it during the journey.
  3. Throughout the trip, encourage your child to get out the travel journal and write in it. If they can't think of anything to write, give them a few ideas:
    • Keep a daily journal, in words and pictures, of the events of the trip. This could include descriptions of the places you visit, the people you meet, and how they feel about them.
    • Use the journal as a scrapbook, pasting postcards, brochures, and other items in it that your child picks up along the way.
    • Record observations of nature. Your child could make a list of the birds and animals they see and write down questions about them so they'll remember to look up the answers when they get home. They can also make quick sketches of plants, animals, or the landscape.
    • Write stories and poems inspired by the trip. If your child has trouble getting started, ask questions. What do they think it would be like to live in the place you're visiting? If the plants, animals, and objects along the route could talk, what might they say?
    • Create a map that highlights the sites you have visited throughout the trip. Include a section about the details of each of the locations.

The possibilities are endless, but no matter what your child chooses to do with their travel journal, by the end they'll have a personal and inexpensive souvenir that will help them remember the trip for years to come.

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