ESSENTIALS AND TIPS

Tuesday Tips: Keeping a children’s travel journal

Kids travel journal
When I was in Paris last weekend, Emilie and I each bought travel journals for our kids in her local art store. Travel journals are such a fun and educational way to encourage children to contemplate what they have experienced whilst traveling. They’re also great for their language skills and artistic development — when working in their journals, kids are stimulated to express themselves in a creative way: they practise their creative writing, their drawing, they can try techniques like collage, etc. (Courtney’s children are going to keep travel journals on their big trip as an essential part of their homeschooling that year. She’s told me that she’s going to share some bits and pieces every now and then with us — I can’t wait!)

The travel journals we bought are just plain notebooks (I prefer my children to create their own content as opposed to the ‘pre filled’ travel journals). At home, we assembled a pencil case with good quality coloured pencils, a few waterproof black pens , masking tape, a small pair of scissors, glue and a small box of watercolours . This way they can write, draw and paint, they can stick or glue (entrance tickets of museums, sugar bags, clipped mementos, postcards, stamps, pressed flowers, feathers, etc.), they can make collages, etc.

In the back of the book, we wrote down a list with inspirational questions, helping them to contemplate and write about their day. (They don’t need to answer these questions, but the idea is that these questions help them come up with ideas for their travel journal content.)

Here’s the list we wrote down:

  • The date today. The location of today.
  • People I was with, or new friends I met today.
  • Where did we stay today?
  • What did we do today? Where did we go?
  • My favourite and least favourite part of the day.
  • What did we eat today? Did I taste or smell anything special?
  • What was the weather like today?
  • Special plants, people, animals or architecture I saw today.
  • Something I learned today.
  • Something I laughed about today, something that made me sad today.
  • Special souvenirs that we found or bought today.
  • A nice book I’m reading, or cool music I’ve listened to.

Once we set off for France next week, I will copy a map of the area we’re traveling in, so they can have a sense of where we are, and where we are heading to. They can mark the roads we’re driving on, and mark our destinations. (This will also help them to get an understanding of the length of the journey, as Andrea suggested in the comments of our latest Tuesday Tips post.)

Kids travel journal
Also, and this is of course a totally redundant gadget but I thought it would be fun to give it a try — I invested in a tiny portable printer. I never really print photos anymore, and I thought it would be so fun to use a photo as a story starter in their journal every now and then. I think I will let them print a special photo every few days (of a beautiful building, special tiles, beach treasures, of fun friends… whatever they think is most special).

I have shown my children some examples of travel journals on the internet (the image above was found here), showing them how mixing different techniques can give great results. They’re super inspired and are already sitting down a few times every day to work in their books. In fact, I have just bought a travel journal for myself too, as I am now totally inspired myself as well!

xxx Esther


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Comments (19)

July 14, 2015

Oh! It is my son’s travel book! Thank you. We always made travel’sbook the 3 of us, the landauer’s family! My son now is 15years old, he write and take pictures but his father and I continue to draw! It is nice and sometime usefull(adress) to keep this kind of “souvenirs” from yours travels. Best regards. VA


Esther in Amsterdam
July 14, 2015

Thank you for your comment Valerie, I love your family’s travel journals — a huge inspiration!! xxx


Eva
July 14, 2015

Such a fantastic idea! As we will travel to and through Norway for a month I was already thinking of a travel journal as it is not only a nice souvenir for themselves but it will also help me creating their travel binder…..that is what my parents created for me and my brother when we were young……It’s been called “Your travels with the parents” and after every trip we made as a family my father created a DIN A 4 double page with a map, photos and short sentences describing “the” moments of our trip together. Something I still treasure a lot (as do my kids ;-))!!!!!


Esther in Amsterdam
July 14, 2015

I love that idea! Basically a summary of your trip, how lovely! x


Emilie in Paris
July 14, 2015

Love the idea of the questions, especially for the younger kids!


July 14, 2015

definitely check out dan eldon’s travel journals if you haven’t already! they are so inspiring, and i think they start when he was 7 years old – also, it is fun to glue envelopes onto a few random pages before you set out, to inspire a little treasure chest amongst all the words and pictures – have a blast on your trip!


July 14, 2015

This is great! I also love the inclusion of the questions and map to follow along. My daughter’s school sent home a similar “writing and reading” journal for the summer which is a blank journal including 1 or 2 colored sheets of paper inserted as well as an accordion sheet of paper that she can unfold to create on and 2 pages with a few blank squares to write or draw a small sequence. We will definitely have to try a travel journal for our next trip. Thanks for this post.


SHOW ALL COMMENTS
July 14, 2015

I love this idea, Esther! We do a lot of camping and hiking with our girls. We usually include a scavenger hunt. After each trip, they bring home a rock to paint (including the date and location). The journal is a great way to expand on that concept to capture special memories, treasures, photos, etc. We hope to travel more abroad in the coming years too. Thanks for the inspiration, as always! xx


July 14, 2015

Oh, this is so exciting to get a mention in your great blog. Thank you, Esther! My kids are too small for travel journals, but I will certainly give them the opportunity later in life. I wrote journals as a child and to read them now is so special, even though a lot of entries make me laugh at myself. Certain things have not changed at all though.


Lisa
July 14, 2015

love this idea…..thanks for sharing it….


Susan M.
July 15, 2015

beautiful inspiring ideas, tips, and the images from Valérie, amazing and lovely. While we can’t travel this summer, I still want my son to keep a journal over the summer and this gives me lots of ideas to inspire him. It makes sense to show him some examples of how it might be done so that he doesn’t get set in a rut. Thanks!


Vanessa
July 15, 2015

We also do travel journals and last week when we were packing up we found some from previous holidays. They are such a great keepsake. I love the idea of the questions in the back – I’m going to do that for our next holiday. Thanks Esther for the inspiration. xx


July 16, 2015

Oh the questions are such a great ‘starter’, thank you for the idea. We’re off to Scotland this summer, maybe I’ll scribe for Toddler and get one going?


Emilie in Paris
July 16, 2015

Was just thinking that recipes you pick up while traveling would be a nice thing to add in. My girls are in Italy with their grandparents at the moment and have been learning how to make some excellent pasta sauces..


Esther in Amsterdam
July 20, 2015

Yes! I love that idea. x


July 17, 2015

[…] De cara al verano, consejos para que los peques hagan un bonito diario de vacaciones. A mí me encantaba guardar los tickets […]


July 17, 2015

I love this! I still have my travel journals from when I was a child through young adulthood, and there are many drawings and paintings alongside my writings, which inspire my artwork and design today. It’s an amazing way to view travel experiences from the past.


April 19, 2016

[…] great way to keep your children occupied on your travels is to encourage them to keep a diary. Not only will this keep them occupied, but it will also be a fun thing for them to look back on in […]


June 8, 2016

[…] their day. They’re going to love these so much when they’re older! I thought this list of questions was such a great idea for starting points for older ones to think about their […]


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