Young Writers – Making the Summer Journal Fun

classroom journalingWith technology being what it is today for children, the desire to write outside of school grows slim to none. If any writing is being done, it’s generally in the form of a text or email.

Keeping your child’s handwriting skills at their peak performance is as essential for school success as being a good reader. But before you haul out the notebook paper and pencils, let’s look at some fun ways to keep kids writing… and enjoying the process.

The Summer Journal

This can be as simple as a spiral notebook, or a homemade paper book they’ve created themselves. The homemade journal is more unique, but kids can personalize notebooks and bound journals with stickers, pictures or art work, as well.

What Goes Into The Summer Journal?

Every experience, token, and keepsake of the places you go and the things you do during the summer months. Did you have a watermelon eating party? Let them glue some seeds into the book. Then have them write about one incident, or scrap of dialogue they heard during the party. Keep the writing focused, and encourage as much detail and humor as possible.

Did you take a trip? Perfect. Lots to write about there. But don’t stick with the mundane “We flew to Greece then took an ocean liner to Rome.” Instead, encourage the kids to write about the scariest or most unusual statue or building they saw. What was the most interesting thing they learned in one day of touring the sights? What did they eat that was totally delish or totally gag-a-maggot?

Look for the unusual and write about it. Parents, you can do this too!

Maybe you stayed home and had a very boring summer! Not possible. Something, sometime, somehow, someway happened that can be written about.

  • Crazy things siblings do.
  • Parties
  • Road trips
  • Visiting relatives – always possible stories there, even if there wasn’t anything to do. How did you survive without your Xbox or play station? Did you end up going outside to play? How did that work for you?

The possibilities are endless.

So much to write about, so little time. Oh my!

How to Make it FUN!

There’s no need to write a lengthy essay every time. There’s more than one way to tell what happened and make it interesting.

Write what you learned about Greek statues from the statues’ point of view.

Draw the yummy or gross food you had to eat. Draw your face when you ate it. Write dialogue bubbles like in comic strips of what you were thinking.

Write your story out in different colored ink, crayons, pencils or markers.

Add cut-outs to a page and draw or color the background scenery around the cut out picture or photograph. It could be the hotel you stayed at. A place you visited. Or pictures of people you were with. Write your story around the cut-outs, in spirals, or other fun shapes.

Encourage children to write in their summer journals every day. When school starts back up, they will not only have a fantastic book showing what they did, but they will be fine turned to get back into work mode right from the start.

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About the Author:  Jackie Castle

Jackie Castle is a freelance writer and elementary educator. She loves to encourage a love for reading and provides book reviews, activity lessons on current children’s books, and tips on helping children to be better readers. You can find loads of activity ideas and lesson plans at The Castle Library, http://www.castlereads.blogspot.com.

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