Encouraging kids to write during the summer is a huge part of sending them to camp. In addition to writing those adorable letters to home, kids love expressing their thoughts through journaling. After a long day of amazing outdoor adventures, a kid’s journal provides a quiet opportunity to reflect upon their latest experiences, and it later provides a fun way to look back on their time at summer camp. As you pack your kid’s bags for camp, use these ideas to get your favorite camper excited about filling up their journal with creative stories and memories.
Involve Them in Choosing Their Journal
Journals for kids range from basic spiral bound notebooks to colorful book bound styles that last for years. While some kids like lined paper to help them organize their thoughts, others prefer blank pages that provide lots of space for doodling. Your child may also prefer a journal in his or her favorite color or with awesome graphics on the cover. Spend some time with them browsing different styles, and let them pick out a journal that reflects their personality.
Help Them Set Up a Writing Schedule
Every day at summer camp is packed full of activities, yet the staff has also carefully planned for quiet periods of time during the day for kids to rest and reflect. Look over a sample schedule with your kid, and talk about the best times of the day for writing. For example, some kids prefer to write during their mid-day break when they are energized, while others prefer to wait until the evening since writing helps them relax. Either way let them know that journaling should always be something they enjoy. Although they may miss a day due to an exciting overnight camping trip, they can also write more the next day about the adventure.
Provide Some Writing Prompts
Kids sometimes need ideas for things to write about, even when their days are full of fun. For this reason, it’s a good idea to print out a few writing prompts and stick it on the inside cover of the journal. As you create your prompts, be sure to mix it up by asking open-ended questions along with giving your kid a few story starters that are perfect for camp. This way, they can choose to write about a “real” life experience or get creative and develop a short story.
Stimulate Their Creativity with Fun Accessories
Journaling involves so much more than writing for kids, and including a few fun accessories stimulates self-expression. For example, colorful pens will add an element of enjoyment to your kid’s writing and encourage drawing along with writing. Stickers, rhinestones and other art supplies will also help your kid personalize their journal as they write.
Along with fun stationary, journals are a summer camp staple that fits easily into a kid’s bags. As your kid recounts their adventures and jots down new ideas, they will be creating a valuable keepsake of their summertime experiences. While you know that journaling strengthens important skills such as creativity and vocabulary, your kid will simply enjoy the opportunity to relax as they fill the page with colorful words and drawings.