On the road journals for kids
July 8, 2007 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me put together kids' travel journals for a trip to Arizona?

The Biblios are taking a week-long family vacation to Arizona. We have a long flight from the North East, and many hours of driving in our rental car. I was thinking of some ways to pass the time besides having them all plugged into ipods, and thought about giving them each a notebook with our itenerary, fun facts, puzzles and games and places to write down their responses to the things we see. I tried this a few years ago on a road trip, but they were really too young. Now they are 16, 14, 12 and 7.5 and I think it will work.

I bought some 6 inch 3 hole binders plus some lined paper, clear page protectors and storage pockets. What other sorts of things should I design on my computer? We are hitting Phoenix, Sedona, Holbroke, Kayenta, Page and the Grand Canyon. We are leaving Saturday, so any help at all is appreciated!
posted by Biblio to Travel & Transportation around Arizona (8 answers total)
D'oh! I found this site, which has printable pages for this sort of thing, but any other hints are still welcome!
posted by Biblio at 7:39 PM on July 8, 2007

(I'm assuming each child does not have his/her own digital camera.)

Buy a bunch of disposal cameras with built-in flash. Wal-Mart, Target, grocery stores, and many other places sell them in packs of 3 or more very cheaply. Each child can take photos of the journey. As each child takes a camera, they write their name, date, and location on it with marker. After the journey, take the cameras in to your local photo-finisher, and transfer the info written on the camera to the processing envelope so you will know whose it is, and the proper sequence. You can get the film developed and a CD made for about $5. The kids can then make a digital scrapbook with captions from their pictures. Help them to the degree they need it, and you will have a good time reliving the experience. You might be surprised at what your kids thought was important enough to photograph, as well.

The scrapbooks can be printed, or shared on the web.
posted by The Deej at 8:59 PM on July 8, 2007

From the computer:

Print off maps for each leg of the journey, so they can trace the route if they like - also, maybe, a city specific map for each stop.

Travel stickers: icons and graphics equals make your own stickers, even if they're to be cut out and glued in with a gluestick. Suitcases, road signs, city logos, etc, cactus, roadrunners, whatever.

For additional page journaling topic ideas, try here.

Don't forget a 'stuff' bag for each notebook - one of those 3-ring pencil bags will work - to hold the inevitable non-flat keepsakes found along the way.

Seconding the disposable camera for each child idea, if possible - if not, a postcard allowance works too (or both, for that matter) - I collected tons of postcards as a kid when we traveled, and they worked almost as well as a photo for keepsakes.

HTH. Sounds like a great trip, hope you all have a terrific time.
posted by faineant at 9:56 PM on July 8, 2007

You could make a multi-media journal as you go. Get an artist's sketch-book - they have a hardcover and thick pages. Use only one-side of each page. Get some scissors, glue sticks (acid-free), and some clear stick lamenation paper.

Then, as you go, constantly up-date the journal. Find things from the trip to glue into the pages. Post-cards, business cards, flyers, maps, anything. You can even put in things like leaves with lamentation paper.

In the back of the book, keep tons of lists. Keep a list of the animals that you have seen. License plates. Funny people. Whatever. As you drive, note things like odometer, speed, mile-marker, whatever.

You don't have to write long paragraphs in the journal. Just keep up-dating, as often as possible. Glue in a bill from a restaruant, and write just a few words. "Good ribs, crying baby." You will remember it all later, just notes will bring weird little things back to mind years later. As you drive, just make short notes like: "Passed a pick-up truck with a dog in the back". But, remember to occasionally note the date and time, or it could get confusing.

It works as a constant arts and crafts thing for the kids. Never ending search for things to cut up and glue in the journal. And the lists keep them looking for animals and license plates and whatever.
posted by Flood at 10:04 PM on July 8, 2007

Good luck - my kids were never as much into that sort of things as I was. Our last trip, when they were in their teens, I made everyone get together at bed time and tell me what to write about the day. They grumbled but the one night I forgot to do it, they said it wasn't really bed time until we had done the journal.
posted by metahawk at 11:22 PM on July 8, 2007

If you want something a little different, I like the photobooks at various websites such as shutterfly , photoworks , and kodak. They can be a little expensive at times, but if you go to slickdeals in their coupon forum, you can usually get a great deal.
posted by ForeverDcember at 7:01 AM on July 9, 2007

If you have any sort of gps device, maybe get them to write down the coordinates whenever they take a picture? There's a few different ways now to take all the pictures and create a big map, with each picture in the correct spot. Very cool results!
posted by inigo2 at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2007

I've seen this cool Adventure Travel Log that helps kids collect souvenirs, measure and study interesting things and record who they meet on their trip. It's probably something interesting for them to look back on. There is also the GeoSafari Laptop that asks tons of questions about history, geography, science, vocabulary, sports, nature, math, and general trivia. It is something the whole family can participate in on the trip!
posted by kathk at 4:00 PM on September 10, 2007

« Older Deposition tips   |   What book is this? English kids discover fairies... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.