Kids Travel Journal
Wondering how to make vacays with your kids memorable (and enjoyable)?! We have the perfect tip for you! Pack a travel journal for your kiddos to document all the favorite parts of their trip and keep entertained all the while! There are many options of pre-made travel journals available, but we prefer blank mixed media notebooks. They allow for full creativity, and the kids can even decorate the cover to make it extra unique and special! Our favorite journal is the Master's Touch Design-A-Cover Mixed Media Book. It includes 72 blank heavyweight, acid-free pages that can be used with pencils, crayons, markers, colored pencils, and even watercolor pencils (which have quickly become our favorite art medium!). If you haven't used watercolor pencils before, they are quite possibly the greatest invention ever! They can be used for traditional drawing and coloring, but can also be used to make illustrations have a watercolor effect. You can either dip the watercolor pencils in water and then use them to draw (this was our least favorite way because the tips became dull very quickly), wet your paper and draw over the damp paper, or our favorite way - draw/color with your watercolor pencils and then take a wet paintbrush and brush over your colorings. The illustrations turn out beautifully! We use the Master's Touch Watercolor Pencils - 48 Piece Set. It comes with plenty of colors, giving lots of options, but also making it great to share among several kiddos, plus it also comes in a hard metal case which is perfect for all the bumps of traveling. If you're trying to pack lightly, notebooks and watercolor pencils would be sufficient. We quickly realized on our trip to Paris that we wanted a few other supplies, so we popped into a Monoprix (France's version of a supermarket) and grabbed what we needed! Other items we enjoyed having and used frequently included mechanical pencils, a small pencil sharpener for the dull watercolor pencil tips, tape, a glue stick, scissors, and a couple of additional paint brushes, so we could all paint at the same time. I kept these materials in a small school supply pouch, which made it easy to grab and go! I also included a small cap from a travel size hairspray that we could fill with water when we were painting. A small condiment cup would work great for this too! I've always loved scrapbooking, so it warmed my crafting heart when the girls started collecting stickers, business cards, maps, napkins, and even flowers to place into their travel journals! This is where the scissors, tape, and glue stick became necessary. The various materials truly made their journals come to life. The girls also made notes on certain pages where they wanted to glue in photos after we returned and were able to get pictures printed. I can't recommend collecting various mementos along the way of your travels for your kids to include in their notebooks! We tried to find a paper store with scrapbook paper and stickers while in Paris, but didn't have any luck. I will probably bring some of their items along the next time we travel. My husband and I were truly amazed at how entertained our daughter and her bestie were with their journals! I initially surprised the girls with the journals at the airport while we waited for our international flight, and they were absolutely thrilled! They spent at least an hour and a half decorating the front of their notebooks with a title and illustrating the airplane they'd be traveling on as their first entry. I can honestly say they almost never put their journals down after that moment. They continued to work on them while we flew across the ocean, while we waited in lines/passed time for our activities (like museums, the Eiffel Tower, and our Seine River cruise) and reservations in Paris, while waiting for meals to arrive at our table in restaurants, each night before bed, and even requested we sit out on lawns and draw the beautiful scenery around them. It was magical! And the best part is that they have one of the greatest keepsakes ever! I can't imagine a souvenir that would have more meaning or worth than their travel journals! A few places we used our journals: at the airport, while waiting for our boat cruise, on our Seine River Cruise, evenings in our hotel room, and restaurants! It was really neat to see how different and unique the girls' journals turned out. My daughter is 7 and her bestie is 12, so their artistic capabilities are quite different, but they inspired each other and helped each other along the way. I occasionally had to give my daughter some inspiration or direction, but her friend needed no direction whatsoever! In fact, she gave me some great ideas for my journal (like using some of the last few drops of my Café au Lait to "paint" my coffee illustration). If you have kiddos that may need some inspiration, you could encourage them to write/draw around some of the following prompts: I felt... The weather was... I learned... I saw... My favorite thing was... I ate... I traveled by... A funny thing that happened today was... Something that surprised me was... Travel Journal Supplies: Master's Touch Design-A-Cover Mixed Media Book Master's Touch Watercolor Pencils - 48 Piece Set Small School Supply Pouch Mechanical Pencils Small Scissors Glue Stick Tape Paint Brushes Small Pencil Sharpener Scrapbook Paper Travel Themed Stickers Small Condiment Cup I especially loved my Calpak Kaya backpack for carrying around the travel journals and supplies. All 3 journals, watercolor pencils, and supply pouch fit perfectly in the back pocket, leaving plenty of room for our Paris themed busy bag, water bottles, my wallet, and all the other travel things needed while venturing around the city!