I have just spent the last few holidaying with my 3 kids in India and Dubai. One of the things that we have always encouraged (and enforced) is for the children to keep a holiday journal while traveling. Every morning, no matter where we are, after breakfast, the kids sit down for 30 mins and write about the previous day. Given the difference in ages, expectations are quite different. My eldest, almost 11, is a writer and a thinker. He comes up with a different theme each holiday. Last year, he did a journal in the theme of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, however called his “Diary of an Awesome Kid”. This holiday, he wrote it all in third person, like a novel. He even used some creative license and expanded on his experiences each day to write a compelling tale.
With my younger son (7 years) we usually get a travel diary or create sheets for him to fill in. He finds it easier to answer questions, rather than write from scratch. During the last holiday, we create a sheet which asked about his favourite experience, meal, quote and laugh for each day.
My youngest, who is almost 3, started her journalling as well. However in her case it was merely a notebook and a bunch of colouring pencils. To her credit, she sat every morning with her brothers and scribbled while the others wrote – needless to say she is getting into the habit.
What is particularly pleasing is going back after a while and reading what they have written, and what they see and notice. Sometimes it is very different from us adults, however is a great perspective of the holiday. Moreover, for the kids it is a great timeline of holidays and an insight into how they experienced each day. Sometimes specifics from an holiday can be forgotten, however a journal is timeless and can be revisited, re-read and, in a way, the holiday re-enjoyed.