Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Journals

In an effort to help my kids maintain some sort of brain power in the summer we decided to start summer journals.  And, surprisingly enough, it has been a much anticipated highlight of the past few days.

The kids picked out their own notebooks from Target and I came up with a list of Summer Journal questions that I thought might get them thinking and smiling.  Every day just before dinner time and after the chores and swimming and lounging are coming to a close the kids crowd around the table and we pull out the journals.  Then they look at me with a twinkle in their eyes and say "so, what are we writing about today?  What's the question?"  Then, I say something like "If you were a superhero what kind of super powers would you want to have and what woul your costume be like?"  They grin and then my oldest gets to writing and my four year old starts gabbing.  While he talks I write down his words. 

Yesterday he said "I would have super power to shoot pirates out of my fingers."  Clever.  I mean, who wouldn't be a frightened of a guy who could shoot full size pirates out of his fingertips?  He went on to tell me that they would be very mean pirates with lava teeth.  He was totally into it an even acting it out.  After I wrote the words for him he signed his name at the bottom of the page and then drew pictures to go with his words.

My daughter, who is obviously from a different planet than my son is from, said that she would be have fairy powers.  She imagined "long flowing golden hair, a rainbow costume, and many fairy helpers that would work with her to help people in need."  Sometimes it so incredibly obvious to me why they can't see eye to eye.

It's fun and it gets them thinking and practicing their writing and drawing skills.  Afterwards my four year old writes his ABC's and my eight year old does some spelling and handwriting pages and then they both pick stickers to put in their books.  Today my daughter was asking at breakfast how long it would be before journal time.  In fact, she was going to play with a friend and was worried that she might miss out on writing with the family while she was gone.  Kids are so cool.

I think these journals will be great keepsakes in years to come.  The questions may seem random but they give me so much insight into who these little people are.  Plus, we're having a great time and that's what summer's all about.  Here's a starter list of questions if you want to start some summer journals of your own:

Summer Journal Questions

1. If you had to eat the same food and drink every day for the rest of your life what food and drink would you choose?

2. If you could be a Super Hero what super powers would you want to have? Invisibility, super strength, laser power, etc. What would your costume look like?

3. If you had a machine that could take you anywhere in the world instantly where would you go? What would you do there?

4. What would you do if you were as big as a giant? What fun could you have? What kind of problems would you have if you were a giant?

5. What would you do if you were as tiny as a ladybug? What fun could you have? What problems might you have being that tiny?

6. If you could be any animal which animal would you be? Why?

7. Would you rather live in a place that is always really hot or a place that is always very cold. Why? What would you do in that hot or cold weather?

8. Write a recipe for the yummiest treat you can think of. Include ingredients, amounts, and cooking time. Tell why you think it is so tasty.

9. Imagine the perfect day. A day that is exactly like you want it. What would it be like? Tell the details.

10. If you had three wishes what would you wish for? Why would you wish for those things?

11. Imagine you woke up and saw a dinosaur in your backyard. What would you do? Tell a story about it.

12. Imagine you opened you own restaurant. What would you call it? What food would you serve and what would the restaurant look like?

13. If you had one hundred dollars but you had to use it for someone else what would you do with the money? Who would you help and how?

14. If you had one hundred dollars to buy something for yourself what would you buy?

15. Describe one thing you’re really good at.

16. Describe something that you are really scared of. Why does it scare you so much?

17. What is your favorite thing about your home? It could be your favorite place to be, a favorite thing or person, anything in your home.

18. What do you think is the most beautiful thing that you’ve ever seen? Tell about what is so special about it in detail so that someone else could imagine its beauty.

19. Describe yourself. What do you look like? What do you act like?

20. Tell about your favorite toy that you’ve ever had. What did you love about it? What did it look like?

21. What is your favorite store to go to? Why?

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