Keeping an ‘Ideas Book’ or Journal is so helpful for children’s learning and playful discovery. While their ideas book can be used to document daily activities and thoughts and feelings about those activities, this kind of journaling should be separate to diary keeping.
Having an ideas book is brilliant for encouraging reluctant writers, and helping your child to express themselves, remember their learning and ideas, and reflect. This kind of journal is so versatile that it can be used for a huge range of different areas of learning, including math, science and social studies (even imaginative play ideas!).
Tips for Journaling with Kids by Makes and Takes
For the early and pre-writers, they can paste in photos and draw their ideas.
Older writers can still keep visual documentation but can obviously write notes in a way that appeals to them (diary entry? mind map? dot points? flow charts?) and their interests at the time.
While you too, as the parent, can (and should) keep some form of documentation too; I’m emphasizing primarily on the child’s own ideas and journaling.
Of course, you can transcribe your child’s thoughts and ideas that they share before they can express it. However, try to encourage independent journaling and expression.
However, this documentation doesn’t have to be in book form. In particular for projects, sometimes a different display – like a poster – is more effective.
For more information, I can highly recommend Playful Learning’s courses on starting a writer’s notebook.
- Purchase a simple portfolio (there are very affordable one’s at Kmart for the Aussie’s).
- Make a point of having special writing materials (pencils, pens, stamps, etc) and extras (tape, stickers, etc) specifically for your child’s journal.
- Next time they ask a question you can’t answer or express an idea, encourage them to document it.
Here is the rest of the 30 Days to Transform Your Play series and make sure you’re following An Everyday Story’s posts too!