Get crafty with your child this summer

Holiday journals and scrapbooks make the perfect summer fun for children

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Postcards, pressed flowers, ticket stubs and seashells. The paraphernalia that children collect on their summer holidays may seem like a hoard of rather random objects. But preserved in a scrapbook, your child’s stash of treasures can become so much more.

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Scrapbooking and writing journals not only make for a brilliant summer souvenir but are also the perfect way to nurture your child’s creative side. As television and computer games grow ever more popular, research has found that children are writing less and less. A study by STABILO found that 75% of parents are trying to reduce their child’s screen time because they believe technology is stifling their child’s creativity. So it’s time to grab the scissors and glue and get scrapbooking…

1. Get your materials

As the long summer holidays stretch out before your child, encouraging her to keep a journal or make a scrapbook of her holiday is the perfect activity – especially for a rainy day. A great way to get her started is to let her choose an album or scrapbook that she really likes – the bigger the better as this will allow her plenty of space for sticking and scribbling. Or, if you have piles of blank scrap paper lying around, staple this together to make a book that your child can personalise from front to back.

2. Choose a theme

Encouraging your child to come up with a theme for her scrapbook, such as summer fun, family, or friends will help give her a focus. She can stick in anything from fallen leaves scavenged on a woodland walk to photographs and postcards. She can then write down why she’s stuck each item in and the memories they evoke. This is a fun way for her to develop her writing skills and at the end of her hard work, she’ll have a keepsake to look back on in years to come.

3. Write a story

As well as keeping scrapbooks and journals, writing stories is another fantastic way to fuel your child’s creative side – and a subtle way of giving her some handwriting practice. She can write about her playtime adventures with friends or let her imagination run wild by crafting her own make-believe stories. Take inspiration from 8-year-old Arnold Mitchell who one day decided to write down his dream and has now had his magical story published. “Arnold wrote his book, Arnold’s Dream, for other children to enjoy the fairytale that he imagined one night,” says his mum, Emma. “Arnold takes you through an enchanting tale of friendly bats and vampires, golf playing bears and talking mice who take him to a wonderful and mystic circus where challenges and games await.”

4. Share the story

Whether your child ends up a published author or not, once she’s penned her tale, you can have great fun with her online having her stories printed for her own bookshelf. At love2read little ones can help make personalised books that are great fun to create and also encourage a love of reading from a very early age. Big Universe is another fantastic website that allows children to write, publish and share their books online, as well as enjoying other people’s stories.

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So by the end of the summer holiday whether it’s a scrapbook bursting at the seams, a jam-packed journal or scribbled stories, your child will have used her imagination to create a keepsake that will last forever. What’s more, you will have successfully quelled the holiday groans of “Mum, I’m bored.”

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