The first thing to buy is a small photobook. I like a 6×6 or 8×8 paper photobook. They are very inexpensive. I usually buy mine for about a dollar at the craft store. I also get a stack of precut papers. The craft store sells a big pack, that perfectly backs a 4×6 picture, without the need to cut. After my kids decide which pictures they’d like me to print, we also pick out thematic stickers. My kids don’t love to sit and be crafty for hours on end. They are more active. A quick writing and art activity is best for them.
Here’s an example of my son’s book, when he was in first grade.
“We were riding bikes.”
“This is my sister and me.”
You’ll notice that the spelling isn’t perfect. I don’t fuss about capitals and periods. I simply want them to write. I want them to find joy in the process and feel proud of their work. I want them to be so excited about their project that it’s the first thing they show to dad when he walks in the door. It’s about putting pencil to paper, sounding out the words the best you can, and having fun!
Here’s my daughter’s book from when she had just turned 3. She wasn’t writing too much yet and didn’t really have an interest in trying. I didn’t push it. She helped glue the pictures in and put the stickers on. Then, I took dictation. I asked her to tell me about the picture and wrote exactly what she said. Sometimes the grammar wasn’t proper, but it was her story, not mine. I didn’t take too long with her, but I did point out little things like when she used an excited voice to tell me about the starfish. I explained that an exclamation mark would make sure we remember to read it with an excited voice.
“We are looking at fish in the water.”
It’s a simple idea to keep writing fun in the summer. We all try to do fun things with our kids during their time off from school. Why not let them create their own scrapbook to remember the fun times?