Thursday, 5 March 2020

Kids' Travel Journal by Chitra Soundar

As a child, I wrote a lot. And as a teenager I started keeping a diary. But living in a big joint family in a small flat meant privacy was not something I could afford. Keeping the diary safe from the curious eyes of a parent or a grandparent was no easy job. So I carried it around in my school bag and never left it outside.

Since then I keep a journal on and off. I tried to write every day last year and failed for days together. This year, I've resorted to a para every day and I still catch up just once a week.

Last year my sister and her family took time off during the Easter half-term and went to Costa Rica. As this involved taking a few days off school, the school had asked my 7-year old nephew to read and write during the break.

I had an idea. Why not give him a travel journal? I gave him a brand new travel journal he could keep.

The travel journal also prompted him about transport, money and flags, feelings and experience.

My nephew used it every day.  He wrote every day about the animals he had seen, the places they visited, the hikes he took with his dad and little brother. He drew in them and coloured them in.

My nephew returned with additional pages stuck to his journal and I was so proud of him. I never realised that he could retain his interest in writing everyday for 3 weeks. But it did. I was amazed at his creativity and interest and how he had captured little details of his day.

I did review quite a few travel journals before I decided on this one and I'm glad I made the right choice. There was a balance of text vs prompts and space to fill in with pictures. I'll whole-heartedly recommend this for all young people not only to nurture their wonder but also give them an opportunity to remember and reflect on their holidays.



Penny Dolan said...

That is such a great gift, Chitra. This diary certainly looks bright and attractive enough to not be "forgotten" en route.
Also, I like the way the format offers useful suggestions for a young writer; so easy to assume a child already knows what to include in a "Travel Diary".

Ann Turnbull said...

What a brilliant idea for a present, Chitra - thank you!

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