Journal Topic Projects to keep Preteens Busy and Interested during the Idle Summer Days

The chances of planning a whole summer for your children are pretty slim. They will find plenty to do on their own, and your plan will go by the wayside many times, so don’t even try. You can, however, make some “fill-in” plans for them. You may call them rainy day plans.

Your pre-teens may not have an interest in writing because writing is boring for many children. Writing is a worthy summer project because it is a skill that will follow your child throughout his or her life. In the same way that reading a lot during the summer improves one’s reading skills, and helps to expand one’s interests, summer writing can accomplish the same thing.  

To motivate your kids to write, make it into a contest, or have some cool rewards for their genuine efforts. To make it more fun, you can include one or two of your children’s’ friends in this project as well. Help them envision the possibility of their journal notes into a book. Start by creating the physical book first, before doing any writing. You might want to have the children make more than one in case they mess up the first one, or maybe they will enjoy it so much that they decide to write more than one. It is a project they can show their upcoming teacher when school starts back. This is a project they will want to keep in their treasure chest to show their children when they grow up.

In the beginning stages of the summer plan for what to journal, you need to consider some specific themes. These themes may include relationships with their friends whom they will miss during the summer, of new friends they may meet along the way. A lot can be written about kid’s summer camps, sports events, vacations to other cities or states, or a wonderful trip to the grand parents’ house for a week. If their summer includes theme parks, or visits to museums, let them write about it.

Include some descriptive words and phrases (hints) to kind of give them a head start. Let them consider writing journal notes that are funny, sad, dramatic, silly, serious, or exciting and adventurous. Some may be true stories; some may be fiction, or even a combination of the two.

If possible, the journal prompts you give them need to have some kind of order, or system about them. Because parents know their children, they can plan these prompts based upon their likes and dislikes. The prompts may be about certain holidays, or special days or events of the summer. There are literally thousands of lists of prompt ideas on the Internet. At the click of the mouse you will find more ideas than you can use. Before you start the process of searching, think of some of the special days, or events, or experiences that the summer may hold for your children.

The journal notes do not have to be very long, and there can be any number of them. The prompts you provide are only possibilities. Encourage the children to be creative and think of their own topics some of the time. Don’t show them how to find ideas on the Internet, let them think for themselves.

If this writing project gets redundant or boring, you can suggest ideas for projects or crafts connected to the same ideas that have been already suggested above. Making cookies for the grandparents, or for neighbors, can be a lot of fun, and even a learning experience. Have a lemonade stand once or twice during the summer. They can earn a little cash along the way, or give the lemonade to the lawn workers in the neighborhood. Making crafts is a lot of fun, inexpensive, and easy. They might make sun catchers, bead jewelry, drawings, pet rocks, paper crafts, pop cycle stick crafts, and many more. These projects will soon be the talk of the neighborhood if you let your children invite their friends to participate.

To get really creative, let the children rearrange their room. Of course you will want it to be a summer cleaning project, but don’t tell the kids.

If you take a list of ideas, such as this article, print it out, and put it on the refrigerator, you will be prompted to keep it going, and the kids may use it to create their own plan along the way. At the end of this article you will find some Internet resources, so you will want to save this article on your computer so you can find those suggestions at the click of the mouse.

Summer can be long, hot, tiring, and sweaty, but with some planning you will arrive at the first day of school with a pocket full of great memories.

So, where do I start?  Try the following, and then put on your thinking cap and apply what you know about your children to the Google search.

Ideas: This is only one resource, but it will prove to be a right turn onto the highway of a successful summer journey.  Just Google Summer journal prompts for children and you will never see the end of it all.

Catchers: There are many different ways to make sun catchers so you might Google “make sun catchers” and look through the possibilities.

Pet  rocks: This is a ton of fun. Make a family, or a group of friends, or even a rock band. Name them.

Crafts: This is a great teaching opportunity for the parents. There are hundreds of patriotic crafts that are fun and easy to make.

Paper crafts: Once you get to this page, you can move through many different ideas.

As mentioned earlier, you cannot plan out the whole summer for your children, but you can plan for rainy days and down times. What a great way to help develop relationships with your children, and even some of the neighbors’ kids. The children can be learning and practising what they have already learned all through the summer, and they will be far better prepared for the beginning of the next school year.