Art Journals with Kids

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by Susan Getty, mom, librarian, and blogger

Art Journals With Kids Post #2
(Art Journals With Kids Post #1

Art Journals with Kids

In mid-November, I posted on my blog about the idea of creating artist/writer’s journals as a group project with my girls and some of their friends (Artist/Writer’s Journaling Begins). Completely inspired by Jess at Teachable Moments, I had been wanting to start a similar project at our house with some of my daughters’ friends. As it turned out, only two of the girls that we invited were able to make it for our first date, and another two were not able to join us for the first time. I want to keep our group fairly small so that things don’t get too chaotic. It’s hard to focus and have a good experience with a project like this with too large of a group.

The plan for our meetings is that the girls will work on their art journals each time we get together. I will provide an idea to start them off, plus the supplies they need. Each idea will include an art component and a writing component. For our first time, the idea was for the girls to design an abstract self-portrait using a collage method from magazine cut-outs, combined with drawing. Then they were to write about themselves on the pages around their portraits. Supplies I provided were a bin of old magazines, scissors, glue, markers, and colorful gel pens. The journals are spiral bound, 9 x 12 inch drawing pads. The journals are for the girls to keep…they will take them home with them after each of our meetings.

art journals for kids

Amidst girly chit-chat, they all worked on their pages for a while, sometimes offering or asking advice, and sharing what they were doing. After they had worked on their pages for a bit, they went off to play together for some purely social time. We decided that the girls would put the finishing touches on their journal pages before the next time we get together, and they would share with each other then, before we move on to the next project.

Later on, after the friends had gone home, my girls started working on their pages again. Even though my older daughter had a bit of trouble deciding what to write, she stuck with it, and completed a great journal entry. My younger daughter put a lot of work into her pages, and added lots of color and personality. They each stuck with the project to completion so they could share with their friends next time we get together.

I would love for our group to get together more frequently, but for now, we are going to meet once per month. It’s crazy that it’s so hard to find times that work for everyone, but it is…especially with the holiday season upon us. Maybe once we get to January we can meet more frequently. I think it was a successful first meeting, and I am excited to see the rest of the girls’ finished pages at our next meeting!

For our next project, I’m planning to have the girls glue paper ornament shapes on the pages of their journals, maybe add some extra decoration and glitz, and then write the things they like best about the holiday season on the ornaments. It should be a fun time, and I think some cookies and hot cocoa will be additional requirements for this project  😉

Susan is a part-time librarian, blogger, and homeschooling mom of two daughters, ages 9 1/2 and almost 11. She blogs at learning ALL the time!! and is one of the Three Thinking Mothers.

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