I am a big believer in not structuring crafting time for kids. I like to give them lots of room to play, explore, and come up with their own ideas and use their own imagination. There is no “wrong” in here other than basic safety stuff or things that technically won’t work. So I had this idea that American Crafts Daybooks would be amazing to use as scrapbooks for kids, and I wanted to test that theory out on my own girls and see what would happen.
Today I’ll share the results as well as give some tips and suggestions too.
First of all, I set up some supplies for the girls. Mostly American Crafts My Girl line (which I LOVE, as do my girls!), with a few Hawaii themed stickers that we had on hand as well. Then I called them in, the stickers, books, photos, and other supplies all ready at their table. We talked about some key words they were thinking of (things like Aulani, Paradise Cove luau, and other words they wanted to use but definitely didn’t know how to spell) and we made a three step plan.
1. Take the photos you have, adhere them to pages in your book in any order/way you’d like.
2. Take your pen, write something about each picture. It can be short like “I like___” “This is ___”, but something for each picture.
3. Take the stickers and goodies that you like, use them however you want.
This helped with the “but I don’t know how! I don’t know what to do!” and instead had them within about an hour smiling really big and being so proud of themselves for having completed scrapbooks! The daybook is a perfect size for a vacation or other project where 12-18 photos or so are going to be used. The girls loved all the pretty designs, and the smaller size didn’t make it seem too big or hard either.
Some shots of Elizabeth’s book…
Obviously Elizabeth (2and grade) wrote a lot more and got more into details than her sister (kindergarten), but each had a really good time and I liked seeing them think about what they’d like, and seeing them work on the storytelling aspect as well as just having fun with pretty photos + paper. I personally love American Crafts products for myself, but I’m also finding this is a great brand for the girls to use as well. With pretty colors, really fun embellishments, and stickers with cute sayings as well they give the My Girl line a big thumbs up!
Some shots of Rebecca’s book…
The big thing is – LET THEM DO THEIR OWN THING. No “oh but ___ would be better ___”. Don’t make unsolicited suggestions or fix spelling unless asked. Let there be mistakes. Awkward spots. Things that don’t flow. It is beautiful and wonderful because of the child who made it. In just a few years time the girls will look back and love the scribbles and the misspelled words and the imperfection. And right now? There are two happy and confident young ladies who marched these books right into school to show and tell that they made their own scrapbooks all about their trip to Hawaii.
and THAT is what I love about encouraging my kids to craft. Building up their skills in all kinds of way, while having a real good time together.