DIY creative notebooks for kids

Going places this summer? Do your kiddos like to “collect” mementos from your travels? Start a cheap, easy, creative (& interactive) notebook! It can be as in-depth as your kid wants, and it is a cheap way to store all of the maps, brochures, pictures, thoughts and memories in one spot. Perfect for summer vacations to have as a keepsake.

I started one for my son (well, we did it together) this summer when we did our “homemade summer school” and I wanted a place for him to keep some of the things he’d worked on or collected. I originally got the idea from the high school I work at that requires a lot of students to keep a history or writer’s notebook. (Basically, a place to glue in handouts/notes that are too important to lose, write in daily journals for class, etc.) It has worked out pretty well. Since he is four, he really likes and thrives on the verbal praise and seeing his work hung up. So I used masking tape and turned one empty wall of our home into a summer work wall (I’d never have survived as an elementary school teacher, its ugly), and then for some of the smaller things that I wanted him to be able to see and remember, we pasted them into a composition book for an instant journal. Its been really fun for him to have his stuff in one spot! As you can see below, ours is really plain, but you could certainly decorate it more if you’re so inclined. I might have him decorate it when we’re all done.

Start with a plain composition book, or you could use a spiral bound notebook. Either one. You just need a bound pad of paper that you can glue things in to.


What you’ll need:

1 Composition notebook or spiral bound notebook (your choice)
Glue sticks
crayons/markers/colored pencils
pens/pencils for writing, if desired



Pretty simple: as you go through your summer, glue in the mementos you wish to save on a page in your notebook. For older kids, take a moment to journal about sites you saw or adventures you had. You can be as creative as you want! It is a great place to keep pictures and collectables as you go through summer.


These are a few pages from my son’s book. We started summer learning about Landforms so he has pictures that he colored of each that we talked about (Click here for the week 1 blog). Then, after our Yosemite trip he put pictures in and journaled (for a 4 year old anyway) about his picture, and then we glued in a leaf we found while there.

These were cut out cards from the Cause and Effect lesson (Click here for my week 2 blog with more info) that we pasted in as well.

You can put in as much or as little as you want. Pictures, maps, brochures, etc that you want to keep would all be great little things to include. Kind of like a momento box, but a book-form one. You can add as you go, keep it chronological…the sky is the limit! It would be really easy for this to fit any age group, with more or less creative writing for older kids. The internet is full of great writing prompts that correspond to any topic.

Have fun, and happy memory making!

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