Summer Ideas- "Notebooking"

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Summer is here. We love summer. Late nights followed by no early alarm clocks makes for good times.

I took some time off of blogging the last week or two, in order to soak in the last week of quiet mornings with no one home, before school ended.  I spent some time in quiet, off of my phone, computer and social media. It was a planned period of time to quiet all the voices in my head, so I could hear my own. And mainly, to focus on the still small voice of the Lord.

Though I love talking with people, reading my Facebook newsfeed, and also keeping up with my daily intake of online research, I must say that putting all of that aside for a few days gave me a much clearer mind.

In a world that offers so much fun and tempting "clutter", it's nice to get away occasionally and give our minds a rest. It's rejuvenating. And hopefully not a lost art. 

In a way it seems we may lose some aspects of creativity by constantly feeding ourselves information. By pulling away and being alone with our thoughts, true creativity and imagination is fueled.

This is something I have attempted to pass on to my girls....the need to put things down, to be able to be alone and think and create. That was a lot easier just a few short years ago before all the new distractions we have in our culture today. But it's still an attempt. And a need.

When children are little and require so much oversight,  it's tempting to just put them in front of a movie or videogame in order to catch a break. While I did that too, and it's fine for periods of time, just having a couple of creative ways for kids to spend some quality time alone is helpful.

Today's idea will break up the long summer days, give you a short break and also feed your childrens' minds and imaginations at the same time.

When my girls were little, I heard an idea from someone (wish I could remember who), loved it and ran with it! We called it "Notebooking". For some reason, we only did it in the summertime, but it's one of those things I'm so glad we did.

Before I explain, understand that my girls didn't necessarily love it at the time. It was sometimes met with groans yet sometimes with eagerness too, depending on age and mood.

The idea? Each girl got a blank three ring binder, full of notebook paper. Usually the kind with a little plastic cover over the front- that way they could decorate the cover by sliding a piece of paper in there.

When it was Notebooking time, they had to spend 30 minutes doing absolutely anything. There were no rules. Just fill it up with something that interests you. One day, hopefully, I will find their notebooks in storage and post pictures.  This could be done with any age, I know my youngest was quite young, very young. She may have just drawn, I can't remember.

I asked my girls the other day if they remembered Notebooking and they all said yes. I asked if they remembered anything they did in the notebook. (this was a good decade ago!)

One daughter wrote her own version of the "first episode" of Full House, their favorite tv show. Because Full House never explained why the mom of the family wasn't alive, she wrote an episode explaining what happened to the mom.

During one gloomy time, when Notebooking didn't sound fun, my daughter sat in her room (maybe 4 or 5 yrs old at the time??) and wrote a song called "My Room Blues". She didn't want to notebook that day, but was forced, and wrote song lyrics about it.
What's awesome about that and so funny is that she grew up to really write songs, so we joke that My Room Blues was her first song.

They spent time writing and drawing, collecting leaves and glueing them in the notebook and other things I can't recall.

I do know that they were forced to think and imagine and come up with an interest. This is an awesome activity to start when children are young, even 2 years old! They will have to look within themselves to come up with an idea, then let their imagination run wild and let them create.

Only rule (and it's for mom) - don't correct anything- there's no right or wrong.

It's fun to see what they come up with!


  1. What a great idea! I love it! I think I'll try it at BEBE camp this summer with 5 and 8 year old girls. Thanks!

    1. Yay for camp BEBE! I hope it's a hit. I can't wait to hold my own camp BEBE...wonder what it will be called though!? :)


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