Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Creating a "Guide to my Hometown" book with your children

CMOTC mom Kathleen P. offers a great idea to make spring break (or any time) right here in Columbus a lot of fun! She suggests having your children create a "Guide to my Hometown" book full of the fun things you do that week. Thank you for this great idea Kathleen!


As spring break draws near, it reminds me of how Columbus has so much to offer families. The March issue of Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine lists all the one-of-a-kind attractions our great city offers.

Yet for kids to understand how wonderful their city is it will take some reflection. Asking them to create a “Guide to my Hometown” is a great avenue for them to express their point of view of their corner of the world. The book can include what they love – their local parks, restaurants, museums and stores. This book can be part travel guide, scrapbook, or diary formats – including all three. Also listing what other places they would like to visit and why.

To Get Started:
  • Make a list of all the places you would like to visit or things you would like to experience.

  • Get a binder (3 ring) with clear plastic sheet protectors and tabs if they would like divide up the areas of interest.

  • Gather some basic scrapbook supplies (i.e. markers, glue stick, tape, stickers, and paper for the binder/scrapbook).

  • Ideas for some great items to collect are brochures and pictures of families/friends at the location.

Putting It All Together

At the end of the week (or throughout the week) set up a work space to organize their experiences. When making the book, add as much detail as they would like…dates, times, addresses. Make sure you let each page dry completely before putting your book together.

Ideas for the books:

  • As a special feature, have them look into the history of one of the locations they visit.

  • Try new restaurants, and add to the fun by having each family member “rate” the local establishment and tell what their favorite meal was. (For a dinner idea, try to duplicate the menu items.)

A few great places to visit:

  • Parks and playgrounds offer a day of sun and fresh air (and are great for fun nature activities, like scavenger hunts - see some ideas here).
  • Culture and Arts, this is where your budding artist can express themselves. Possibly copying their interpretation of classics at the art museum or being the author of their own storybook as a reflection of the Thurber House.
  • Go on an African Safari or to the Outback at the zoo. Children can have fun pretending to be explorers, capturing photos and learning facts about the animals.
  • Visit the North Market for a flavor of some fun cultural treats and support of local merchants.
  • Go back in time, through the Progress exhibit, or schedule to build something cool as a family at the Gadgets Cafe at COSI.

Ideas for other books:

  • Have them create books about their sporting events, or what is going on in their favorite sports during the summer or throughout the year.

  • Create a favorite holiday tradition book, this one looks at the whole year and what children love most about family time together.

This can be the start of a great tradition of collecting memories of family trips that they will always cherish, as well as the time together with you.

Also, Groupon's special (until Thursday 3/17) is an 8" X 8" photobook from Shutterfly for only $10. These are great for spring break photos!



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