Field Tripping Our Way Through a Smashbook

I know many homeschooling moms love to scrapbook but I’m not certain how many have jumped onto the fun of smashbooking. What is a smashbook you ask, well it is kind of like a scrapbook but more freeform and (possibly) a little bit messier.

For years I have turned my planners into smashbooks as I paste ticket stubs, parking passes, and other little bits and pieces from our road trips into their pages. I also like to add stickers and other items into my travel journals. These can be as simple as a title and address from a brochure for a spot I’d like to visit on a future trip to an area. Others are more inclusive of images and memories from current and past travels.

While watching me putting some of this together one day, EJ asked if he could join in on the fun. So what started as a simple way for him to keep track of his memories in a journal without spending a ton of time writing (not one of his favorite things to do) has become a way for him to research the area we are visiting and put together a project to share with family once we get home.

Over time, EJ has added clippings from local newspapers that share weather conditions and current events. He has also begun to cut photos and text from travel brochures and magazines that he picks up at local hotels. All of these things are put together with a simple pair of scissors and a mega gluestick that we keep in our pencil case along with crayons, markers, and a few pencil crayons to brighten things up and help EJ to personalize things.

Another bonus of knowing he will be putting together smashbook pages is that EJ has begun to plan some of the items he will need to make them as bright as he can. He has begun to embellish some of his pages with glitter glue and stickers that we’ve picked up at the dollar store (we love the dollar store for homeschool craft and activity supplies) plus we invested in one of the little HP instant printers so he can print a photo from our phone or tablet and add it to his page right away.

I’m even finding he is getting better at adding notes to his pages, thus turning it into a bit more of a travel journal and diary than simply cut and paste. Now what began as more of an art project is coming full circle into something that covers history, social studies, geography (we add map images as well), and language arts as EJ’s work into it expands.

Have you done any scrapbooking, smashbooking, or travel journalling on your homeschool field trips? It’s certainly something you might like to try.

A big thank you to Kimberley Linkletter of Vintage Blue Suitcase for writing this article.

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