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Thanksgiving Art Journal with Kids for Tradition & Memories

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This Diwali, we started creating Art Journals – both Pari and I – as just another tool for expression of our creativity and thoughts.

Art journaling, I've found, lets you look within yourself to connect and express your mind and heart – in a style that's completely yours. 

It's an extension of traditional journaling (writing diary) with the difference that you complement it with art, collage, colours etc. This art can be your illustration, sketches, cuttings from newspapers and magazines, tickets, receipts, paint, stickers, fabric or any other media that adds dimension and character to your words. 

The idea is to make your diary visual and let it tell the story. (It's clearly different from scrap-booking)

The best part is, the outcome here does not matter. It's a purely process-oriented work

Not only do you have to NOT worry about the outcome, you don't even need to fret over the method. The method evolves as you go on. You may begin with magazine cuttings; move on to some paint and texturing; and proceed further with any other media. 
Go where you mood takes you. Write to your heart's content…

Since it's a purely process-oriented work, it's perfect for young learners.

Kids can write their thoughts; what they observe, their likes and dislikes; their feelings. They can also write how they want to celebrate their birthdays or festivals.

Or, create Art Journals for Thanksgiving. Aha! – like we are going to do tomorrow.

I'm really excited to share with you that starting this year, we are not just going to adopt the Thanksgiving festival as part of our other festivals; we are also going to take up Art Journaling for thanksgiving as our special family tradition!

Some ideas for creating Art Journals for Thanksgiving

We're going to do this by gluing pictures of family members in a diary (may be spiral) and asking each member to jot down what they are thankful for.

So, on each page, there will be a photo and some space for the member to write his/her thoughts. We will then decorate those pages.

Or, we may paste photos of family members and ask each to write for another member under his/her photo.

Another way – we can ask one member to jot down 5 things that another member likes/dislikes.

After doing this exercise, we can read all these out before or after a family dinner.

Doing this every year means creating memories each year! So endearing…

This sounds just like my kind of project!

Come to think of it,  we have been making art journal-like work for long now without really knowing they are called art journals. And, now that we know, it's wonderful to explore the infinite possibilities!

This mode of learning where art and writing is combined has always appealed to Pari. All the more reason to integrate Art Journaling in our homeschool.

Pari recently made and mailed this Art Journal entry to her grandmother for Thanksgiving.

To make this, she started off drawing around some objects to create shapes.

Then, she wrote 'inside' those shapes in different colours and finally painted with water colour around it. 

I gave her some ideas to get started and she was on her own after that. 

Some more that she made recently:

This is part of a diary made with handmade paper.

Ganesha cuttings from newspaper

Here are some guides and resources to get your kid or you started:

Are you as intrigued with the concept of Art Journaling as I am?

Will you do it for Thanksgiving tomorrow – or for New Year may be – to record each member's New Year resolutions? :)

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eik Thi Rani November 23, 2011, 11:43 am

    This is truly fantastic! Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving. :-)

    • Anonymous November 24, 2011, 5:32 am

      @7e0dc152c52db665d7474c449baf6556:disqus Vaishali, so good to see you here! I’m glad you liked these ideas on at journaling. See you around more often :)

  • Tammy November 23, 2011, 4:56 pm

    Thank you for including the art journaling 101 posts in your round-up; art journaling is perfect for exploring and experimenting with art materials of any type! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Anonymous November 24, 2011, 5:30 am

      @e1db92cadf5350095d6f3adf451a6059:disqus Your blog is so chock full of information on art journaling. One of the best resources I’ve found on internet. Thank you for the inspiration and for stopping by here to connect :)
      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  • Melissa Taylor November 24, 2011, 12:40 am

    wow, we’re on the same page! We did art journals during a week in the mountains this summer and are starting new ones for winter. . . . thanks for sharing your ideas, I’m always learning more!

    • Anonymous November 24, 2011, 5:29 am

      Art Journaling in the mountains?! Wow, Melissa – that would be the most wonderful way to spend summers. I’m so glad you feel the same about art journaling…!

  • Natalie November 24, 2011, 5:18 am

    Very intriguing – we might start one for New Year. Pari is so very creative and expressive, I wonder where she takes it from :)

    • Anonymous November 24, 2011, 5:27 am

      @1cb93aca1bdf78986aa47789cc3c41cf:disqus This will be a wonderful thing to start for New Year! Thank you for your sweet words about Pari. I think your daughter – Anna – is so chirpy and clever too! I am sure the two girls will get along like a house on fire if they ever get to meet!

  • Amy March 11, 2012, 12:01 pm

    I help my two oldest kids write about what they are thankful for each evening (with exceptions) in gratitude journals. I started doing this with the kids to encourage them to focus on the blessings in their lives. I had not anticipated that keeping these journals would be a great way to encourage my son to write and my daughter to draw. My daughter always asks to draw a picture to accompany whatever she’s asked me to write. After reading your post, I’m inspired to get a bigger journal for her that will give her more space to draw.