Thursday, January 6, 2011

song and poetry journal

When Elizabeth was in kindergarten, her teacher had each of the children assemble a song and poetry journal with the various songs and poems they learned that year. Although it's been 5 years, Elizabeth still has that journal and occasionally pulls it out to remember a song or poem, or sometimes to teach her brother a seasonally appropriate little ditty. I don't know why I never thought of it before now, but a song and poetry journal seems perfect for Finn, to collect the little songs we sing at different times of day, especially at night, and to hold the poems that he and Paul recite together in the evenings.

Once I thought of making Finn a song and poetry journal, it took me a while to figure out exactly how I wanted it to look and feel for him. Finally, I chose a soft plastic 1 inch binder which I then covered in some leftover Japanese fabric that I had in a storybook print.

On the inside, I used one of Finn's watercolor sheets cut in half for the Songs/Poetry dividers.

I really like the feel of the fabric binder with the soft colors of the divider, a much gentler visual than just the plain plastic binder. I chose 3 of the songs that Finn most enjoys listening to me sing as he's laying down at night and included a pictorial cue for each song.

I followed the same construct for the poetry section. I will add more songs and poems each week, but I didn't want him to be overwhelmed in the beginning. My intention is that he'll become familiar with each page so he can look at the page and tell me what the song or poem is before I begin adding new ones.

He can already look at the picture of the little snowman his brother built and tell you that this page is "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens.

Of course, when he saw the page for "Ode to Nightingale", he said, "Why did you put this and not "The Sick Rose" or "My Pretty Rose Tree"?" So, apparently, I'll need to add more poetry soon!

I'm very pleased at how this little journal turned out, and I'm delighted that Finn likes it. I can't wait to put it into action and beef up the contents. What fun!


  1. What a beautiful journal Joy!

  2. You are such a good mama! This is something I have been intending to do with Zach since he was, oh, 2 or 3 years old. You have inspired me to get my act together. He gets such joy now reciting the poems I did with him at night to Naia now. Such treasures!

  3. This is just GREAT!! I still have Emily's journal as well and it was just adorable. I hope Finn has fun with this!!

  4. This is so beautiful Joy, and what a special way to capture his stories and poetry. Love it.

  5. That is a fantastic idea and one I'll surely be stealing from you in the future!

  6. This is such a great idea Joy! I love this!

  7. oh i love love love this. We just got folders & I'm not loving it at all! This is much sweeter & a bit more concise.


I love to hear what you think!