Thursday, August 23, 2012

Journal Making at GapKids! #CleverGap #ShineOn

GapKids Logo 

This post is sponsored by GapKids. Check out all the fun Shine On activities at your nearest Gap store. For event dates and locations, visit Gap’s Facebook page and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #ShineOn. 

It was great making my way down to the Coco Walk last Saturday for journal writing at GapKids.  I hopped a bus (and another bus and a train and a bus), y'all! I told myself I would make it down to Miami proper, and boy, did I!

I have happy memories of the Coco Walk from when I visited Miami during my birthday weekend about ten years or so ago.  (Could it possibly have been that long ago?)  Time flies.  My friend Mike and I had so much fun! We were buddies from the Tanglewood Music Center.  Good times.  Mike Kearns, where are you?

So, shining on, I made my way upstairs to the GapKids and found some perfectly sized kids' activity tables and several little ones working steadily on their journals.  :)  I explained to the very kind crew that I was a blogger from the Clever Girls Collective and not some weirdo randomly taking pictures of children crafting, haha.  But, as a teacher and discerning crafter, I had to analyze the instructions, usefulness, cuteness, and overall quality of the projects.

You could make one, too.  Pretty easy, right?
Merilee from Mer Mag did a great job designing a simple, useful, and fun project for kids.  Everything was well-planned, organized, and beautiful- down to the fact that they used graph paper on the inside of the journals.  This is important, because they used 8.5 x 11" paper folded in half to make a 5.5 x 8.5" journal.  If she had chosen a standard notepad, it would have resulted in the writing lines being vertical.  This attention to detail was impressive.

Graph paper also gives kids lots of possibilities for using the journal- just the simple notion of having squares instead of lines gives a kind of freedom. Your journal might not be for just the written word. Maybe we're making blueprints, designs... Maybe we're coloring in every single square in a different color!

They had some very tasteful papers for journal covers.
 I loved that the project was all about making the journal.  I think it's great for kids to know that they can make something with simple tools, and then go further and make it their own by adding pretty decorations.  I think it's better for kids to be able to follow directions and feel happy about making something from start to finish rather than just decorating an existing form. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.  I've done it before, and I'll do it again.)

Here's some good color & graphic inspiration!
It was also cool to spy the trends and designs GapKids was showing this fall.  Since it's back to school time, there were fabulous glittery backpacks, cute skinny jeans, and all sorts of fun stuff.  I even checked out the babyGap, because my good friend still has a little one, and I noted they have maternity wear as well! 

Clockwise from top left: Maternity wear in great colors, A kitty backpack at babyGap,
A tiger tee (reminding me of a year of the Tiger baby), a sequins backpack, and a rad graphic tee.
Love that motorcycle, don't you?
You can still catch the final Shine On Saturday event in Miami this weekend!  And this one is right in my backyard at the Aventura Mall.  The kids will be making Animal Character Badges. After seeing the projects in action, I'd recommend the event without reservation.

Saturday, August 25
GapKids @ Aventura Mall
19575 Biscayne Blvd. Suite 331 - Lower Level
Aventura, FL 33180


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.