It’s been a long year. 2020 is almost coming to an end, and boy has it been a year! This pandemic has affected all of us all over the world, including our kids.
One of the BEST ways for children to express the way they feel about the world around them, whether good or bad, is journaling.
There are so many benefits to journaling for kids and I think it is worth our time to explore why we should start encouraging them to journal.
Benefits of Journaling for Kids
1. Emotional Benefits
Journaling can help children express their feelings, whether it’s happy, sad, fear, lonely, or angry.
We can teach them to express anger in writing rather than yelling or lashing out at someone. It’s a safe way to just vent.
When they had such an awesome day and just can’t stop talking about it (you know what I mean ;)), we can suggest journaling as a way to record these happy moments so they don’t forget.
If they are scared about something, I would personally talk it through with my child and make sure there’s nothing I need to take immediate action on. But, if it’s being scared of the dark or a coming storm (Hurricane Florence for us!), we can tell them it’s okay to be scared and once these situations come to pass, encourage them to write about their feelings and how they overcame those fears.
I can go on and on, but you get the idea.
2. Sparks Creativity
Journaling can really unleash some creativity in our children.
One form of journaling is art. I think art journaling is a very natural for kids, especially our young ones since they can’t write yet.
They can draw a smiley face or a sad face to express their feelings. They can draw a picture of a special event, an outing, or simply their everyday life and favorite things.
My son likes to draw his dreams, like dreams he dreamt about. He finds them fascinating and doesn’t want to forget them.
3. Create Memories
These journals will eventually become a nice keepsake for them when they get older.
It’s memories of their childhood. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember much of mine and I wish I could read about some of my thoughts when I was younger.
4. Improve Writing
If your child has a hard time with writing (like my son right now), journaling is a great way to start without all the pressure of spelling and grammar rules.
I allow my son to either draw or write. He’s able to write simple 3 or 4 letter words, but writing a sentence or paragraph seems overwhelming to him right now.
Instead of fretting, I try to find creative ways that he can practice writing. Journaling is one of them. He keeps a journal with a combination lock on it. Usually, he draws his dreams or writes lists of various things like a toy wishlist or names he’d like to give to his next stuffed animal.
I really like Journal Buddies, where you can find writing prompts for all grade levels. You can find creative writing exercises, story starters, and lists of writing prompts to help get the process started.
Different Types of Journals
1. Art Journals
Art is such a therapeutic way for anyone young and old to express their feelings.
If your child loves to draw or you just want to encourage this type of journaling, you may want to try one of these:
2. Nature Journals
Even when they are just in the backyard, kids will notice critters, birds, leaves, and all the little things that we adults tend to overlook.
Inside a nature journal, they can record their observations and draw what they see. This will help them to identify and learn more about the natural world around them.
Here are some for you to consider:
- Exploring Nature Journal for Kids
- Free Kid’s Nature Journal Printable
- A simple blank notebook where they can just draw or write what they see.
3. Writing Prompts Journals
These are great for kids who may not know what to do when they are staring at a blank page. They are also great for reluctant writers.
There are prompts in the journals that will ask them questions or do an activity. They can write or draw their feelings or one thing they learned that day.
Here are some examples:
- My FREE daily prompt journal for kids
- The Big Life Journals for kids – These are very popular and helps kids with developing strong social emotional and mindset skills.
- Big Life Journal (Daily Edition)
- Journal Buddies
- One Question a Day 3-year Journal for kids
4. Prayer & Devotional Journals
Prayer journals are a great way for kids to just write or draw whatever is in their hearts, to make their wants, needs, and everything in between known to God. It is a great way to develop a closer relationship with their Maker.
Devotional journals are great because our kids are reading (or hearing) the Word of God and then respond to what they’ve read by journaling about it. This is more of a two-way conversation between them and the Lord.
Here are some great prayer & devotional journals I’ve come across:
- Not Consumed Devotional Journals for Kids
- Sarah Titus’ FREE printable Kids’ Prayer Journal
- Interactive Kids’ Prayer & Devotional Journal
You can also simply choose a blank journal and have them write letters or draw something for God.
5. Travel Journals
Travel journals are so fun and will definitely be a great keepsake for your child and family.
- 50 States Travel Journal for Kids
- Go! Interactive Kids’ Travel Journal
- U.S. National Parks Journal
- Lonely Planet Kids Travel Journal
6. Gratitude Journals
Being grateful or thankful is so important to learn from a young age. This can lead to a life of contentment.
When we teach our children to be grateful for all the blessings in our lives, it leaves very little room for bitterness or jealously.
Try one of these to start:
Tips on How to Get Started
You don’t have to go all out and get every single journal out there. Although, I gotta be honest, some of these journals are pretty cute and are very tempting!
However, you may not know if it’s something your child may want to continue to do in the long run.
I just started with a simple blank journal for both my kids. Then, I got an art journal for my son, also a plain blank one. Now, I am really eyeing the Big Life Journal. 😆
Some tips I have from my personal experience with my kids are:
- Start with just one.
- Set a budget and let them choose their own journals, it’ll make it more personal.
- Give them space and privacy.
- If they choose one with a lock, don’t lose the little key! Find a special place and always keep it there.
Wrapping it Up
If your child have never tried journaling before, I hope you will encourage them to give it a try. Journaling is something inexpensive and has so many good benefits.
If you end up trying one of these journals with your kids, please comment down below and let me know how it’s going! I would love to hear from you. 🙂
DISCLAIMER: This video is for informational purposes only and do not substitute professional medical or mental health advice.