I thought it would be fun to journal with my kids…until I tried to journal with my kids. Don’t judge me. I just wanted them to quietly reflect, draw cute pictures and do their best to journal on their own so I could journal on my own. But this is real life, and if I’m totally honest it didn’t go so well the first time. So I’m going to let you in on the secrets that have been helpful in creating a fun space where my kids can record their cute little lives from their perspective while I take some time to write in the journals I keep for them.
Make it Special
Pick a treat or location that makes journaling fun for your kids! We have a special name for our journaling day: “Tea on Tuesdays.” As the name suggests, we always have a cup of tea or hot cocoa while we journal. It is something my kids really look forward to and they often ask at bedtime, “Will tomorrow be Tuesday?” You could also try having special pajamas or a special blanket that you only wear or use when journaling. Whatever you decide to do, keep it simple so it’s easy to continue, but special for your kids.
Use Writing Prompts
Sometimes the hardest part of journaling can be figuring out what to write about! Photo prompts are especially fun for kids. They can choose a picture that sparks their interest or they can roll a dice and write about whichever picture it lands on. Remember, this is supposed to be fun!
Journaling templates are another way to keep things fresh and fun. For everyday journaling I like to use these pages because they give kids space to write and draw. It’s often much easier for kids to write about a picture they’ve drawn than to simply write an answer to a question. These free printables are a fun way to capture holiday memories, and these all about me printables are fun to use on birthdays or at the new year.
Give Permission to Be Imperfect
My kids are always asking me how to spell things and it drives me batty. Again, please don’t judge me. I had to tell them to just do their best sounding things out and remind them I will probably be able to read it even if it’s not spelled correctly. I reassure them that if I can’t read it when they are done, I will help them spell things correctly. As I read their journaling out loud to them they are amazed that I can read what they wrote even if it is misspelled. It’s a huge confidence booster!
It’s also helpful for them to know they only have to write a sentence or two. Of course the older the child, the more they can (and will likely want to) write. Keep it simple and remember the purpose is to have fun recording their stories!
Try Other Journaling Methods
Don’t be afraid to shake things up! Writing is great, but if your kids get bored with writing try something different! You can also try digital journaling or keep a drawing, photo, or audio journal. Soon I will be writing an article for the 21 Day Connections Experiment with resources for each of these types of journaling.
Until then, join us over on Instagram and share your ideas for making journaling special for your kids. You might even find a few new ideas that you might want to use!