How do you get kids journaling, and what are the benefits of journaling for kids? As a lifelong journal keeper, I’m thrilled that Mia invited me here today to explain! Read more about the benefits of journaling.
Humans have kept journals for hundreds of years, and there’s a good reason for that! I’m a huge believer in journaling across a lifetime, starting as a child. I feel so strongly about this that I created the Question a Day Journal for Kids to help children get started with journaling.
5 Reasons Kids Need to Journal
Journals come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but there are some universal reasons they are important for children.
1. Journals teach children self-expression.
Knowing how to express your thoughts and feelings is an important part of developing emotional and social intelligence. This is more important than ever before in our modern world where career success is all about networking, clear-headed thinking, and creativity.
Besides the career benefits, this kind of processing helps develop happy, well-balanced humans who feel at peace with their lives.
2. Journaling Develops Writing Skills.
Schools teach writing, but there is nothing like practicing writing by recording events in your own lives, as well as your personal thoughts and feelings.
Journals offer safe spaces to open your soul and simply write. And that experience develops fluidity that transfers over to other, more formal, writing projects.
3. Journals Teach Kids to Think Critically
As humans, we interpret the events of each day through a personal lens. Writing out our day helps us catch holes in our thinking and reasoning. It also offers a written record of what we thought at the moment that can keep us from twisting events in our minds as time goes by.
4. Journals Create Lasting Memories
I grew up moving, all the time. As a third culture kid, my journal offers an invaluable record of how I experienced each continent, country, and culture.
Many children (including my own) don’t move like this, but journals are still very important! As we learn and grow, we perceive the world differently. Journals preserve our view of our lives and surroundings at a particular moment in time.
5. Journals are Fun!
I firmly believe that all children should LOVE journaling. That’s why my Question a Day Journal for Kids focuses on fun, engaging, and creative prompts. The questions in this journal get kids thinking, laughing and imagining as they write their way through the year.
How Do I Get My Kids Excited About Journaling?
It can be hard to think about what to write if you are not a lifelong journal keeping. Books full of prompts like the Question a Day Journal for Kids: 365 Days to Capture Memories and Express Yourself make it easy to just start writing.
But there are a few other things you can do:
- Write alongside your children. Everything is more fun when you have company!
- Don’t be afraid to get goofy. Sure, the serious events in your lives are important. But so are the silly ones! Laughter is the best medicine, and this is as true in journaling as anything else.
- Schedule Journaling Time. I tend to write in the evenings, right before I go to bed. My youngest daughter prefers to write first thing in the morning, and she keeps her journal right under her bed to make it even easier to write.
- Don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Journals are all about self-expression, and they need to be safe spaces. It’s wonderful if your child wants to share with you what they wrote, but avoid correcting any errors.
- Journal in whatever way is easiest for you. My Question a Day Journal for Kids is perfect for children who like direction, but an art journal or a simple blank notebook make wonderful journal tools if they are what you or your child prefers.
Don’t forget to pull out those old journals from time to time. The memories can be half the fun of writing in the first place!
MaryAnne Kochenderfer lives in California with her professor husband and her four lively children who taught her how to ask questions. She chronicled many of her adventures in her own childhood journals, which she still enjoys revisiting as an adult. You can find her blogging about education, creativity, play, and family travel at mamasmiles.com. Follow MaryAnne on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.