Encourage Journaling for Kids Ages 4–14

Instill a love of writing and reflection through popular diary titles and journaling.

Apr 10, 2024



Encourage Journaling for Kids Ages 4–14

Apr 10, 2024

Looking for an activity that will capture and keep your child’s attention? Try journaling! It's a great way to help your child build emotional expression, communication skills, self-awareness, and a healthy self-esteem through the power of a blank page. 

With a regular daily practice of journal writing, your child will gain the ability to reflect, feel grateful, and expand their creativity, all while building crucial reading and writing skills. 

Check out how to begin a journaling practice with your child and more ways on how to connect it to their reading. 

Promote Daily Reflection 

Start with shorter journal entries where your child can write and reflect on their daily life. This activity, even if done for a few minutes a day, can make all the difference in helping them make sense of the world around them and the way they experience it. 

For example, you can try gentle writing prompts that encourage the inclusion of details — ask your child to write about a time they hung out with a good friend the past week and what they did that day. Alternatively, ask them about a favorite movie character or video game (this journal is perfect for gamers) and why they’re a fan of those things. This will allow your child to really think about the question and expand on it in any way they’d like!

This type of daily journaling for kids can also be a fun treat when they re-read their entries at a later time. This in turn will give them a deeper understanding of their own emotions as they build their skills in self-reflection and discovering how they feel afterward. 

Connect Their Reading and Writing Skills 

Keeping a journal doesn’t have to be limited to writing about daily occurrences, however. A daily writing practice can also encourage your child to expand into creative writing with journal-style fiction. 

Try encouraging your child to practice writing a short story in the style of a diary. It can be about anything they’d like. Ask them to describe what their characters look and act like, and what their environments are like — the more detail, the better! 

Journal prompts can also be a great way to connect their favorite books with their own creative and daily writing. For example, little readers will love keeping their own journals as they read series like Owl Diaries, Unicorn Diaries, and Diary of a Pug. As kids see their favorite characters keep their own diaries and how they write, they will be motivated to attempt different voices and writing styles. 

Meanwhile, older kids will love series like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which will also encourage readers to think outside the box and draw in the margins to illustrate their own stories, just like in the popular series! 

Make Sense of Their Emotions 

Older children preparing for middle school or entering middle school will naturally encounter some difficult emotions during these years. Journaling can help them get their feelings out and on paper.

Keeping their own journal during this critical time will help your child feel safe to express their emotions and their thoughts about what’s going on in their lives at school, at home with family, with their friends, or anything else. 

Explore Themes

Don’t forget that you can keep different diaries for different things! Organize your child’s interests by keeping a journal for whatever captures their imaginations.

For example, a science or nature journal allows kids to keep track of their discoveries in the natural world (like a field book). They can even press flowers and leaves within its pages, and decorate it with souvenirs they find on walks or during exploring. And, a math journal can help organize their thoughts about more complex concepts, or even create a place to practice on scrap paper. 

Meanwhile, a gratitude journal is perfect for keeping track of one thing they’re excited about or thankful for on a daily basis, which can improve their overall well-being, confidence, and self-esteem. 

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