Creative Journaling helps kids to observe their world, express their inner most thought, become creative thinkers and start to enjoy the process of writing.


You can call it a journal, a diary, the chronicles of me, secret thoughts, a captain’s log or the book of cool… it doesn’t matter.  In fact, the stranger the name the more appealing it may become. The point is to make creative journaling by any other name, a fun as possible.


Like other creative endeavors, creative journaling needs a safe, private environment for children to express themselves creatively and nurture experimentation.  It allows kids to be observers of their world and see it from a different perspective. It also is a wonderful way for kids to explore their feelings and clarify their thinking.  Writing in a journal is a wonderful creative tool as well as a great way to enhance self esteem .


Lead by example


One of the best ways to encourage children to develop the habit of writing something in their journal everyday is for parents to develop the habit themselves... model the behavior.  Actually journaling is a wonderful tool for an age. It exercises creativity, encourages creative expression, facilitates clear thinking, boosts self confidence, nurtures creative thinking and provides some quiet time to get to know yourself.  It is a marvelous habit that can be beneficial from cradle to grave.  It reminds us where we have been and allows us a place to record our dreams.


The best way to start is to just jump in.  When keeping a journal your thoughts and ideas are the start. There is no right or wrong.  There is no better way.  It can be stream of consciousness, fiction, poetry, doodles, random thoughts or factual record keeping. It can be a jumbled mess.  The only rule you should endeavor to follow is to write something everyday.


After a while it will become a habit.  Start simply.  Write down everyday things that may be funny, interesting, thought provoking.  It can be memories of your youth or relatives, emotions, lessons.  If you are at a loss you might look at old photos which might trigger memories.  Perhaps include the photo in your journal. 

Make a point of writing in your journal at a time when the children are around to notice what you are doing.  Sooner then later curiosity will get the best of them.  When that happens share some of your journal pages with them.  But be sure to explain that it is a very private book that no one sees unless the owner wants to share what is inside.  The natural next step is to ask if they want their book.

As soon as kids are able to hold a pencil or crayon and make marks on a piece of paper they can benefit from keeping thier own journal.  They can draw pictures if they can’t write.  They can point to pictures in magazines that you can help them cut and paste in their own special book.  They can dictate to you.

        Keeping a journal should be fun!!!

               Keeping a journal should be fun!!!

                          Keeping a journal should be fun!!!

The first step after a child expresses interest in having their own journal is a trip to the store to pick out their very personal, fun journal.  

There are pre-made journals of every size, color and price and certainly that is one option. Another might be to by a plain old notebook or sketchbook and let the child personalize it.  Perhaps they might paste various pictures on the cover, glue colored buttons or pressed flowers on it, sprinkle glitter or cover it with stickers. In fact it doesn’t even have to be a notebook.  

It could be a thought-treasure box made out of shoebox covered with wrapping paper.  The child would write or draw on note cards and put the in the box everyday, the box could also hold pictures, favorite rocks, ticket stubs or anything that stimulates memories or thoughts. 

The other tool needed is the writing device… a special pen, crayola’s, markers, colored pencils… you get the idea.

Brainstorm Bank

If your child has a difficult time getting started or runs into the dreaded creative block, create a brainstorm bank.  The bank can be an artfully decorated jar, a decked out shoe box or a repurposed piggy bank.

Take an afternoon and brainstorm questions to put in the bank…”write about your best friend”, describe your perfect day”, I wish I could”… and so on. 

Cut uniform pieces of paper or use notecards… one for each idea.  Paste pictures on the cards as well.  Look for items that evoke memories or conversations and tape them to the notecards… movie ticket stubs, a favorite comic strip.  Brainstorm as many cards as you can and put them in the bank for that rainy day when you or junior feel uninspired.





ONEThe journal is a personal, protected, safe place to record inter-most thoughts. It is sacred and cannot be breached.

TWOThere is no right or wrong way to keep a journal.  They are the master of their own notebook, no one will ever judge or criticize it in anyway… in fact, no one with ever see it, unless there are pages they want to share.



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