Fri, 17 Dec, 2021
Why You Should Encourage Journal Writing for Kids and How
If you were to read a random page from the journal of your little one’s emotions, you’d probably read something like this -
I don’t think I like you a lot. Because of you, I’m stuck at home with my parents and annoying sister. I cannot go to school and play football with my friends. Hell, I am not even allowed to dance at birthday parties without wearing a mask! How awful is that?”
It’s true how kids have been feeling lousy, frustrated, and doomed waiting for the pandemic to end. Their options for sharing their feelings are a. parents, b. siblings, or c. a journal (i.e. if they know about journaling). What do you honestly think they’d rather choose?
Journal writing for kids is a perfect way to express themselves freely, articulate their ideas, improve their literary skills, art skills, and gain confidence while they do so. That’s why as a parent, you should introduce your kid to journaling and help them write using some common journal prompts for kids.
What Is Journal Writing and What Is Its Purpose?
Do not confuse journaling with the old-fashioned diary used for summarizing a mundane routine. Journaling involves creative writing for kids where they can write, draw, or paint about something memorable, funny, or intriguing. The benefits of journaling can extend even deeper for kids that are reluctant speakers as it gives them a private space to pen down their thoughts.
While journaling can be a place of freedom where the writer can say whatever they want in a judgement-free zone, it can also help children in their education. For instance, if your child finds Science interesting, they can write about something that sparked their curiosity, for example, learning that the adult human body has a total of 206 bones or how do cells divide themselves. Such journaling ideas for kids can boost their understanding of the subject and also strengthen their learning abilities.
Journaling Tips: When and How to Start?
Take a moment to explain to your kid what is journal writing and the benefits of journaling such as creativity, self-awareness, and self-reflection. As soon as your child is ready to write freely without being conscious about their grammar, they are ready to start journaling. Ask them to remove a few minutes every day or a few hours during the week for journaling.
Here’s how they can start journaling:
First things first, get something to write in. The perfect journal is whatever suits your child’s style – blank pages, colourful pages, spiral notepad, scrapbook, etc. Next, add a pencil, pen, colour pencils, sketch pens, eraser, highlighter, glue, paperclips, etc. to support whatever direction your child’s imagination goes in.
Today's generation might also prefer maintaining a digital journal. So, if possible, provide them with a computer to make a photo or video journal.
Don’t Shy Away from Creative Add-ons
Let them get creative with stamps, stickers, photographs, magazine cut-outs, leaves, flowers, postcards, etc.
Some kids might need more than one journal. For example, a pocket-size journal to write on the go or a journal by their bed to write in when they can’t fall asleep.
Use These Journal Prompts for Kids
When your kid sits to write in a journal for the first time, they might not understand where to start. To keep their enthusiasm going, you can help them with some prompts:
- Write a short story about a memorable vacation
- Write how they feel about their family or friends
- Make a list of top favourite ice cream flavours, books, movies, songs, etc
- Write or doodle about how coronavirus affected their life
- Finish the sentence: I am happy/sad/angry because...
Incredible Benefits of Journaling for Kids
Not only is journaling fun and addictive, but it can also stimulate literary and social growth. Let’s get into the details of journaling benefits:
1. Boosts Writing and Communication Skills
While journaling, a child’s constant effort is to express clearly, which in turn improves their communication skills. Writing consistently will naturally improve their spelling, grammar, and vocabulary without stressing themselves.
2. Develops Reading and Comprehension Skills
Reading and comprehension are important to become proficient in a language. Journaling often inspires kids to read from other sources to formulate their thoughts and ideas and then pen them down in their own way. Reading some of their old writings can also help them rectify their own mistakes.
3. Motivates Them to Write
Children who are reluctant writers often limit writing only to schoolwork. Journaling can make writing interesting and help them get into the habit of writing continuously as they are free to write in their own style.
4. Kindles Creativity
Did you know that journaling is often practised by writers, artists, musicians and anyone else with a creative profession? That is because journaling encourages capturing ideas and self-reflection effectively. Journal writing for kids can boost their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. It involves creative storytelling which pushes them to make their journal appealing to read.
5. Allows To See Things From Different Perspectives
When kids write about a past event in their journals, they start to assess things realistically from multiple angles. This helps them build a rational thought process – a key skill to become a good negotiator and team player.
6. Promotes Expression of Thoughts
Journaling helps kids gain confidence in their ability to express themselves meaningfully. Doing this continuously will translate into better-written essays, articles, and speeches.
7. Develops An Eye for Detail
Kids write what they observe and to write something in detail, they need to capture everything thoroughly before penning it down. This builds their observational skills and strengthens their memory which can help them perform better in exams.
By focusing on punctuations, spelling, and grammar details; kids become more aware of their writing and are in a better position to avoid repetitive mistakes.
8. Makes It Easy to Deal with Feelings
Small kids take time to deal with big feelings like anxiety, nervousness, and bewildering moments such as stage fright. They might not be able to share everything with you, but when they put their emotions on paper, it all seems less scary to them.
So, let your child be in control of what they want to write and give them some privacy unless they want to share something with you. Make their journal a safe place for them to record their feelings.
Types Of Journals for Children
There are many different types of journals for kids to begin journal writing at home. Your child may want to experiment with multiple journals until they find the one that they like the most:
1. Nature Journals
There's a lot in nature that spark a child's curiosity. They can write about anything they observe in nature like trees, landscapes, birds, animals, flowers, etc. They could draw what they see, describe the sounds that they hear, or simply stick pictures of their favourite birds and flowers. This will encourage them to remember, think, write, and be creative.
2. Feelings Journal
A feelings journal is a great way to become self-aware of one’s emotions and learn how to control them. For instance, if they are feeling angry, they can write about what ignited that emotion in them, what they feel like doing, and what will be the consequences of their actions. This will help them calm themselves and at the same time build their emotional vocabulary.
3. Vacation Journal
This one’s not just for your children. It can be a fun family project where you can write, draw, stick pictures, and use souvenirs to describe the chronicles of your best vacation. You could even write about a vacation that you wish to go on in future!
4. Daily Writing Prompt
Help them pick up a random topic every day and write something about it without any limitations. A fun way to do this is by writing topics on small pieces of paper and putting them in a journal prompts jar for your kids to pick up anytime they are out of topics.
How Can Parents Help Kids in Their Journaling Journey?
You can do a lot to help your kids to begin journal writing, especially when they are new to the concept. Here are a few tips:
1. Gift Them a Nice Journal
Gift them a journal which also looks great. Experiment with bound, no lines, or hardcover. You can even go for customized covers according to what your child likes. It could be Avengers, Harry Potter, or even personalized with their own photo.
2. Let Them Explore Their Style
There are various journaling ideas for kids, but what’s important is that you let them discover their style by themselves. It’s not something that they ‘have’ to do. Take it easy, keep it fun, and let go of any rigid rules.
3. Respect Their Privacy
Perhaps the biggest question that parents have is: should they read their kid’s journal? Well, privacy matters. If a kid wants to maintain a private journal that is judgement-free, then let them have one. On the other hand, sometimes kids want to share what they’ve written. That is a good space to get into, but steer clear of being a parent with prying eyes.
4. Lead By Example
Don’t kids love imitating their parents? Journaling yourself is a good way to motivate your child to write in their journal. Show them creative ideas to fill their journal and that’s how they will learn.
Journaling is considered as therapy, a way of manifesting goals, and an outlet to pour one’s feelings out. It is particularly helpful when kids are learning to write. Inculcating this habit in your child will pave the way for their academic success and personal fulfilment in the long run.
PlanetSpark offers top-notch curriculums based on 21st-century skills for kids on various subjects including creative writing and effective communication. Book a free trial now!