Journaling for both kids and parents can be a very beneficial activity. Parents can use journaling to document their children’s lives or as a release for their feelings about raising children or anything else going on in their lives. Journaling is a wonderful way to relieve stress and is also an emotional release which is always beneficial.
Journaling is a valuable tool for parents and teachers when it comes to kids too. It is a good activity for children that is quite versatile and provides a place for kids to recount daily activities, share thoughts, work out problems or even just as a learning tool. Children greatly benefit from the opportunity to write or draw out their thoughts, even at the early age of 3.
“For preschoolers, a journal belongs solely to them, they can repeatedly return to it, and they can use it however they want. Even at such a young age, children develop a sense of ownership and privacy for their journal, and they use this feeling to safely explore writing letters (without anyone telling them if they are formed correctly), creating chapter books (without anyone telling them that the squiggles they make don't actually say anything), and, if they wish, filling every page with one mark on the first day (without anyone telling them they are wasting paper),” said Yvette Zaepfel, a Teacher at Small Faces Child Development Center. “Even in a classroom full of open-ended activities, journals give kids unlimited freedom because, due to the individual nature of the activity, they don't worry about making mistakes. An aspect which surprised me with journaling is that kids review their journals the same way adults do. They will often look back on entries from weeks before and remember what they were thinking when they created it. This helps with their concept of the past and their personal history.”
Give your young child their own special notebook and a thick crayon and watch them begin to intuitively journal. Once they know they have a special place to “write” out their thoughts, their excitement will grow.
“Journaling encourages young children to take control of the reading and writing experience by allowing them to become active, rather than passive, participants in the process,” said Beth Goss, a parent educator at North Seattle College. “It’s an opportunity to process past events (their visit to the zoo, when they were scared by the big dog…), put those ideas on paper, and share them with others.”
While one can always journal in a simple notebook or a pad of paper, there are a plethora of options from local companies to explore and help hone one’s journaling instincts.
Compedium offers a slew of journals dedicated to capturing all the important details of your child’s life. The Again! Again! Journal is simple and was created to capture all the priceless moments of your family’s lives. From Compedium’s Motherhood Collection, Letters to You is a delightful way for parents to write letters to their children through the years. These will be treasured keepsakes once the kids fly the nest. Compedium also has simple notebooks with colorful, graphic covers for the more abstract journaler.
Nikki McClure’s GROW journals from Sasquatch Books are perfectly suited for those early days with an infant. The First 1000 Days provides a loose structure to write down the important moments from first foods to first boat rides and parental dreams. The Next 1000 Days follows a child from ages two to six. Paper cut images are sprinkled throughout both books for great visuals.
Sasquatch Books’ other offerings are more suited for adults with the 52 Lists Project from Moorea Seal and the Flora Forager Journal from Bridget Collins. Seal’s book provides a space for a weekly list based on topical suggestions while Collins book is open ended but decorated with whimsical images of flora and fauna.