Just as some children enjoy playing basketball and others don’t, not all children love writing. However, even if they don’t enjoy it, writing is a skill that they will eventually use on almost a daily basis and one that is essential for children to learn. It’s arguably not even ideal to just have basic writing skills. The more you practice writing, the better you become at conveying your thoughts to others. This improves your overall ability not only to communicate, but to express yourself. That is why I think that it is important as parents to find ways to encourage our children to spend time writing.
In fact, if we can help our children to find a way not only to practice writing, but learn to love it, we are helping them discover a valuable gift. One tool that I have experienced in my childhood that helped me develop a stronger love for writing was structured journals. When I was seven years old my mother made me my first journal. To make it fun she took some paper and wrote out some writing prompts (mostly just questions about myself and my dreams) for me to answer. Then she added some stickers, put them in a pink binder and voila, I had a journal.
I LOVED writing in my journal. It has been said that if you are having a hard time starting a conversation with someone, you should just ask them questions about themselves. People usually love to talk about themselves. It is no different with children or with writing. I had so much fun answering such questions as what I would do if I had a million dollars to what I wanted to be when I grew up. Below is a photo of the “All About Me” page from the journal that I am referring too. (Trools is meant to be: trolls. Obviously! 😉 )
I think I found this journal so appealing because my mom made it for me, she helped me fill it out, it was all about me, and it was structured. As I mentioned, I was only seven and I wasn’t really sure what I would want to write about in a journal in the first place. Having these prompts guided me through ideas on what to write about and wasn’t an overwhelming amount of writing for me to do. When I had longer entries that I wanted to write about family vacations or school days, my mother would often be my scribe as I dictated what I wanted written.
She even included blank pages for me to draw pictures like the one below where I drew a picture of my grandmother and I. It is a special memory to have recorded. She would take me on afternoons out to the mall and she would let me try on lipstick and ride the bus with her. I felt so grown up and special. Seeing this drawing in my journal and reading my responses as a child has brought me a a lot of joy throughout the years. So not only did this journal help increase my love for writing, but the binder itself has become a valuable keepsake for me.
I want my children to have similar memories writing and beloved keepsakes when they get older so I started preparing to make them one. (Yes, my kiddos are too young to write, but I like to prepare and besides, I could ask them questions and write down their answers myself.) However, I started to wonder if there was something like what my mother made me already on the market that I could purchase. To my pleasant surprise, there is.
I found several really great journals filled with prompts that children are meant to write in and enjoy. They have some great illustration accents and plenty of room for kiddos to jot down their thoughts and answers. I am sharing four of them below in case you, like me, may prefer to use some that are pre-made. Right now I am kinda thinking that I want to have my kiddos work on a few throughout their childhood so what I think I will do is have one that I make them, and use a few other pre made ones. That way they keep journaling and recording their childhood without me feeling pressured to take the time to hand make each one. I hope that they become treasures for my children for years to come and I hope it helps to instill in them a love of writing.
(from left to right)
(a look inside: Me Museum)
(a look inside: My Meaningful Life)
To save this list for later, pin the image below: