Benefits of Journaling for Kids

Learn all about the benefits of journaling for kids. It’s amazing what children gain from this practice, from pre-readers all the way through teens.

The importance of journaling for kids

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Summer is always a big journaling time for my kids. They have journals all year round, but in the summer they have more time, and I always buy them new notebooks to journal in for summer ($.75 cent notebooks this summer – nothing fancy). They bring their notebooks on our trip, where they can journal whatever they like. If you want more structure, try this Question a Day Journal for Kids:

I see a lot of benefits of journaling for kids; here are a few of my favorites:

Benefits of Journaling for Kids

  • Journaling Builds Memories.  By writing and drawing in their journals, my kids are deciding what events they want to remember from their day. They will then have these memories to look back on.
  • Journaling develops writing and storytelling. A journal entry is a piece of personal history. By creating these little histories, children develop writing and storytelling skills that will help them in school as well as throughout their lives.
  • Journaling helps kids process events. Kids experience new things every single day. Journaling gives them a quiet space to go over these events so they can learn by reflecting on their day.
  • Journaling is a creative outlet. Some of my kids’ journal entries are serious, but a lot of them are very silly. I think this is great! They are laughing and developing their sense of humor. Journal entries may also include drawings – in three-year-old Anna’s case, that is all her journal entries are. I have drawing journal entries from my own childhood, and they are a lot of fun to look back on!

Journaling should be something that your kids enjoy! My kids are allowed to use their journals however they like, and I only read them if they ask me to. This is their space to figure out who they are in their world.

Do your kids keep journals? Do you? Did you as a child?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

14 thoughts on “Benefits of Journaling for Kids”

  1. I love the idea of journaling, but can’t sustain it myself. I’d like to, however. Do you also keep a journal? Do you and the kids write together? Is there a time of day you set aside for this? Just curious. ;)

    1. I do journal – I have every day since the end of September 2003. I usually (but not always) write just before bedtime. I haven’t set aside a specific time for my kids to write, but it would be nice for us all to write at the same time.

  2. I have my 5 year old use a journal for the reasons you mentioned. Mostly we write and answer questions to each other, but I love the idea of having him write memories and stories. I also think it’s great that you have your 3 year old draw pictures. I’ll have to try that too!

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    Terrific photo! Journalling is sooooo beneficial. As an adult I find that it helps me process difficult emotions in appropriate ways rather than having them spill out in other areas of my life.

    The reason I don’t journal more consistently is that I have trouble finding balance with it – I feel that if I write just a short entry it’s not worthwhile, but I don’t make the time to write long entries… so I end up not doing it at all. Do you have any tips for me?

    I can see the fruit of journalling in your blog posts; you are clearly very good at reflecting on all aspects of your life. We, your readers, benefit from that!

    1. I think that any writing is worthwhile, and it’s easier to get something done if it is part of your everyday routine. Even “today was a tough day” has a sense of relief/release, don’t you think? And memories like “Anna laughed and laughed at the three older kids being silly today” are worth preserving. Good luck!

  4. My kids are keeping summer journals too. Love all the benefits you compiled!
    BTW, oops, my link entry has a typo if it is easy to fix, thanks.

  5. Pingback: Joyful Summer Learning Activities | Heart and Soul Homeschooling

  6. Pingback: 4 preschool journaling experiences to try in early childhood

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