Whether you call it a journal, diary or a writer’s notebook, they all could mean the same thing: a fun, personal, way to enhance your child’s drawing,reading and writing skills.
M and E were encouraged to keep a journal about the time they began to speak. Although they could only scribble,the journal was a way for them to have ownership of a form of self expression. Now at 6 and 4, their journaling has taken on different formats from when they started.One thing consistent for my girls is that journaling encouraged M and E to be observant of their surroundings and to have a place in which to express that. Even if you are not a person who keeps a journal for themselves, there are many ways to introduce journaling into your child's life.
Here are some tips that I found most successful when introducing the idea of keeping a journal to my girls.
1.Allow your child to pick out their own journal keeping in mind that it should be sturdy enough to endure a child's rough handling.
2.Help your child pick a journal that is appropriate for their age. Such as if they are not yet writing, a blank page journal would be best to enable them to draw their feelings.If they are writing a wide lined journal could help with penmanship and if they are mastering both writing and drawing skills then one with small amounts of images could help enhance their creativity.
3.Keep in mind that when you travel your child may want to bring their journal along or start one specifically for traveling. Sometimes a gift shop at your travel destination may have a journal that contains small amounts of information about that vacation spot and will serve as a guide to their entries.
4. Here are some items you can encourage your child to put in their journals, post cards, newspaper clippings, maps, cards, photos, pressed flowers or leaves.These items may inspire your child to write about their experience as they collected the items.
5.Try to set a time to for your child to journal daily. For us it works best at the end of day when they are laying in bed and the day has come to an end.Do be flexible with this,sometimes a child may want to journal at different times of their day.
6.Respect your child's desire for either keeping their journal private or as something that can be viewed by others. This is a good way to introduce the idea of respecting privacy which is a very important quality in adult life.

This is a great journals for the child who is reading and writing and may need a little help starting up.

This is great book that can be used as journal for the child who prefers to draw their emotions and needs a little inspiration.

Some of the best spots to get inexpensive journals of all kinds and for all ages is Barnes&Noble, Michael's dollar section and Target.
If you are looking for a nicer journal for yourself or an older child I suggest Papyrus, Anthropologie and Russell and Hazel.
I found this article interesting on the benefits of Journaling as a stress management tool.

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