Writing in a journal at two or three years old’s might not sound like the usual, but studies suggest that early creative journaling not only reinforces early writing and small motor control, but it allows children to express feelings in a safe and creative space. So why not?!
As soon as a child can hold a chubby crayon, pen or pencil they are inspired to create an image that is all their own (you might already have a creative drawing on your walls or tables 😊). So why not make kids journaling apart of your child’s day?! Allow them to build a love of writing, wright from the beginning!
Why and when
Start early! If your child can grasp a chubby crayon or pencil he can begin a journal. Teaching your child the proper grasp as they develop is important, but as a beginning writer, the focus should be on the creation of their own shapes and colors. Eventually you can begin moving on to teaching pencil grasp, tracing simple lines and shapes. Journals are for everyone, and allow open free expression. So start early and build a lifelong habit of writing right from the start!
There are many types of journals or notebooks on the market perfect for kids to journal in (link), or like me, you can use simple objects found at home to make your own. What’s important is getting started. Journals can be as creative as your “littles art.” Start with a paper surface that is large enough for your child’s age and ability to “write” on their own. Bind large paint or sketch paper with fasteners (Yarn, twine, metal rings or brads to name a few). There are all different ways that you can tie your journal together, or try journals especially created for kids (link to journals). Grab crayons, pencils, markers or stamps and get started building a love of writing through journaling!
Types of Journals
Some parents love to let their “littles” create on their own while others look to add a bit more structure. As an educator I believe in a balanced approach. Allowing free expression with guidance. Providing an assortment of formats and types of journaling provides some structure and allows for opportunities to explore “writing” in a variety of ways.
Here are a few ideas:
- Collections Journal: explore journling using a theme or collections. Sticker, photos, cards and stamps can be a creative way to share stories, stats, and information about your child’s cherished collections and interests.
- Nature journals: Collect leaves, pressed flowers, shells, feathers, take photos of items found and seen to explore in your child’s journal. Its a wonderful way to learn and discover the world around your child.
- Art: An art journal it a perfect way to allow free creation and imagination. Provide your child with art supplies and let them get creative!
- Parent/Child shared journals: share journal ideas and pages with your child. Write about family trips, adventures or day to day life together. This a wonderful way to model writing with your child and develop an extension of life events.
- Prompt lead journals: Provide your child with daily prompts or questions to write (and draw) about. Perfect for early readers, as you glue or write a simple prompt or question and let them be creative.
- Expression journals: This type of journal helps “littles” get in touch with, and understand emotion. Have your child journal or draw their feelings using colors and words: Joy, sadness, curiosity, frustration, happiness, concern…all have a place in your child’s journal.