Help your children express their feelings through writing: Journals kids enjoy

With the increase in journal-type books that kids have fallen into for giggles and inner-most thoughts (see last week’s post of new journal-style books kids love reading), journaling is something kids are enjoying more. Encouraging kids to write (or draw) in journals helps them to express their feelings and thoughts, and gives parents a greater opportunity to connect. Below are several different types of journals for kids to enjoy.

Last month, when I purchased a simple notebook for my 8-year-old, I was amazed at how quickly I “lost” him to the process. His pages quickly filled with daily-life-related sketches and comments, similar in style to  Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. My older son was also given a journal, and his pages filled with stories and expressions he was feeling as well as some fiction writing.

 journals for kids

Journals can be more than basic spiral-bound lined pages with a blank cover. Consider what your child enjoys reading and how well the journal will fit on his or her nightstand, bookshelf or desk. Here are a few options:

Sketch Books

Best for the child with a mind of pictures– if your child expresses himself freely in pictures rather than words and is always drawing, this is your best option. A sketchbook gives him an opportunity to put thoughts on paper just as well as a lined notebook.

Canson 9-Inch by 12-Inch Universal Sketch Book, 100-Sheet

 Doodle Books

Doodle Books are similar to sketch books, in that they offer more opportunity for kids to express their thoughts in picture than words. Doodle books, generally, start with prompts to help guide kids in their images.

Doodle Journal: My Life in Scribbles (Klutz)

Doodle Sketchbook: Art Journaling for Boys

Guided writing

Some kids need inspiration when looking at a blank book. There are hundreds of options of books that offer “story starters”, some of my favorites include:

Through My Eyes: A Journal for Teens

365 Journal Writing Ideas: A year of daily journal writing prompts, questions & actions to fill your journal with memories, self-reflection, creativity & direction


For younger children

Children just learning to write will enjoy Draw & Write Children’s Journal, primary journals that offer both an image area, with primary writing lines for words (includes dashed lines for letter formation).

An adventure to complete with help of an older friend, sibling or relative, young children love to respond to Dr. Seuss’ My Book About Me.

All About Me books

Another subcategory of the journal genre, All About Me books ask kids questions and ask for short answers and illustrations from kids that lets them record things they like, dislike, and feel.

All About Me: A Keepsake Journal for Kids

All About Me Teenage Edition: The Story of Your Life

Buddy or family journaling

More of a partnership, families enjoy the chance to journal together, giving parents and children opportunity to discuss their views, opinions and feelings.

The Family Doodle Book: 65+ Prompts That Let Parents and Kids Doodle Together! (We had to buy three copies of this book so each kid could have his or her own to do with my husband and me. We’re all loving this one.)

Journal Buddies: A Boy’s Journal for Discovering and Sharing Excellence

Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms

Blank, Lined Notebooks

The traditional lined notebooks for kids who want to write what they want to write.

Black n’ Red Twin Wire Hardcover Notebook

TOPS Royale Business Hardcover Notebook

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel ( and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2014, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    Lots of cool suggestions! My oldest is seven and he sometimes likes to do “make-up stories” in place of our books at night. We take turns telling a story so I think he’d love the Family Doodle Book or the All About Me journal for kids.


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