October 2, 2022

Kids' Journal Buying Guide and Tips to Start Their Journey

Journaling is an excellent way for kids to express themselves and work through their emotions. It can also be a fun method for children to document their thoughts, ideas, and daily adventures.

As a parent, you may be wondering what the right age is for your child to start journaling and what features you should look for when purchasing a journal for kids.

In the following kids' journal buying guide, we'll answer these questions and provide you with 4 different journaling options to help kick-start their journey.

Writing Journal with Lock

What Age is Right for Kids to Start Journaling?

There's no definitive answer to this question as every child develops differently and will be interested in journaling at different ages. Some kids may start showing an interest in writing and drawing as early as 3 or 4 years old. Other children may not show any interest at all until they reach their pre-teen years.

The great thing about journaling is that your child doesn't need to know how to write yet. If they're in need of a creative outlet to express themselves, you can start by having them share their thoughts and feelings by drawing in their journal. To get them used to the journaling process, have them explain the sentiment behind their drawing so you can write it down for them.

This alternative method to writing can be especially beneficial for kids who have difficulty putting their thoughts into words. Over time, they may become more comfortable with writing and will eventually start putting their thoughts down on paper themselves.

Related article: 11 Science-Backed Reasons To Have Your Child Keep a Daily Journal for Kids

Diaries and journals

What's the Difference Between a Journal and a Diary?

Diaries and journals are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. Diaries are typically used to record day-to-day events, thoughts, and feelings.

Journals, on the other hand, are most often used for self-reflection, goal setting, and brainstorming. Journals don't have to be chronological and can be used to write about whatever is on your mind whenever you feel inclined to write.

What Features Should a Journal for Kids Include?

When shopping for a kids' journal, there are several features you'll want to look for depending on their age and journaling needs.

Journals for Young Children, Aged 3-6

Unicorn Diary for Girls

Younger children who are just starting to journal will need a lot of guidance and support. Look for journals that have large pages with plenty of space for writing and drawing.

You'll also want to look for journals with thick pages that can stand up to kids who like to use markers, crayons, and paint. Watercolor paper is a great option as it's thick enough to handle a good amount of water without warping or falling apart.

Some journals for young kids also come with prompts and activities to help them get started. These can be helpful but aren't necessary. If your child has trouble journaling on their own, try simply asking them about the best parts of their day and any parts they found challenging. You can also ask them to draw a picture of something they're proud of or something that made them happy that day.

If you have a young child who is just starting to journal, look for a kids' journal that includes:

  • large ruled lines to help with letter formation.
  • plenty of space for drawing and stickers.
  • fun and colorful designs that get them excited to pick up their journal.
  • hard covers to protect their journal from wear and tear.
  • thick pages that can withstand different writing and drawing mediums.

Journals for Older Children, Tweens Aged 7-12

life is a doodle locking journal

As your child gets older, they may want to journal about more personal topics and will require more privacy. For this reason, you'll want to look for journals with combination locks or a lock and key that offer a sense of security.

See combination locking journals and lock and key diaries from Life is a Doodle

Your tween may also start to express themselves more through their journaling and will want a journal that reflects their unique personality. Journals with fun, colorful designs, animal prints, or tie-dye styles can be a great option.

Some journals for tweens also come with prompts to help them get started. Some examples include gratitude journals and confidence-boosting journals whose prompts are designed to help your tween develop their self-confidence and positive thinking.

If you really want to get your tween excited about journaling, consider buying a journal or diary that is part of a fun gift set. At Life is a Doodle, our journalling gift sets come with various  accessories and add-ons, including stickers, necklaces, bangle bracelets, string backpacks, colorful pens, pencil cases, and more.

When shopping for a journal for your tween, look for one that includes:

  • a lock and key or combination lock for privacy.
  • a fun and unique design.
  • at least 300 pages to give them plenty of space to write.
  • thick, 80-gram pages so that ink won't bleed through.
  • a journalling gift set that comes with fun accessories.
  • journal prompts if they need a little help getting started.

4 Types of Journals to Try With Your Child

There are various types of journals that kids can keep. We recommend experimenting with different kinds of journaling until your child finds one that works best for them. Here are four popular styles to try with your child:

Nature Journals

A nature journal is a great way to encourage kids to get outside and really explore the world around them. The journal can be used to record observations about the weather, plant and animal life, and anything else kids notice on their walks or hikes with you. They can also use their nature journal to draw pictures or sketches of what they see and describe the different sounds and smells they encounter.

Feelings Journals

Kids and tweens experience a lot of big emotions, and it can be helpful for them to have a place to express these feelings. A feelings journal is the perfect outlet for kids to write about whatever is on their minds, whether it's something that's bothering them or something that made them really happy.

Whenever they experience or learn about a new emotion, encourage them to draw or write about it in their journal. Going through this process can help them better understand the emotion and articulate how they're feeling so you can work together to process it in a healthy way.

Daily Prompt Journals

3 minute gratitude journal for girls

If your child struggles with journaling on their own, a daily prompt journal can help to give them some structure. These journals come with prompts for kids to answer every day, ranging from "What are you grateful for today?" to "What did you learn today?"

Answering these prompts can help kids get into the habit of journaling regularly and encourage them to think reflectively about their day-to-day experiences.

Art Journals

For children who love to express themselves creatively, an art journal is a perfect option. Art journals can be used for drawing, painting, collaging, and pretty much any other type of creative activity your child can think of.

Encourage your kid to experiment with different mediums and techniques and use their journal as a place to really let their imaginations run wild.

Related article: 5 Ways to Cultivate Creativity in Your Kids

Start Your Kid's Journaling Journey Today!

We hope you're feeling inspired to start your child's journaling journey with them. If you're looking for the perfect journal to get them started, be sure to check out our selection of locking journals for kids.

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