Children can gain some of the same benefits that adults get from journaling, like:
Helping them deal with “big feelings” in a healthy and safe way;
Improving their writing skills, including spelling, sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar;
Enhancing their reading skills;
Enhancing their communication skills (both written and verbal);
Taking advantage of an outlet for things that are difficult to express or uncomfortable to share;
Exploring and identifying their emotions;
Allowing themselves to feel “taboo” emotions like anger;
Examining the pros and cons of something to help them make a decision;
Reflecting on their thoughts about something after the fact;
Gaining insight into their own motives and the motives of others;
Seeing the positives as well as the negatives;
Planning out tough conversations in advance (Morin, 2018; Rodriguez, 2017).
Most of these benefits will serve children both in the classroom and out of it, helping them to navigate difficult parts of life in different domains.
To help children gain these advantages from journaling, suggest the following journals for them to try (at home, in the classroom, or both):
Nature Journals – these journals can be used to keep track of the flora and fauna they see in nature, especially the species that interest them most.
Daily Prompt – responding to a daily prompt can give children a good open-ended opportunity to write about a new topic every day.
Feelings Journal – when writing about their feelings, children can learn new vocabulary and get better at identifying and recognizing emotions in themselves and others.
Vacation Journal – this fun version can be a good bonding opportunity for the whole family (or the whole classroom, depending on how this journaling exercise is carried out); all the child needs to do is add pictures, memories, souvenirs, and anything else that reminds them of their vacation (Morin, 2018).