Whether it’s for making notes about thoughts and feelings, or for documenting each school day, or even for capturing the fun of family holiday, a kids’ journal is a great DIY craft activity that will boost their creativity, literacy and fine motor skills. Ready to get cracking on creating a kids’ journal? Here’s how to get started.
Pick the Right Journal
There’s something magical about the possibilities of a blank journal. It gives kids the space to write and encourages children to think creatively, both in their writing and design. When starting a journal for your child, look for a notebook with plenty of pages to fill and nice thick paper so that markers don’t bleed through. While kids will love big scrapbooks, A4 or smaller is a lot more manageable if they want to slip it into a backpack.
What To Try
- GO Stationery A5 Trend Notebook Cerise Stripe
- Studymate Safari A6 Notebooks 3 Pack
- Derwent Academy Visual Art Diary 110gsm 120 Pages A4 Green
- GO Stationery A5 Trend Notebook Green Palm
- Keji A5 160 Page Paper Journal Silver Holographic
- Studymate A3 Visual Art Diary FSC 120 Page
- GO Stationery A5 Trend Notebook Banana Teal
- Clairefontaine Essentials A5 Plain Notebook Green
Make the Journal Crafty
Using some textured and tactile craft elements will help children ignite their creativity and keep them motivated and excited to fill in journals, whether it’s a school diary or travel journal. Look for a caddy to house their bits and pieces at home, and if they’re journalling while on the road, a pencil case with multiple zippers will mean they can separate their markers and other art supply treasures with ease. Be sure to supply stickers, cardboard and foam shapes to kick off their decorating, then they can add in activities, keepsakes, thoughts and more.
Hot Tip: Stencils don’t take up a lot of room in a pencil case and they're brilliant for hand-eye coordination.
What To Try
- Educational Colours Sealife Stencils
- Kadink Puffy Robot Stickers 26 Pack
- Kadink Construction Paper A4 Assorted 500 Pack
- Kadink Embossed Dinosaurs Stickers 20 Pack
- Kadink Glitter Sealife Stickers 21 Pack
- Educational Colours Stencils Fairy Set
- Kadink A4 Corrugated Board 10 Pack
- Educational Colours Foam Letters 60g
- Kadink Craft Caddy Blue
- Educational Colours Alphabet Stencils Upper Case
- Educational Colours Number Stencils
- Kadink Merit Stickers Smile Stars 20 Pack
- Kadink Holographic Board 10 Pack
- Kadink Glitter Butterfly Stickers 20 Pack
- Kadink Embossed Foil Space Stickers 20 Pack
- Kadink Holographic Monster Stickers 30 Pack
- Educational Colours Stencils Jungle Animal Set
- Educational Colours Stencils Transport Set
Fill in Journals With Photos
What is a journal without photos? Snaps of friends or family, events and day-to-day activities will help create special memories. Instant cameras are an investment but one the kids will get tons of use from. They’ll love being in control of their own photos and it will give them great lessons in spatial awareness, timing, light and more.
Plus – no doubt the part they’ll think is the best – is that the photo appears instantly, ready to stick into their DIY journal. If you have been taking photos of the kids, a portable printer means you can add to their collection, too. The HP Sprocket 2nd Edition Bluetooth Photo Printer is great to use at home and on the go.
What To Try
- Instax Mini Film 60 Pack
- Fuji Instax mini 11 Instant Film Camera Blush Pink
- HP Sprocket 2nd Edition Bluetooth Photo Printer Luna
- Fuji Instax mini 11 Camera Case Blush Pink
- HP ZINK Sticky Backed Photo Paper 50 Pack
Encourage Children With Writing Prompts
Bigger kids may have their own ideas of how they want their journal to progress but smaller children can really benefit from writing prompts. Every few pages, pose your child a question or give them a theme to write about. Try “What was the weather like today?” and then some spin off questions like “Did you play outside or inside?” and “What did you do to stay cool/warm?” You may find as the time ticks along, they need less prompts or you can workshop them together.
Save Journal Covers for Last
The cover of a kids’ DIY journal deserves special attention. Help them workshop a title and get them to add their name to give them proud ownership of their hard work. They could add mementos or photos with glue and paint markers will make writing and drawing on the cover a breeze.
What To Try
- DIYi Mini Bunting 2m
- Little Learner Foam Stickers Flower 88 Pack
- Uni Liquid Chalk Marker Bullet Assorted 4 Pack
- DIYi Mini Craft Punches Heart/Butterfly 4 Pack
- Elmer's Transparent Coloured Glue 147mL Green
- Elmer's Transparent Coloured Glue 147mL Blue
- Sharpie Fine Permanent Markers Electro Pop 24 Pack
- Uni POSCA PC-5M Paint Markers Assorted 4 Pack
Hot Tip: If children need extra help when it comes to looking for mementos, you could add a scavenger hunt prompt every week. Creating a list of things like “something fuzzy, an insect, a big car”, will help them think outside the box and be aware of their surroundings.