Whether it’s for making notes about thoughts and feelings, or for documenting each school day, or even for capturing the fun of a 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

Fun and colourful notebooks will encourage kids to journal and think and write creatively.

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

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Make the Journal Crafty

Stencils help kids have fun creating art for their holiday diary or travel journal.

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

Fill in Journals With Photos

Kids can create a DIY holiday journal as a photo scrapbook with an instant camera.

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. 

And bonus! The photo appears instantly, ready to stick into their DIY journal, which the kids will love. If you have been taking photos of the kids, a portable printer means you can add to their collection, too. 

What to Try

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.

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Save Journal Covers for Last

Decorate the covers of notebooks and holiday journals as a fun DIY kids craft activity.

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

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.

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