Writing in a journal can start early and can help build and keep kids interest in writing. Sometimes you need a little help to find kids journal topics that are age appropriate.

Types of journals

Your child might use a journal in different ways. Here are some examples of types of journals your child might use:

  • gratitude journal
  • travel journal
  • daily journal
  • creative writing journal
  • art journal .

What to write

Staring at a blank page, you or your child might not be able to think about what to write. The website Journal Buddies has lots of story and journal starters that are arranged by age. Thinking about the different reasons we write can get you started on topics to write about:

  • Entertain – the funniest thing that you have had happen or your favourite star’s life
  • Writing about a topic of interest
  • Use your senses to describe an item – describe your favorite food, describe your dream home
  • Persuading – Why do you like…? would you rather …and why?
  • Write a story – imaginary lands, travel or adventures

Importance of journal writing

Journals can help your child learn to write. Through journal prompts that keep your child engaged, they will be more likely to take initiative in their writing and want to learn more about what they are writing. When they have some control over what they are writing, they will take ownership and become more invested in their work.

Journaling can also be a place to examine and deal with feelings they may have about what is happening around them. Through writing out their feelings, it can help them process them more deeply. Through writing a story, they may be able to explore feelings of others and build compassion.

Through writing, they are building their communication skills. Writing is one way that we communicate to others. By writing regularly in different styles, they will build their skills in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary.

What to expect at different ages

Young Grades ( 6-7 years)

  • learning basics of grammar, simple sentence structure and vocabulary
  • writing a whole page about personal experiences or things learned in class
  • starting to write a few different styles – narrative or opinions

Older Grades ( 8-10 years)

  • building an understanding of prefixes and suffixes of words
  • continue building on grammar, vocabulary
  • using more complex sentences to describe their ideas
  • learning to write differently depending on the style ( persuasive vs. narrative)
  • starting to understand the process of planning and revision of writing

Tween years (11-13 years)

  • writing longer more complex pieces
  • continuing to develop grammar, vocabulary
  • developing writing with reasoning and comparison of ideas
  • using planning and revision strategies more consistently

Teenagers

  • write longer and more complex pieces on a variety of subjects
  • continuing to develop grammar, vocabulary
  • continuing to build and use planning and revision strategies

Conclusion

Writing can be a fun learning experience when topics are chosen that are varied and of interest to your child. Journaling can start at a young age and will change over time as the types of topics and complexity of what they are writing increases. Establishing a daily habit of writing for your child is important.