Hi! It’s Brooke again from Blissful Roots. The month flew by, and here I am again. We’re talking journals today. I have my wonderful parents to thank for my dedication to journaling. My dad has volumes upon volumes of his own journals, and while my mom may not have volumes of her own, she started helping me develop my own volumes at a young age, and I haven’t stopped. My journals have evolved over the years, and often times don’t look like a traditional journal, but I’ve found that anything I’ve written (big or small, silly or serious) has been time well spent.
Love Letters Jar
I love getting mail- good mail, don’t you? I don’t send cards nearly as often as I should, but during February (and actually November, we do thankful cards) we actually do. It’s all thanks to our Love Letters Jar. We fill our jar with names of extended family members (you could put any one’s name in). Every day we draw out one name and write a quick love note to that person. I’ve found that meal times work well for these because my boys are actually sitting still and will listen. There’s not too much noise when their mouths are full (well… sometimes that’s the case). I do the writing, and my boys do the talking. We keep them short and sweet, and then mail them off. Now these don’t really count as a journal for our family, but I promise grandma and grandpa are saving every note we send, and that’s a journal for them! You can click here to print the love letters label.
February is probably one of the easier months to incorporate journal writing, but get creative. I bet you could find a reason to add some holiday journaling every month. Next month is St. Patrick’s Day- perfect for, “I’m lucky you’re in my life because….” or whatever else you can come up with.
My three boys (ages 6 and 3) each have their own journal right now. We do a page once a week. They choose what they’d like to write about, and then draw a picture of it. Since my boys are fairly young, I do the writing for them. They tell me what to write, and I write (word for word) what they say. It usually ends up being around five sentences. I try to keep it short and sweet so it’s not a terrible experience for them. We also usually have a little treat to eat while doing their journals. Bribery… maybe, but it works like a charm!
Their pages go in page protectors, and then in their journal binder. I can’t tell you how many times I find my boys looking back through their journals remembering good times from their entries.
I keep several journals. They each have a different purpose. I have a journal for creating, special moments, day to day, and for now, my favorite journal is the one I use to write one sentence about each of my boys at the end of the day. It only takes a few minutes, and every minute is worth it. You think you won’t forget that funny thing your three-year-old said at the dinner table that night, but you will. WRITE IT DOWN! One of my twins found out I was writing about him every night, and for weeks after that he’d ask me, “what did you write about me last night?” I could tell it made his day to know that he was important enough to me to write about. Priceless! I’ve also done this kind of journal for my husband. I did it for one year, and then gave it to him on his birthday.
I’ve heard of families who do a quick family journal entry every night at the dinner table. I LOVE this idea! Get a notebook, binder, 3 x 5 cards, whatever you want to write on and have each person tell one thing about his/her day. If you don’t want to write about the happenings of your day, use journal prompts (sites listed below). Choose one prompt a night to read at the dinner table, and have each family member respond. Record each response. This also makes for great dinner conversation!
You want to date every written item, and this is an easy way to get that done. Your kids will think it’s the coolest thing ever! They’ll want to stamp everything! I got mine at Office Depot for $5.
You probably know what these are, but if not, they’re simply a jar/container filled with writing prompts (see below). Pull out a prompt each time you write in your journal, and write about the prompt. Click here to print the journal jar label.
Speaking of prompts, these are a few sites I found with some great ones! Sometimes you want to write about the day to day stuff, but sometimes you want to write about something else. Check out these fun prompts to get your inner writer going. These prompts are perfect for putting in a journal jar.
I’m always more inclined to write when I have a cute pen and notebook, aren’t you? Find yourself something that makes you excited to pick up and use, and do the same for your kids. Have these kind of supplies out and readily available.
Well, I hope you found a little something worth your time. I challenge you to find one way to add journaling into your own life, and the life of your family. It may require a bit of discipline and effort, but I guarantee you’ll reap irreplaceable benefits! See you next month!