There are lots of ways your children could keep a kids diary. Firstly, what type of diary would they be interested in keeping?
Personal diary - for recording memories and events.
Nature journal - for recording nature around you.
Study diary - for recording what you are learning and how you are learning it. Perfect for homeschooling!
Holiday and Vacation diary - for special events or vacations.
Art journal - A place to practice drawing and sketching.
Project journal - Keeping track of a particular projects - for example, many people keep diaries about cooking, knitting or gardening. Your children could keep a diary about something they are really interested in.
Free Writing Journal - in this type of journal you write whatever comes to you. You thoughts and feelings, the talk going on in your head. There are many benefits to this type of journal, but if this idea is new to you, then you can read more about journaling for kids.
Of course, you can use a single diary for all of these things - or something completely different! Help your kids make it their own by allowing them to choose what to write in it.
One of the easiest ways to get them started - is to start one yourself! Seeing you write in a diary each day is a sure fire way to get them interested.
Notebook or PC?
A notebook-based diary is handy because they can take it anywhere to sit and write in. And children are often encouraged to start writing if presented with a lovely notebook to use.
If you intend your kids to be regular about filling in their journal, then a dated version would be useful. Otherwise, just get a plain notebook and write the date at the top of the page. There are some lovely 'custom made' books for diary writing.
As well as keeping a notebook journal, many people use the PC or create their diary online. Here are some useful links if your children would prefer keeping a paperless diary.
My-Diary is another free site for writing your diary online.
Blogs are another good way of keeping a diary - just set the blog to private if you don't want anyone reading it!
So we have all started diaries at some time or another, only to stop using them after a few months. How can you encourage your child to keep writing?
Make it attractive - Use a diary that your child really likes - and pay attention to the types of pen you give them.
Use different materials - Encourage the use of different pens or drawing materials and show them that they can glue photographs or other images into their kids diary. The more personal keepsakes they have in their diary, the more they will want to carry it with them and use it.
Use a diary yourself - Even if it is only to write your shopping list in, let your kids see you writing in a diary.
Don't nag - A hands off approach is usually the best method.
Read books in which the main character keeps a journal - this is a nice subtle way to encourage journal writing. Try:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Jeff Kinney
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole - Sue Townsend.
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank.
My Story diaries - for example The Hunger: An Irish Girl's Diary, 1845-1847 (My Story)
Rilla of Ingleside by LM Montgomery
I hope this encourages you to get your children started with a kids diary. And why not keep one yourself too!
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