I compiled a list of questions that could be helpful when cultivating journaling as a practice for your kids. If your child cannot read or write, consider these great conversation starters.
Feel free to customize to the context of your home (or even better, your young one’s imagination!)
Under 3 years
- What kind of monster would you be? Can you draw it?
- What kind of animal would you be?
- What color would you be if you could be any color?
- What would happen if this toy were real?
- What is your favorite thing to do?
- Who is your favorite person?
- What makes you feel sad?
4 to 6 years
- What is your favorite thing about yourself?
- What do you feel grateful for today?
- What is something you are really good at?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- If someone gave you $50 what would you do with it?
- If you were the teacher, what rules would you make?
- If you could eat one thing every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What is your favorite song?
7 to 9 years
- When is the last time you made someone smile?
- Can you remember a time when you had a really good day?
- What’s the hardest part about going to school?
- Do you think it’s more important to be rich or kind?
- Write a story about a kid who is moving to a new school. How do you think they might feel?
- Write about a time you felt really happy. What happened? What made you feel happy?
- Write a short story about what it might be like if you woke up one morning with a mermaid tail.
- Which is better, winter or summer? Write about the reasons why you think winter or summer is better.
- Write about 3 places you would like to travel someday. What do these three places have in common?
- Write a story about flying to outer space and discovering a new planet.
- Imagine your parents wake you up one morning to tell you they will take you to do anything you want to do for the whole day — you don’t even have to go to school or do your chores. What would you choose to do and why?
- You are a mad scientist and have invented a new vegetable. What is it called? What does it look like? What does it taste like? Most importantly: Is it safe to eat?
- Have you ever had to stand in line to wait a long time for something? What did you do while you waited? How did you feel while waiting? How did you feel once the wait was over?
- Is it a good idea to keep ALL secrets a secret? Write about examples of when it is okay to spill a secret — and when it isn’t.
- Is there something you are good at doing? Write about your best strengths.
- You are writing a letter to someone who is having a hard time making new friends at school. What do you write? What advice do you give them?
- Do you find it easy to talk to people you don’t know? What are some ways you can start up a conversation with someone you have never met before?
- What are you grateful for today and why?
16 -18 years
- What is the best compliment you have ever received?
- In your opinion, what is the best song ever written?
- If you could know one thing about the future, what would it be?
- What calms you down when you get mad or upset?
- What is something that went right today/this week
- Describe two ways you can show self-control at school, at work, or at home.
- If you could travel back in time to three years ago and visit your younger self, what advice would you give yourself?
- What do you want your life to look like in five years? 10 years?
- What does success look like to you?