We don’t hold much truck with the New year, new you mantra, but skipping into January with some positive affirmations and a few new confidence boosting tricks up our sleeves can never be a bad thing and that goes for children too.
With mounting evidence that kids need time-out from the crazy whirl of screen time, busy social lives (more virtual than IRL at the moment) and the inevitable stresses that come hand in hand with school and learning about friendship, parents are looking for ways to encourage their children to take stock, unwind, boost their confidence and find gratitude.
Enter the children’s gratitude journal!
And gratitude is the key word here. Plenty of research shows that regularly writing down what you are grateful for – no matter how small – can help build positivity, optimism and self esteem as well as reducing stress and even helping you sleep better. It is no surprise that the gentle, yet purposeful act of putting pen to paper is an antidote to over-stimulating tech and social media as well as a great way for children to feel physically in control of their feelings.
Whether you think your child needs a boost and could do with reminding that there are in fact, lots of great things in their life to celebrate and you want to help them visualise a bright future or you’re coming from a different angle and think they’ve been a little spoilt and have lost their appreciation of the simple joys in life, a gratitude journal could be a great way of helping a child to reflect and take some valuable time out.
If you’re worried that this all sounds a bit too serious for your child, there are lots and lots of really fun and funny journals that will engage kids and make them laugh at the same time as creating an opportunity to think positively and re-set.
Here are Junior’s favourite children’s journals for a happy, healthy mind, all year long…
The HappySelf Journal: A Daily Journal to Promote Happiness, Develop Positive Habits and Nurture Enquiring Minds
- WE SAY: The HappySelf Journal is an excellent tool to help your child develop their emotional awareness and develop the tools and habits that will continue to support their mental and emotional wellbeing.
- IDEAL FOR: 6-12 yrs
- SHOP HERE: £19.90, The HappySelf Journal
We also recommend for older children and teens: The HappySelf Journal for children aged 12+
Make Someone Happy and Find Your Own Happiness Along the Way: A Creative Kindness Journal (for teens to adult) by Emily Coxhead
- WE SAY: With delightful signature illustrations we have come to love from Coxhead – this book focuses on the simple, bright and sometimes small spots that are often overlooked every day
- IDEAL FOR: 12+
- SHOP HERE: £7.99, Amazon
- WE SAY: An interactive journal full of life hacks, challenges and activities to give kids the confidence to come up with their own plan of action to be the best they can be.
- IDEAL FOR: 7-11 yrs
- SHOP HERE: £6.35, Amazon
Your Mood Journal: Feelings Journal for Kids by Fearne Cotton
- WE SAY: Emotions like sad, happy, angry, lonely, worried, scared and excited can seem big and complex to children but, the more they understand them, the better they can become at managing them. In this journal kids will say learn to ‘meet’ these moods with interactive exercises, practical tips and notes
- IDEAL FOR: 7-12yrs
- SHOP HERE: £9, Amazon
Happy Confident Me Journal – Gratitude and Growth Mindset Journal to boost your children’s happiness, self-esteem, positive thinking, mindfulness and resilience
- WE SAY: Developed by Psychotherapist Annabel Rosenhead and Parenting Expert and best-selling Author Nadim Saad, this beautifully illustrated, full colour journal offers children different inspiring quotes and questions every day.
- IDEAL FOR: 7 yrs+
- SHOP HERE: £7.85 Amazon
The Book of You Baby and childhood journal and Memory book
- WE SAY: A stunning keepsake handmade linen-bound journal that documents those precious memories, thoughts and feelings – the pages give children the flexibility to fill in as much or as little as they like – or you can do it together.
- IDEAL FOR: 0-16yrs
- SHOP HERE: £25, Urban Makers
The 3-Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids: A Journal to Teach Children to Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness
- WE SAY: It’s important to start the day on a positive note. And, this journal is great for children with limited attention spans. As each fun, kid-friendly daily sheet provides space to list just three things your child is thankful for or, a person who has brought them some sort of joy.
- IDEAL FOR: 7-10 yrs
- SHOP HERE: £3.99, Amazon
Create your own Happy by Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard-Hill., Illustrated by Clare Forrest
- WE SAY: This illustrated activity book helps children take practical steps towards creating their own happiness and positive self-esteem. Full of simple, practical ideas and fun age appropriate activities
- IDEAL FOR: 8-11 yrs
- SHOP HERE: £7.99, Amazon
My First Gratitude Journal: Fun and Fast Ways for Kids to Give Daily Thanks
- WE SAY: This great introduction to gratitudes journals is easy-to-use to help kids tap into this extraordinary power for the first time. Through writing and drawing, kids will learn to give daily thanks for the good in their lives.
- IDEAL FOR: 5-9 yrs
- SHOP HERE: £5.99 Amazon
Diary of a Brilliant Kid: Top Secret Guide to Awesomeness by Andy Cope, Gavin Oattes and Will Hussey
- WE SAY: This is the “tweenager’s” atlas for navigating those tricky years with an interactive collection of stories, quotes, theories and science.
- IDEAL FOR: 9-12 yrs
- SHOP HERE: £7.23, Amazon
Today Is Great!: A Daily Gratitude Journal for Kids by Vicky Perreault
- WE SAY: This gratitude journal for kids is a colourful space for them to write about what they’re thankful for and practice being positive and appreciative every day. As even tiny acts of gratitude can totally change the way kids think – with a simple message: if kids focus on happy things, they’ll be happier people.
- IDEAL FOR: 7-10 yrs
- SHOP HERE: £3.72 Amazon
Start with Gratitude Journal for Kids: A Draw and Write Diary to Help Your Child Grow Up Happy and Positive
- WE SAY: More than just a daily journal or a diary – this beautiful book is filled with cute, fun, and inspirational illustrations, uplifting quotes, and thought-provoking prompts and challenges that also will help improve writing skills.
- IDEAL FOR: 6 yrs+
- SHOP HERE: £6.45 Amazon