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15 Best Journals for Kids of 2024

Updated
Improve your kid’s writing skills and introspection with a journal.

Journals are an excellent way for children to record events, explore their creativity, and work through their emotions and experiences.

Journaling can be as simple as jotting down some words or pictures in a basic notebook.

But some of the best journals for kids are designed specifically to help guide them as they write down their thoughts.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Wreck This Journal
Best Interactive Journal
Wreck This Journal
  • Interactive journal
  • Encourages creativity & self-expression
Product Image of the My Nature Journal Kids’ Nature Log
Best Nature Journal
My Nature Journal Kids’ Nature Log
  • Has over 100 pages
  • Designated space for doodles
Product Image of the 642 Big Things to Write About
Best Writing Journal
642 Big Things to Write About
  • Quirky writing prompts
  • Inspires creativity
Product Image of the Wreck This Journal: Now in Color
Best Journal for Tweens
Wreck This Journal: Now in Color
  • Full-colored journal
  • Great for conceptual artists
Product Image of the This Drawing Pad Belongs to ___!
Best for Doodling
This Drawing Pad Belongs to ___!
  • Classic & simple
  • Affordable
Product Image of the I Love Science Journal
Best Science Journal
I Love Science Journal
  • Full of science facts & graphics
  • Encourages self-discovery
Product Image of the Grateful Together Journal
Best Parent-Child Journal
Grateful Together Journal
  • Guided journal experience
  • Has various activities and prompts
Product Image of the I Am a Leader 90-Day Journal
Best Leadership Journal
I Am a Leader 90-Day Journal
  • Includes inspirational prompts
  • Promote self-awareness & reflection
Product Image of the Go! Kids' Interactive Travel Diary & Journal
Best Travel Journal
Go! Kids' Interactive Travel Diary & Journal
  • Includes stickers & postcards
  • Teaches social emotional learning
Product Image of the A6 PU Leather Journal
Best Locked Journal
A6 PU Leather Journal
  • Comes with combination lock
  • Has multi-purpose card slots

Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we carefully analyze and compare various kids journals on the market, based on established criteria and hands-on testing. Our experienced team conducts thorough research, using data and facts to evaluate each journal’s performance and design. We identify key decision-making factors like durability, creativity fostering features, and age-appropriateness, ranking the journals according to these standards. We share our findings and results from this assessment, providing you with the information you need to make the best choice for your child. We believe in transparency and aim to share our professional expertise with you, helping you understand what sets a certain journal apart from its competitors. Our reviews are grounded in our own experience and evidence, providing a trustworthy measure of a journal’s worth.



The Best Kids Journals of 2024

These are the top journals for kids:

Wreck This Journal (4 Volume Set)

Best Interactive Journal

This set of “Wreck This Journal” volumes is an excellent introduction to journals for kids of all ages.

Each page has an instruction or activity from the basic “Draw a picture of how you feel” to the more unusual “Color this page and take the journal into the shower.”

Specifically designed to be wrecked, volume one was the first of the new style interactive journals that are incredibly popular today.

Once I got past the discomfort of our child destroying the book, I appreciated how it encouraged her to explore her creativity.

User Experience

I'm thrilled to share my experience with these journals, which I purchased as gifts for my nieces and nephews. They were an instant hit, sparking their creativity and providing hours of entertainment, regardless of age. The unique and out-of-the-ordinary prompts, such as "drag the book behind you" and "sew this page," encouraged them to think outside the box and treat the journal as a one-of-a-kind interactive experience. I also appreciated the different cover designs, as it allowed each child to choose their favorite without any arguments. Although the journals all have the same content, they make excellent gifts for multiple recipients.

My Nature Journal Kids’ Nature Log

Best Nature Journal

The 100-plus pages of this journal each have a space for the date at the top of the page. Some pages then have space to record daily temperature and weather observations, to draw pictures, or to write about the day’s discoveries.

There is also plenty of space to stick samples to the pages. Since each page has lots of room, this is an excellent choice for those under 10.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this journal has been fantastic, especially when it comes to introducing young kids to journaling. The inside pages are perfect for allowing them to write short sentences, draw pictures, and even glue things like leaves and postcards. My adopted nephew, who is seven years old, absolutely loved it and started using it immediately during our vacation. Not only is it a great way to get kids interested in journaling, but it also serves as a wonderful keepsake for parents. The only minor downside is the paper being on the thinner side, limiting the use of certain art materials, but overall, this journal has exceeded my expectations.

642 Big Things to Write About

Best Writing Journal

We loved the unusual writing prompts in this journal. Alongside the “What would you be famous for?” type of questions, there are others such as “How would you introduce a new color to the world?”

With three prompts on each page, your child won’t be overwhelmed by lots of blank space.

Excellent for reluctant writers, for inspiring creativity, and getting past writer’s block, this is a great pick for children of 8 years and up.

Community Feedback

My experience with this writing prompt book has been quite positive, as it provided numerous creative ideas and narrative topics that helped spark my imagination. I found the book's layout user-friendly, with each page having lines for writing and a unique prompt at the top. As a middle school English teacher, I've observed that this book is an excellent resource for students who lack ideas during writing time or for those who simply enjoy exploring their creativity. The prompts are diverse, engaging, and often silly, making the writing process enjoyable for kids of all ages.

Wreck This Journal: Now in Color

Best Journal for Tweens

Not included in the four-volume pack mentioned above, the latest edition of Wreck This Journal doesn’t disappoint.

Having enjoyed the previous Wreck This Journals, our tween couldn’t wait to get her hands on this 224-page version. There was no prompting required and the only downside was that I was hoping to enjoy this one myself.

Looks like I’ll be buying another copy for myself because my tween isn’t forking this one over to me.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this activity book has been nothing short of exciting and liberating. As a person who usually cherishes books, it was thrilling to be encouraged to destroy this one and push my boundaries. I found myself engaging in fun activities and prompts, while still maintaining a sense of control and expressing my own creativity. This book has not only sparked my imagination, but also provided a unique and enjoyable way to unwind and explore new creative outlets.

This Drawing Pad Belongs to ______!

Best for Doodling

This journal has thicker paper than you might expect from a kids’ drawing journal at an affordable price point.

The pages stand up to pencils, crayons, and markers so there’s no nasty bleed through to ruin your child’s artwork on the other side of the page. Meanwhile, the prompts are simple enough for young children to enjoy while still being challenging enough for older kids.

User Experience

This sketchbook has its pros and cons. On one hand, it's a good quality book with a nice size for drawing, and kids seem to love having their own personalized space for their artwork. On the other hand, some of the pages had printing issues with black dots, and the pages are not perforated, which would have been helpful for tearing out drawings. The paper thickness is decent, but might not hold up to heavy marker use.

I Love Science Journal

Best Science Journal

This journal begins with a short section of basic scientific information, such as the periodic table and simple equations. Then comes the journal itself which is full of prompts for writing, scientific exploration, and self-discovery.

Peppered with inspiring quotes from famous scientists, STEM-centered illustrations, and fabulous scientific graphics, I Love Science is a gift for both reluctant and enthusiastic scientists alike.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this beautifully designed journal has been nothing but positive. The moment I gifted it to a 10-year-old girl, her face lit up with astonishment, and I could tell it struck a chord with her. This journal is packed with engaging writing prompts and fascinating illustrations, making it suitable not only for young girls but also for adults. Although it would have been perfect if it was available in a hardback edition, the overall presentation and content make it an excellent gift for anyone interested in learning more about the fearless pioneers who changed the world.

Grateful Together Journal for Kids and Parents

Best Parent-Child Journal

A parent and child journal is a relatively easy way to bond with your little one. By writing together you not only share an activity, but you will have the opportunity to discover more about each other.

The Grateful Together journal has the same writing prompt at the top of two facing pages — one for the parent and one for the child. You can write in the journal together, or take it in turns. Either way, it can help to build stronger communication between the two of you which can last a lifetime.

Community Feedback

I recently started using this journal with my child, and it has been a fantastic bonding experience. Not only does it encourage my child to write and express their thoughts, but it also provides an opportunity for us to spend quality time together. The journal includes various prompts that keep my little one engaged and challenged, and there's even space for drawing pictures. I've noticed a positive change in our bedtime routine since we began using the journal, making the evenings much smoother.

I Am a Leader 90-Day Journal

Best Leadership Journal For Kids

If you want to help your child develop self-confidence, determination, and a strong work ethic, this may be the journal for you.

Beginning with writing prompts designed to promote self-awareness, and reflection, the I Am A Leader journal for kids goes on to encourage an exploration of our place in the world, and how our actions impact it. It will help a child learn how to be a leader and what that means.

First-Hand Impression

After purchasing this gratitude journal, I found it to be a wonderful tool for self-awareness and creative writing. The heavy weight paper and wide rule spacing make it easy for emerging writers, while the inspirational quotes and centering techniques provide a thoughtful and calming experience. However, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of leadership skills or insights, as it seemed more focused on general self-improvement. My young relatives enjoyed using the journal, and I believe it could even be useful for adults looking to improve their writing and communication skills. While not explicitly focused on leadership, this journal offers valuable opportunities for personal growth and reflection.

Go! Kids' Interactive Travel Diary and Journal

Best Travel Journal

A combination of travel journal and keepsake, this Go! journal is available in various jacket colors. This allows you to buy a slightly different one for each child to prevent them from squabbling.

Once they have the journal, there are prompts to help them record their journey and experiences. There are also stickers, postcards to send, adventure badges to earn, and much more to keep your little one interested.

User Experience

This travel journal has been a fantastic addition to our family trips. My 5-year-old son enjoyed filling it out and answering the questions, as well as coloring in it during our trip to Australia. The variety of prompts and activities kept him engaged and excited. Although it may not be a traditional day-by-day journal, it's perfect for kids who prefer expressing themselves through drawings and shorter sentences. The mid-century modern-inspired artwork gives the book a clean, uncluttered feel.

A6 PU Leather Journal

Best Locked Journal for Kids

The majority of locked journals have a small padlock and key to keep your child’s secrets safe. The trouble with these is that the key is easily lost. And even if your child doesn’t lose the key, chances are it will break off in the lock.

That’s where the PU journal comes in. With an easy-to-set combination lock set into the cover, you can say goodbye to the frantic key hunt.

Personal Perspective

I've recently purchased this diary with a combination lock for my great granddaughter, and she absolutely adores the yellow color and the overall design. The lock is user-friendly, and it's a major plus for her not to worry about losing keys like with her previous keyed journal. However, we did encounter an issue with resetting the combination, which required me to return it and order a replacement. Despite this minor setback, the diary is of good quality and even has pockets for notes and the ability to replenish pages.

Bookworm Journal: A Reading Log for Kids

Best Bookworm/Reading Journal

This sweet little journal for bookworms is more than just a spot to record what you’ve read. There are book suggestions, reading prompts, and more, as well as pages where your child is guided through their book logging entries.

As your child makes their way through writing entries, they’ll get to tear off a corner on each page. It appears as if the bookworm is going right through the book that way. However, with its cute illustrations, this book journal is best suited for those under 10 years.

Community Feedback

I'm really impressed with this bookworm journal for my daughter who's now reading chapter books. She loves filling out info about herself and her "worm", and the bookmark system and activities on the back of the pages keep her engaged. My son also enjoys the various challenges and creative aspects, like tearing off the corner of a page when he's done with a book log.

Summer Write and Draw Journal for Kids

Best for Younger Kids

This particular journal does not have any writing or other prompts, nor does it have any guided sections. What it does have is over 100 pages, each of which has lines for children learning to write, and a space to draw a picture.

Ideal for new writers, you could also include your own prompts if you are looking for a way to spark your child’s creativity.

First-Hand Impression

This kindergarten writing practice book has been a great tool for my daughter to maintain her skills over the summer. The larger, half-lined pages are perfect for emerging writers, allowing them to practice larger letters. My granddaughter also enjoys using the book to document her camping adventures with her parents, drawing pictures alongside her writing. However, some might find the drawing space excessive, wishing for more writing space instead. The only improvement I can suggest would be a spiral binding, as children often struggle to write on the left side of an open book, leaving unused pages.

One Question a Day Three-Year Journal

Best Multi-Year Journal For Kids

This journal has a page for each day. At the top of the page is a question, and below the question are three spaces, one for each year.

This novel approach means that, after the first year, your child will be able to read and marvel at the previous year’s answer. It also allows an unenthusiastic writer to jot down a couple of lines, without being overwhelmed by acres of blank pages.

User Experience

I've been using this journal with my kids and it's been a great way to spark interesting conversations and help them develop their writing skills. The daily prompts are a mix of thought-provoking and fun questions, though some can be a bit irrelevant. The size of the book is a bit small, especially for young children with larger handwriting, but it's still a unique memory keeper as it allows for three years of entries.

The 3-Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids

Best Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is meant to help you focus on the upside to life. The theory being that by recording the positive moments each day, no matter how small, will make us learn to appreciate them more.

Each page has space to record a person who brought joy that day, three things to be grateful for, how you feel, and the best part of the day. This can be a great choice for kids who are a bit more pessimistic.

Personal Perspective

This gratitude journal has been a fantastic addition to our family's nightly routine, especially for our kids aged 4-11. I personally enjoy witnessing the creativity and gratefulness that my children express in their daily entries. The one-page layout with a few thought-provoking questions and drawing space is perfect for early readers and children between ages 5-8. My 6-year-old daughter, in particular, has benefited from this journal, as it has significantly improved her bedtime experience by focusing on positive thoughts and emotions. Additionally, the journal has opened up meaningful conversations about gratitude and recognizing the small moments in our day.

Christian Gratitude Journal for Kids

Best Prayer Journal

Similar to the previous gratitude journal, this Christian gratitude journal includes a daily Bible verse on each page. This is alongside the places to record the three things your child thanks the Lord for, blessings of the day, and more.

There are 100 pages providing plenty of space for your child to record their daily thoughts and feelings. And, if you like supporting the U.S. through your purchases, you might like to know the journal is made in the U.S.

Community Feedback

I'm pleased with this children's journal as it encourages gratitude and reflection in a fun and engaging way. The layout, including the 'Doodle of the Day,' is well-designed, though I would suggest changing the cursive font for the Bible verse to make it more readable for kids. My child genuinely enjoys using this journal each night, and it has become a valuable tool for promoting positivity and thankfulness in our daily lives.

Benefits of Journaling for Kids

Some benefits of journaling for kids are:

  • Improving writing skills: A journal is a no-pressure place where your child can feel they are in control of the content. They are more likely to willingly write in the journal if they control the content, and the practice will improve their writing skills.
  • Exploring feelings: Most of us feel better if we have somewhere we can freely express our emotions, without judgment, and kids are no different. A journal provides your child with an outlet for the thoughts and feelings they may not want to share with anyone, or even speak aloud (1).
  • Improving relationships: If you journal with your child, learning more about each other can help bring you closer together.
  • Stimulating creativity: A guided journal can take your child’s creative side in directions they might not think to go themselves.
  • Helping to develop “soft” skills: If your child struggles with planning and executing tasks, a journal can help them set a schedule for themselves. It can also keep track of the things they need to do and stay organized.

How Do I Journal With My Child?

If you are going to journal with your child or encourage them to journal by themselves, you can begin by choosing a suitable journal with them. You can also:

  • Give them tools: Provide them with pens, pencils, a private place to write, and anything else they may need to begin journaling.
  • Support them: Offer advice and support to help them get started, or keep at it.
  • Give up control: Don’t tell them exactly what to write. Make suggestions if they need them, but otherwise, keep your ideas to yourself (2).
  • Ensure their journal is private: If a child is scared their words or pictures will hurt someone, or get them into trouble, they won’t be honest. That child will need to know their journal is a safe space before recording things with confidence.

How to Choose the Best Journal for Kids

Giving some thought to your journal purchase can make you far happier with the product you choose and the experience. Consider the following points:

Purpose

Will your child be using their journal to write or draw, or do a bit of both? Lined pages can help keep a child’s writing tidier and more organized. But it is not the best option for those little ones who prefer to doodle, sketch, or otherwise create images.

Sturdiness

Travel, nature, scientific, and other similar journals should be strong enough to carry around or use in the outdoors. If your child is recording their thoughts and feelings, they might want to keep them reread in the future, and this will also require a journal that will last.

Child’s Age

Guided journals should be age-appropriate. Give your little one a journal designed for older kids and they may become lost or overwhelmed. That could put them off from journaling, maybe permanently.

But if you buy a small child’s journal for your older one, they may cast it aside because it is too childish.

Aesthetics

There is a wide enough range of children’s journals available that you should be able to find something for any taste. A journal that appeals to your child will help encourage them to use it.

Online or Not

Some children don’t enjoy writing by hand, but might be interested in writing on a computer. There are online journals that provide a journaling experience. If you’re considering that option, be sure to review all the privacy and security settings before allowing your child to use one for recording anything personal.

Types of Journals for Kids

So, what types of journals are out there for kids? Here are the ones you can expect to see.

Writing

The most common and basic journals provide somewhere for your child to write. Your child could keep a journal in a plain notebook if they will only be writing, but a “proper” journal designed for recording their thoughts and feelings may be more appealing.

Plus, having a journal that looks special or different from notebooks will lessen the chance of it accidentally being thrown away.

Drawing

Journals with unlined pages are great for children who like to express themselves visually. There are also journals available either with pages that are half blank and half lined, or with some blank and some lined pages.

Log Style

Log-style journals have dates, or spaces to write the dates, on the pages. This encourages a child to write every or nearly every day.

Interactive/Guided

The latest style of journals for children are interactive or guided. These journals give instructions about what to draw or write. They may also have prompts for activities, such as interviewing a family member, drawing your feelings, or other similar suggestions.

Memory Style

Memory-style journals are set out to help a child record events and experiences. Travel journals may have pages that make it easy to write down what has happened on a vacation or other trip.

Locked Journals

Locked journals can be helpful for kids who are unsure about the safety of recording their thoughts. The lock on the journal can provide reassurance that their thoughts are safe and secure from prying eyes.


The Journaling Opportunity

Giving your child a journal can help them explore their thoughts and feelings and record important events and experiences. It might even set them on a lifelong journey of self-discovery.

Meanwhile, journaling with your child can help bring you closer together, jumpstart your creativity, and maybe even inspire you to experience all manners of new things together.

These best journals for kids might be a great starting point in helping your child develop a love of journaling.

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Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.