This free printable journal for kids is filled with creative questions and writing prompts that will inspire even the most reluctant of writers to create their own book about what they know best. A book about themselves.
People change. It’s especially noticeable with children. What seems like the centre of their universe right now becomes obsolete in a matter of months. The biggest treasures of the playroom get forgotten under the bed, vanilla ice-cream goes from most to least favourite, and fire fighters suddenly want to be game designers. Which is all fine. But isn’t it nice to capture those early likes, ideas, and aspirations?
I created this journal to keep those memories together.
That – and because my son (5) loves to make books. If I gave him a sheet of paper with questions, he would probably think that this is looking too much like homework. But if there is book-making involved, he cannot resist. He also does enjoy learning to write, and this journal with lined pages is good for practicing his first words and letters. But again, he likes creative writing, something he can do while drawing cards or making his own books. So, this is where a book of his very own, filled with creative questions and imaginative writing prompts, comes into play.
There are several ways you can use this book:
- First of all, it works for children of any age. Even though I planned to use it with my son, the questions weren’t created specifically with a five-year-old in mind. I wanted him to be able to fill it again in a few years and then again, so that he could compare his answers, and for that reason, there is a great variety of questions. This is also why there is a lot of space for writing answers even though they don’t usually require a lot of explanation.
- It’s good for children who like creative writing since a lot of questions deal with imaginary situations: What wish would you make if you met a genie? What would you bring to an uninhabited island? Children who like to write might end up filling the whole page in one go! I probably would have when I was a kid.
- It can also be used as a family journal, with different family members giving their answers to the same question. In addition to the default “About Me” cover, there are several other covers: “Mom & Me”, “Dad & Me”, and “Our Family”.
Questions & Answers
There are 52 questions you can ask your children! Some of them simply record their favourites (favourite ice-cream flavour, book, or toy); others suggest imaginative situations (if you met a genie, if you ruled the world, or if you had a spaceship); and the last batch are somewhat philosophical questions (about their dreams, anxieties and self-perception). In case you feel like some questions wouldn’t work for your children, I included a blank sheet in the end, so you can add your own!
My son is only learning to write this year, so his answers were pretty simple – and almost unreadable. But I think in due time, it will become a very precious book – both for me and for him! Even now, it was fun to find out what his thoughts were, and some questions prompted interesting discussions.
Below, he has written that “Little House on the Prairie” is currently his favourite book. When I asked him what he would like to invent, he decided on “a cleaning robot”. Huh! Well, I would appreciate that one.
How to Put the Book Together
The following instructions come with the free printable template, but I also put them there, so that you could see how easy it is to put the book together. All you will need is twenty seven sheets of plain paper, a thread and a printer.
- Print the cover and put it aside (page 2 is the default cover, and the alternative covers are available on pages 30 -33).
- Print the pages 3-15. After that, you’ll be feeding the same pages back into the printer and printing the pages 16-28 on the other side of them. It helps to experiment with one or two pages at first to figure the right orientation of feeding the pages back, which differs from printer to printer.
- When all the pages are printed, stack them together. The order doesn’t matter. You can even exclude some pages. If you want to make your own questions, print page 29.
- Fold the sheets in the middle. Using a hole punch, punch one hole at the top and one at the bottom, then thread a ribbon through the holed to bind the pages together.
You’ve got your journal!
Thank you for reading!