Scribble & Scribe: Summer Journaling Your Girl Is Sure to LoveLearning
Writing is like a superpower: words can inspire, persuade, delight, lead to new ideas, or change hearts and minds. Through writing, a girl can learn a lot about herself, explore the things that interest her, discover new interests or talents, document special moments or experiences, or find new ways to express her creativity and her feelings. Journaling also fosters critical thinking, boosts writing confidence, and sharpens your girl’s writing skills. This summer, encourage your girl to try journaling. With a multitude of journaling styles—like those you’ll find below—there’s sure to be one that’s just the right fit for your girl.
Keeping a commonplace book, sometimes called a “day book,” is a very old practice. This style of journaling gives your girl a place to collect any little delights that catch her notice throughout the day. She may hear a song lyric she really likes, or read a quote or a line from a book she’d like to remember. She may jot down a funny conversation or anecdote—or simply a new word she’s learned. She could also include scraps of paper or fabric, pictures, or even pressed leaves or flowers. The snippets she collects and curates in her journal will tell the story of her summer in a unique and inspiring way!
Visual literacy is an important part of communication, so if your girl loves to doodle and draw, keeping a doodle journal may be just right for her. Researches have been exploring the ways doodling helps thinkers form ideas, sharpen their focus, and alleviate stress. It’s also a great way for your girl to express herself when the words just won’t come. Doodling a single object or scene can help strengthen her observational skills and attention to detail; doodling nothing in particular can fuel her imagination and get her creativity flowing; and doodling out a story can help her practice logic and sequencing—all valuable critical thinking skills. And who knows? Maybe you’ll have a budding graphic novelist on your hands in no time!
Book of Observations
Curiosity is essential for learning! What does your girl want to know? Encourage her to jot down all the questions that pop into her head, no matter how practical or fanciful, in a questions journal. Not only will she learn more about the things that pique her curiosity, she’ll also be practicing important steps in the research process—especially if she takes the time to revisit her questions, brainstorm possible solutions, and investigate the kinds of materials that lead her to answers . . . or help her form even more questions.
Books that contain a rich assortment of activities and prompts can be a boon to beginning—and experienced—journal writers. Through reading girls’ letters and consulting with child development experts, the editors at American Girl have developed several guided journals for girls, ranging from the fun and creative, like Tear Up This Book, to those that support girls’ health and well-being, like The Feelings Book Journal. And with The Care and Keeping of Us, moms and girls can journal together, in one shared book.
You can also create your own guided journal, with prompts or challenges you choose for your girl. Our 10 Prompts to Ponder list can help get you started. No matter what style you and your girl choose, journaling can be a rich and rewarding experience—for you both.