Art Journals With Kids

Today I invite you to join me in art journaling with your kids in the experience, too.

I began to explore art journaling after realizing how much joy I find in creating. Before kids, I used my music and dance to channel my creativity. Now, I found myself missing that creative part of self different than my writing.

Beginnings of Art Journaling

Art Journals With KidsWhile in the mountains, we used our blank books, colored pencils, Doodle Diary: Art Journaling for Girls, and wrote in our journals daily. Yes, I did this with the girls, too – a very important piece of getting kids to do anything!  Mostly, I introduced some new ideas I noticed in the Doodle Diary book like:

– borders

– lines

– swirls

This is the cover page AJ made after we played with making swirls.

Art Journals With Kids

Here’s a page about a play we saw.

Art Journals With Kids

What is Art Journaling?

My definition of art journaling is simple (either because I don’t know better or because I’m close to the essence of it) . . . art journaling is creating a journal with words and mixed-media art. 

Art Journal Kits

Art Journals With Kids

We used these amazing Art Journal Kits from Strathmore Artist Papers. Really it’s a spiral hardcover journal book with a lot inside: 14 pages of project ideas, 5 decorative paper pages, 6 construction paper pages for collage, 2 pocket folders, and 25 pages of heavy weight artist quality drawing paper.

Pick a Medium (or Two)

Looking at the ideas in the kit, we started with two art ideas: watercolor and collage. 

Paint a watercolor background.

Add pictures and words. (Use words from your word collection jars!)

There is no right way to do it. Here’s a page from JJ’s journal using collage and watercolor.

Art Journals With Kids

As we continue on our art journal exploration, I’ve found some guides including guest posts from experienced art journalers. I’ll keep you posted on what we do and supplies we use. So, grab your journals, and art supplies and come along with us!

Art Journal Books I’m Reading

Raw Art Journaling

The Art Journal Workshop

Journal Spilling

Art Journal Blogs I’m Reading

Daisy Yellow

Visual Journaling 4 Kids

Balzer Designs 

Aisling’s Artists Journals 


Strathmore is offering one Imagination Soup reader 12 Strathmore Art Journal Kits! (Yes, you read that correctly, TWELVE!) To enter for a chance to win this unbelievable prize, leave a comment below by December 10, 2011, midnight MST. By entering this sweepstakes, you agree to Imagination Soup’s official sweepstakes rules. No purchase necessary. Open to individuals in U.S. only, 18 years of age or older, void where prohibited.

Art Journals With Kids

 The Best Journals for Kids

  • Monise Seward

    I am glad you posted this because about 2 months ago my then 7 y.o. was drawing pictures on 3×5 note cards. I asked her if she was going to add words and she said ‘No.’ I said, ‘Why not?’ She said she didn’t want to. Before I could tell her that she HAD to put words to the story, I stopped and thought, ‘No, she doesn’t HAVE to put words to the story because it might change.’ I admire the creativity in kids.

  • Linda

    Oh, would my kids love these! What an incredible giveaway – thank you!

  • michelle

    This is an area of creative expression I’ve always felt inadequate at. I’d love to have these beautiful books to start working on both my ability and my encouraging it in my children.

  • Rashmie @ MommyLabs

    Oh, we are in the process of exploring art journals too and recently blogged about it. Thank you for all the info.
    I’ll check out those links.
    I hope this giveaway was international…. :(

  • EatPlayLove

    Wow! What an amazing prize pack. I would love the opportunity to art journal with my girls. I love your creative examples. I’m thinking what lovely gifts they would be as well!

  • Betsy

    This ia great information! Thank you! Terrific ideas and suggestions!!

  • Erik

    This is certainly something that I hope to take advantage of with my own children. It was not something I ever did growing up, and I regret that. In a similar vein, here is a really interesting journal I saw at paper source that I thought looked really cool: The 365 Creative Craft Journal:

  • Kris

    I would love to start art journaling with my girls. Thank you for the links and ideas!

  • Susan

    I love this! Great ideas and resources listed here…I will be following up on those. Plus, a fantastic giveaway!! Thanks for the chance to win :)

  • Miriam

    Oh how I would love one of these for me!!
    My DD is drawing obsessed, she would LOVE it so much!!
    Even if we don’t win, I am off to look into this and getting onto a Art shop about a hardback sketchbook, anyway.
    Thanks for the blog!

  • Tamara

    Such a wonderful combination of art and literacy! I would love to do this with both of my daughters – one considers herself an artist and the other a writer. This would be great to show them how the two worlds can intermingle so beautifully on a page:)

  • Camille

    I just gave my 1st grade son a journal and he’s already art-journaling! Love it!!

  • http://ImaginationSoup Julie

    Would love these for my twins!

  • Teri Martin

    I would so love to do this with my son! He’s not “writing” yet but pretends to…. so I think this is a lovely way to preserve all of his creative drawings and explorations! He loves to glue things…. even if it is just glue! and he is very into watercolors and paints…. a very expressive and artistic kid…. this would be wonderful! keeping my fingers crossed that we win one! it would be great a s a christmas or birthday gift for him! Thank you for posting this :)

  • Maria Gianferrari

    What a great creative outlet! My daughter would love these, especially since she’s now bogged down by boring, worksheet oriented homework at her new school.

    Thanks for the opportunity & happy holidays!


    My grandson loves to paint watercolors with his grandpa. He would love this.

  • Christie

    How cool! This would be a great activity for my homeschoolers. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!

  • Michelle Dippel

    Wow! Something I’ve never seen before! Would love to win this!

    (littleangel_mw at yahoo dot com)

  • Malika Bourne

    I love, love, love your art journal idea. Vacation starts for the granddaughters in a few days. I love doing special creative things with them. Thanks Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna

  • Theresa

    Looking forward to checking out the links you provided. I am just finishing up an art for educators class and we did a lot of creating. I will be student teaching in January and would love additional materials.

  • PragmaticMom

    My oldest is an artist and will love this. Thanks for such a great gift idea!

  • Suzanne

    I love this idea and my art and the kids art looks about the same so I feel very comfortable.

  • Lauren

    wow, what an amazing giveaway. i love the idea of art journaling. i was always into artsy things and keeping a journal when i was younger, so mixing the two is amazing.

  • Mary Dailey

    My mother spent a lot of time with us teaching us about art and anything else creative. She was trained to be a commercial artist. I have two grandchildren who are turning out to be very artistic at very young ages. Everyone should at least be exposed to art in varying degrees so they can find out for themselves how creative they can be. These are fantastic kits and I would love them for my grandchildren.

  • Shelley

    What a great gift. We’d be ecstatic to win.

  • Dawn Herring

    I was delighted at the very first glance with all the colorful photos that accompanied your post; then I realized your topic was one of my favorites. I’m a huge art journaling fan as of this year, plus I’ve kept a written journal for 27 years.
    I love the focus of art journaling for kids. It’s refreshing to see children express themselves in creative ways, in ways only they can do becomes it comes from their heart.
    I truly enjoyed what you shared from their experience and yours.
    Love the products you feature as well.

    I have chosen your post, Art Journals with Kids and a Strathmore Kit Giveaway, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 12/7/11 for all things journaling on Twitter.

    I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog and website Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in Refresh Journal, my weekly e-journal: .

    You’re welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live on Thursdays at 4 CST/2 PST for all things journaling on Twitter; tomorrow’s topic is journaling to define your day.

    Thanks again for giving us an inside view of art journaling with your kids. What fun!

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    JournalWriter Freelance
    Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter

  • olugbemisola

    whoa, this is some giveaway, Melissa! If anyone is in the NYC area, I highly recommend the Ezra Jack Keats exhibit and workshops at the Jewish Museum. The workshop included watercolor and collage techniques and really helped the kids make connections between Keats’ techniques and inspirations, and his art, up close, is breathtaking.

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  • Hula

    What a treat! My son loves to paint and explore media, but we’ve never tried journaling. Thanks for all the sources!

  • Pam

    Love this….I have been looking at a blog that does this and have wanted to try it but thought it would be too hard and I am not an artist. This looks easy to follow and something I can do with my kids. Thank you for sharing this.

  • joni Owada

    This is such a wonderful idea and I have 4 kids and so this would be fantastic for them each to have more than one…they love to draw and paint and create and having it all be in this cute little jounal is such a great idea!!!

    thanks so much for this great giveaway!

  • susan

    What a wonderful way to promote literacy while creating something special and fun!

  • Linda

    What a great idea!!!! My daughter loves art, and takes class. I’ve never thought of journaling although she keeps a diary. A creative way to combine both, thanks!!!!

  • Jackie

    I’ve enjoyed reading the comments for this giveaway. These journals will really get the creative juices flowing. I’d love to win this prize!

  • Michelle Breum

    These look great. Let’s see twelve art journals. Wow! I might even get dad to join in the fun. Then we’d share some with family and friends. I’d love to win. Wishing me luck. Oh, and good luck to the 30+ comments before me. I’m tweeting this post as well. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thanks for sharing your artwork. I’m glad you are getting into your creative side. Mom need it too.
    My kids all love to draw and be creative. I found a book called Scribble Doodles! Crazy Creatures for my daughter for Christmas. It’s the 2010 edition by Sandy Creek.

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  • Paula J.

    My daughter would love this and I would, too!

  • San Diego Momma

    My seven-year-old is extremely artistic and creative and does this kind of thing (art journaling) on loose pieces of paper and with whatever materials she can find. I’m sure she’d love this.
    I’ve been a journaler all my life — but with words, not images. I love the idea of a pictoral scrapbook of my experiences…

  • Megan

    My son would love this! He loves writing and art but has been cursed with the least creative/artistic mom in the world. What a great product for those of us with no clue where to begin!

  • Jeniffer Hutchins

    I’m so excited that I just found your site! What a fantastic place for creativity and kids. I am an artist and love doing art of all kinds with my son.

  • Tammy

    Thank you so much for mentioning Daisy Yellow! My daughters, 9 and 12, are into art journaling too. They love that there are no rules and the idea of mixing all sorts of things on their pages!

  • Heartsandkisses

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway! :) Sounds like an awesome idea!

  • cathy

    this is such an awesome giveaway. i think drawing and journaling are so important to kids. thanks for a chance at this great giveaway

  • Beth C

    What a great prize! These art supplies are awesome!

  • meme

    This is really grea great idea ander would make wonderful Christmas gifts for my kids and a few kids taht I know could really benifit from something like this

  • Gini Cooper

    Wow, what a great giveaway. I work with kids and encourage them to journal, but so many hate writing these days. I’ve been using art journaling but supplies are a bit difficult for the families and it’s getting expensive donating them all. These would be so wonderful to have and give to the kids who’d really benefit from journaling. I’ll cross my fingers. Thanks!!

  • Christie

    I just emailed you! Thank you! Thank you! We’re so excited :)

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  • Antweeza

    As an art educator I love this journeling idea! What a great way to boost creative minds, both visually & academically. Strathmore is a top notch supplier, I’m looking forward to using these journeling kits with my students.

    • Melissa Taylor

      hope it’s a fantastic experience! have fun,


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