Art Journals With Kids

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Today I invite you to join me in art journaling, sharing this creative experience with your kids, 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. Recently, I’ve been exploring art journaling to tap into the creative self. And, I’ve invited my kids along for the journey as well.

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 on our trip.

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 a combination of 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 heavyweight 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. 

Then the girl painted a watercolor background on their pages.

After that, they added pictures and words. (Remember when I wrote about word collections? You can use words from your word collection jars!)

There is no right way to art journal. It’s all about creating and being creative.

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!

READ NEXT: 4 Art Journal Prompts

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 

Art Journals With Kids

 The Best Journals for Kids



45 Staycation Ideas and Activities for Kids

58 Responses

  1. Pingback: Decorator in a Box
  2. 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.

  3. I just emailed you! Thank you! Thank you! We’re so excited 🙂

  4. 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!!

  5. 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

  6. What a great prize! These art supplies are awesome!

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

  8. Heartsandkisses says:

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway! 🙂 Sounds like an awesome idea!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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…

  13. My daughter would love this and I would, too!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!!!!

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

  18. joni Owada says:

    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!

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. Melissa,
    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

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

  24. Mary Dailey says:

    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.

  25. 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.

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

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

  28. 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.

  29. Malika Bourne says:

    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

  30. Michelle Dippel says:

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

    (littleangel_mw at yahoo dot com)

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

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

  33. Maria Gianferrari says:

    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!

  34. Teri Martin says:

    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 🙂

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

  36. 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:)

  37. 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!

  38. 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 🙂

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

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

  41. EatPlayLove says:

    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!

  42. 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…. 🙁

  43. 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.

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

  45. 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.

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