Summer Journals


“THE Summer Journal Post”

Well, for six years now I’ve sworn that I had a “Summer Journal Blog Post” (actually referred to it regularly…”Oh, just check out my blog post!”). It was only when people were complaining on Instagram that they were having trouble finding it, that I realized I had, in fact, never written a summer journal blog post!!

So…a few years late, but here it is…finally!

I’m going to keep this simple:

We started Summer Journals (known affectionately in our house as “SJs”) when Quinlin was little,  as a cute way to document our summer travels while also keeping her writing over the summer months. This tradition grew with our family and is now one our most beloved activities (and listen, maybe if the kids don’t always LOVE doing them, they certainly LOVE looking back at their notebooks from years past!)



Let’s start with supplies: I typically gift the kiddos all their fresh SJ supplies in “Summer Baskets” on their Last Day of School. Their favorite part is decorating their journals, so they are always super excited about this part!

(Obviously adjust to your needs/wants, but this is what I typically collect)

All items are linked HERE (unless otherwise noted)

  • Notebooks/Journals of choice
  • For decorating journals we like: duct tape, washi tape, letter stickers, fun stickers, and contact paper to cover the whole thing and keep it protected all summer!)
  • writing utensils (I like a mix of regular and mechanical pencils)
  • Coloring utensils (I prefer colored pencils & twistable crayons)
  • a big eraser
  • white out rollers
  • small scissors
  • tape/glue (for adding in tickets/treasures)
  • We love to add a small 2×3 photo printer. The one we use connects via Bluetooth to my phone so it makes it super easy to print out memories on the go
  • Some people like giving their kids a small polaroid camera for the kids to capture their own memories
  • fun stickers
  • a carrying case for bringing it all on the go!

(AGAIN, all of my favorites of the items on the list above are linked HERE! )


Next, printables! I’m talking about pages and worksheets I’ve created or found online that I like to print out and glue inside of our journals. I’m talking: writing prompts, spelling helpers, all about me pages, cute poems, bucket list pages, etc.  I’ve kind of perfected what works best for us and what we want/like in our journals but here are some ideas:

  • List of Writing Prompts. I glue this to the front cover for days when “they just don’t know what to write”. I made this list, but of course feel free to make your own. { JordanandCo.Journal Prompts }
  • A Summer Bucket List! This is great for them to add to and check off from all summer long! And HERE are some bucket list ideas if you need help filling your up!
  • An All About Me page. I find this is a fun thing to look back on each year! I do a google search to find the exact one I want each year
  • A list of high frequency words for your child’s age
  • A cursive or standard alphabet page for younger writer who may need a reminder
  • A cute poem or graphic. I happen to love, love, LOVE THIS ONE! Yes, it’s pricey but I have printed it a million times and hung it all over out house: over computers, on bedroom mirrors, in their school binders…so it was a no-brainer to add to our summer journals as well. Always a good reminder 😉
  • A check list in the back cover (I created this one to keep my kids on track: JordanandCo.SJCheckList ) I require 2 entries a week. Once they check those off, they can a tally for any “bonus entries” they do that week. We usually discuss and come up with some sort of reward system for bonus entries. (Ex: they can trade in five bonus entries for a movie night, ect. Do what works best for your family!)


Last, fun tips and tricks for reluctant writers:

  • Guest Writers! If you are traveling with a friend or family member ask if they’ll “Sign” or jot a quick note in your kids’ journal. I also do this myself as the mom. Everyone once in a while I’ll pick up one of their journals and jot them down a quick little note or draw them a little picture. They love finding these little surprises and it usually gets them excited to “write back”
  • YOU Write/Draw with a prompt. Ex: “Hey Max, do you like the picture of this Pokémon I drew for you? Can you draw one for me now?” Works like a charm, I swear!
  • Use the check list with bonus entry tallies to get they motivated to write more!
  • Find a few minutes to sit down and journal together. Maybe on Sunday morning with your coffee, or for 10 minutes before dinner. A time when everyone is calm and no one is feeling rushed or stressed. Play music and chat while journaling together. I’m literally talking 5-10 minutes here..I know how busy we all are
  • Bring journals out in nature: a field picnic, the beach, the park, the lake or pool. Sometimes just changing your environment sparks creativity!
  • Set a timer. I’ll admit I don’t love this one, because I don’t ever want journaling to feel like  chore to them, but sometimes, some kiddos really need that limitation to help them stay on track
  • Draw/Dictate– For beginning writers let them draw a picture and dictate what it’s about. You write their words verbatim!
  • Tracing– For emerging writers, draw dotted letters to spell out simple words, or their name for them to trace


And that’s about it! I try my hardest to set the ground expectations and then sit back and let them roll with it. As few “rules” as possible, you know? The last thing this should feel like is homework…it should instill a love of writing in your little one! Let me know if you start SJs as your house by tagging me on Instagram and using the #JordanandCoSummerJournals


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