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According to Pinterest and popular blogs, crafts are supposed to be perfect and fancy these days.
For that reason, I almost skipped sharing these little journals all together but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to. Maybe it’s the rebel in me? I know these little books won’t go viral but I’m sharing them anyway because it’s not about the look it’s about the purpose.
How often do we as women get intimidated by what we see online and around us so we shy away from doing something we want to? We don’t even start because the end result won’t be pin worthy?
That’s no way to live!
I have been wanting to get my kids gratitude journals for a while now and have been searching for the perfect books.
While at the store the other day I saw some good old composition notebooks for under a dollar and it just clicked. My kids don’t care if they have a nice journal, my youngest can’t even read for goodness sake! So, I let them each pick the color they wanted and then I pulled out the craft supplies and let them have at it.
I know that I could have spent hours making these journals fancy for my children and they would have been lovely, but they aren’t for me are they? These journals belong to them. They are for my kids made by my kids.
To them they are beautiful and that’s just right for me.
So for a moment, put aside the urge for Pinterest worthy perfection, put on some fun music as you pull out some goodies, and let your kids do the creating this time.
Here’s what we did:
- Grab a notebook: any kind
We used the $0.88 composition notebooks from the local big box, but anything will do!
- Gather supplies: paper, glue sticks, washi tape, scissors, old ripped out book pages, string, ribbon, stickers, markers, anything that inspires your little crafters!
- Talk about gratitude, why it’s important, and how we can express it. Ask your kids what they are grateful for, what makes them happy, or gives them something to look forward to. (Don’t forget you can find many more ideas, printables, and lesson plans on gratitude over on the Gratitude Family Focus board.)
- Let them get creative as they decorate their own gratitude journal however they see fit.
- Challenge them to put their new journals to use: writing, coloring, sketching, cut and pasting, whatever and however they want to express their gratitude or count their blessings.
I can’t bear to throw away books even if they are destroyed, so I save them in a little basket and let my kids use them for craft projects. That way my baby girl’s beloved Pinkalicious lives on and doesn’t die a sad and lonely death in big blue recycle can.
And no, it’s not hoarding if you have cool stuff!
My analytical, sober child went sleek and simple with his journal.
Yes, we need to work on spelling but hey, he caught it in the end so I’m not going to get nit-picky!
He used a couple thin pieces of cardboard, a sharpie, and then used some washi tape to add a baker’s twine bookmark.
Totally fits his personality.
My princess loving youngest found this book page of Cinderella and the animals and had to use it.
The inside covers got Pinkified and it makes her so happy!
Because she is only in Kindergarten, she tells me what she is grateful for each day and I write it for her. Then she draws a picture to illustrate the rest of her page. I let her use crayons, watercolors, pens, and markers, whatever medium she feels like using.
I love that the first thing in the whole book that she is thankful for is her big brother. So sweet.
I am going to miss these little 5 year old girl doodles!
But these 10 year old girl doodles sure make me smile too.
We have a great granny Alaskan Husky hybrid so Bee is grateful for wolves.
Her creation process was fun to watch.
She searched the pages we had to find things she loved and then she covered her journal inside and out with those cut outs.
One of her very favorite books is The Velveteen Rabbit so she used the old torn book jacket to cover the front of her journal.
Like I said, these aren’t fancy perfect books but my kids love them.
I challenged my family to record 3 things that they are grateful for every day for the month of November.
I don’t police them, correct their spelling, or make them try harder. I just let them use their own creativity and grateful hearts. It has inspired me to pick up my own journal and do some gratitude work myself, in the process.
That has been a surprise blessing.
Instead of writing 3 things, you could also print off THESE darling gratitude prompts and do it that way instead.
There really isn’t a wrong or right way!
I like to use my favorite pens to write in mine.
There are lots of colors and they don’t bleed through the pages like regular sharpies do.
These pens aren’t the cheapest, but they have been a fun treat and I’m glad I bought them for myself!
These journals were such an easy project and my kids had a lot of fun creating them. They had them decorated and their first day of gratitude written inside in 30 minutes. (Then, of course, I was left with the mess to clean up. Maybe “Clean” will be a family focus sometime soon? Haha!)
I love that each one of these journals is unique and fits the child that made it.
Oh, and by looking at Miss June’s, I now know where all my purple washi tape went!
So, can you let go of perfection and let the kids cut, color, and paste?
You don’t have to post them, but if you do I’d love to see!
Hashtag your Gratitude posts on Instagram using #familyfocusgratitude so we can get ideas and inspire each other!
- Grab a notebook: any kind