For the folk at Westbridge Academy, Battersea

Lockdown journals

What a strange time we’re living through. Although the days are now starting to feel somewhat same-same they are by no means ordinary. In fact, for many of us, this time might be the most unique chapter in our lives so far. So wouldn’t it be special to record our thoughts and feelings during this exceptional time?

Keeping a journal is a really beneficial activity for our kids during this time. It can release stress and help them to explore and understand their feelings. It can work as a prompt to help young minds form opinions and views and to really start to understand the world around them. Besides the deep stuff it’s also a fun way to record their likes and dislikes at this age because the things that are so important right now may be distant memories soon. It is also a brilliant way for children to practice their writing skills and get better at explaining experiences and emotions.

Here are a few ways you can help your kids start their own lockdown journals:

  • Assign a notebook that is to be used solely as a lockdown journal. Ask them to decorate or personalise their journals however they wish - maybe with stickers or cutouts of their favourite characters, photographs or even paintings.

  • Writing about feelings and thoughts can be hard at first so provide them some prompts to help them structure their thoughts. Things like:

    • 3 good things about lockdown
    • 3 things you miss right now
    • what is your favourite book. Why?
    • what is one thing that you would never ever eat?
    • what is your favourite colour?
    • what’s the best thing you’ve eaten during lockdown?
    • what is making you feel happy today?
    • what is making you feel sad today?
    • describe a friend you are missing right now
    • if you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?
    • what superhero power would you want?
    • what makes you angry?
    • describe something you’re really good at

Seriously, the questions could go on forever! You can make them more elaborate or much simpler depending on your child’s age.

  • Ask older kids to write in full sentences and to use a range of vocabulary. Younger ones may need more assistance with writing. Remind them that it does not have to be perfect and there’s no right or wrong.

  • Encourage creativity and freedom. They should not have to stick to questions and answers - they could write a poem or short story or maybe they prefer to draw pictures or use comic form.

  • If you’re not against your kids using technology, you could even try video journalling. It’s as simple as taking a short video every day where they answer the questions above (or anything else). Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to do this stuff!

Happy journalling!