Feelings Journals for All Ages

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    What is a Feelings Journal?

    Image: Amanda Morin

    Related Reading for Parents: The Benefits of Journaling for Kids and Feelings Words From A to Z: The ABCs of Emotion

    Related Activities: Activities to Increase Emotional Vocabulary

    Goal of the Activity: To teach your child how to use written communication to express a wide variety of emotions and as a tool to explore, examine and master difficult social situations.

    Skills Targeted: written communication, emotional intelligence, emotional vocabulary, social problem solving

    What is a Feelings Journal?

    U...MOREnlike a journal in which your child writes to prompts or chronicles his adventures in nature, a feelings journal is used to help your child understand his emotions and give voice to them. It gives younger children a chance to recognize the span of emotions they experience and older children can use a feelings journal as an outlet to work through anger, frustration, social problems and decision-making.

    Page 2: Make a Good Feelings, Good Things Journal

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  • 02 of 03

    The Good Feelings, Good Things Journal (Ages 3 to 7)

    Feelings chart
    Image courtesy of Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning.
    Materials Needed:
    • pencil & crayons
    • List of emotions or the Feeling Faces Chart
    • copies of the Feelings Journal Paper

    Start by talking to your child about what types of words are associated with good feelings. There are many more words that can be associated with “good” than just happy. Sure, happy is a good feelings, but what about silly and excited?

    Once you’ve identified some good feelings, work together to make a list of the situations in which your child may feel this way. Does playing with a...MORE sibling make him feel good? Is he excited to go to a new movie? Try to help him come up with at least five situations for his list.

    Then, give him several pieces of paper or print copies of the Feelings Journal Paper, which provides a play to draw a picture of the emotion and situation as well as lines on which to write the words. Depending on your child’s writing ability, you may want to write the situation and have him write the feeling word. Otherwise, have him write the whole thing out.

    Page 3: The "How Do I Feel Today?" Journal

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    The "How Do I Feel Today?" Journal (ages 3 to 10)

    Feeling chart
    Image courtesy of Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

    Materials Needed:

    • a copy of the This is How I Feel Today Chart
    • copy of Feeling Faces Chart
    • pencil & crayons
    • copies of the Feelings Journal Paper
    • glue
    • scissors

    This feelings journal is similar to the Good Feelings journal except that it asks your child to identify how he is feeling daily, which can be a little more complicated. In order to keep track of how your child is feeling, it's a good idea to have a copy of the "This is How I Feel Today Chart (provided by the Center on the Social and...MORE Emotional Foundations for Early Learning) hung somewhere nearby.

    The chart has a number of different faces accompanied by the feelings words that go with those faces. You may also want to print out a copy of the Feeling Faces, also provided by the CSEFEL, so your child can cut out and glue the appropriate face on his paper.

    Check in Twice a Day

    This journal is used more as a way to check in with your child at the beginning and the end of the day than to have him provide in depth information about why he's feeling what he's feeling. At the beginning of the day, have him point to the face that best expresses his current emotional state and why. Have him draw that face or cut it and glue it onto a dated copy of the . Do the same at the end of the day, on the same piece of paper.

    End of the Week Emotional Review

    At the end of the week, sit down with your child and review the emotions he identified as feeling at the beginning and ending of each day. Discuss with him what emotion is most common and what feelings are unusual. Then you can talk about those days in more depth and talk about the circumstances surrounding those emotions. As he gets better at recognizing his own changing moods, he'll be more able to verbalize them to the people around him.