I've written before about my line-a-day journal. I'm now in my 5th year of entering a one line journal entry for each day, and it continues to work with me. Not only have I been able to keep it up, but I love seeing the previous years' entries for that day. I love it so much that this year I started us doing a similar thing with our kids: a question a day journal.
Last Christmas I got each of my kids the book Q&A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal by Betsy Franco. Answering the questions has become part of our going to bed ritual.
The questions range from straightforward ("What did you have for breakfast today?") to intriguing ("Would you rather travel back in time or go to outer space? Why?") to deep ("Describe something you would never change about yourself?"). Sometimes the kids write their own entries. With my preschooler that takes a long time and results in something largely illegible, so usually a grown up writes the answers. No matter who is writing we talk about them together.
What I like about the book is that no matter how busy the day was or how much screen time was allowed, we end our day talking to each other. Sometimes the kids are wound up, and it is hard to get them to focus. Generally though they are anxious to do their journals.
Starting next year the book will have the added interest of seeing how the answers to each question have changed a year later. The book is designed to be used for three years.
When we started the journals my kids were just shy of four and six years old. They are on the younger range of the ages for which I think this book would be ideal. My youngest doesn't understand some of the less direct questions. Even with some attempt at explanation my oldest didn't quite grasp today's question, "What inspires you?" Still, I write down the answer I am given even if it is "I don't know" or a complete tangent. For most questions, however, they have interesting responses.
Sometimes the answers meet my expectations. Sometimes they surprise me. Everyday we are building a treasure.
I wouldn't recommend this as a gift for someone else's kid unless the child is old enough to answer the questions independently. Otherwise, you'll be signing the parents up for a task they may not want. For your own child though this book can be a great gift for both of you.
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