Getting kids involved

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Mary Beth has a few suggestions on how to not only get the kids involved in journal writing but also to keep them engaged in the process.



One of the reasons we started the family journal was to engage all the kids in the writing of our journal. We did not want them to view it as a chore but rather something that would hold their interest and to realize that it was becoming a living representation of our family. That may sound corny, but when I look back on it, the journal became an insight into our children’s lives and helped them all connect with each other through the different stages of their lives.

Some ideas we used are:

  1. Keep the journal in the car and ask the kids to name one great thing that happened at school.

  2. Take the journal out to dinner and do family surveys while waiting for the food to arrive.

  3. Trace everyone’ s hands onto a page starting from the largest to the smallest. Make sure to date the page. We actually did this one the first page of our journal.

  4. Create a chart to keep track of height, weight, shoe size, clothing size etc.

These links may help you:’

and finally, a list of prompts for all kinds of kid journals:

Til next time,

Mary Beth

Family Journal Prompts

Dear Fellow Journalers,

MaryBeth has a few Prompt suggestions for your Family Journal.



These prompt ideas came from my family when we wrote our journal:

  1. What is your favorite after-school activity? If you are a sports player, write about that, a band member, a chess player etc. How does the activity make you feel and why is it important to you?

  2. Write about a family reunion or holiday with your entire family.

  3. It’s been 10 years since you’ve been home and you show up at your parents’ doorstep. What happens next?

  4. Describe how you felt when you learned about the Eater Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

  5. You are spending the day with a family cousin you haven’t seen in a while. What do you do?

‘Til next time,

Mary Beth


The Family Journal

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The posts in January were so widely read and successful – Thanks so much for your comments! February continues our series with Family Journals. When I first broached the idea of content journaling to my team,  MaryBeth jumped at the idea of a Family Journal. “We started one,” she wrote me, “when the kids gave us the “The Perfect Gift.” So, being a gracious blog writer, I have left February’s posts on Family Journaling to her.



The kids had such a great time designing and assembling the family scrapbook, that when I brought up the idea of a family journal, they embraced it wholeheartedly. We gave a lot of thought as to what type of journal to write.

The first type that came to mind was the history of our family – “boring!” was T.J.’s response. My husband explained that our family history journal (if we decided to start one), would be personal. We could write it with the intention of using the contents to further the Maroney history writing or as a legacy for our descendants to have a better understanding of our attitudes and actions. The kids wrinkled their noses! The second type of journal, I actually thought of, was a souvenir family journal – almost like a travel journal but filled with trinkets of all the trips we go on. No one liked that idea either, so we sent the kids to the play room to come up with more ideas. The following are some of them:

  •      inspirations from books
  •      school events
  •      what makes us happy

story-pass-along (Each family member contributes to a story. Each writes one sentence in turn then passes it on)

  •      favorite family movies
  •      favorite books
     After a family discussion, we decided on a Happiness Journal. Each of us would take a section, date and sign it, then write a page on what made us happy, what we were doing (attending school, working) and about ourselves.
     Our family journal may not have been conventional, but for a first attempt it was pretty awesome and became a family treasure.
‘Til next time,


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