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How To Create a Summer Gratitude Journal



Summer is starting! Ella gets done on Wednesday and I cannot wait. (Remind me of this week 2 when I’m out of tricks and they are fighting).

My friend Kristen got me thinking about summer plans and how to make it simple, yet intentional.

Summer: We Can Learn and Have Fun

  • What do they love – how can I help grow that skill?
  • What’s a new habit to learn (cleaning toilets, cooking dessert, etc.)?
  • What’s something they’ve been wanting to try, but you don’t want to invest an entire season? (gymnastics, soccer)


How To Create a Gratitude Journal

This tool is just one summer idea and has these potential benefits:

  • Focuses discussion and time on “what we have” vs “what we don’t have”
  • Tangible and fun way to teach gratitude
  • Teaches ME to sit still and be with him – and I enjoy it!
  • They LOVE to draw and they have that in common.
  • It’s an easy grab and go and keeps their creative minds going.
  • It’s a great travel buddy – what are you grateful for on this hike, this trip, this summer event.
  • It’s a great keepsake – look back at their summer.


Here’s How It Works.

We bought three sketch pads at Sam Flax art store – but they have them everywhere. One for Ella, one for Larson and one for me. I like sketch pads because they are thick pages and it makes them feel important (i.e. don’t write one letter on every page and have it full by Thursday). We bought some color pencils that say they erase but they don’t so much.



Then, we made our title page, “THANK YOU GOD FOR …”


And started drawing! I am encouraging them to write the name of the item  – not just the picture. You could have your older ones write a story or a couple sentences to practice writing over the summer.



They were loving it so we did many pages. And we might put it down for a week or so – and then pick it back up to recap a fun day or adventure. No rules! Make it your own!



Sometimes, I would look up the word “watermelon” or “bird” on google images to give them idea on how to draw it. I love they would often copy me exactly. Bubble letters and all.



So weird my phone is dying.


Phrases To Use:

  • When they mess up, “It’s ok – dress up, your mess up!” (Learned this from Ella’s school)
  • Who is the only perfect artist? That’s right, God!
  • I love thinking of all God has given us, don’t you? We have so much!
  • “What should I draw mom?” I don’t know – look around outside or think of things you are grateful for. “Oh! I hear the birds singing.” Perfect.




Ron took the next picture and I’m so glad. Frankly, the day wasn’t our best and I’m so glad I got off the couch and changed my mood and got us off devices and in a new scene.



What If My Kids Don’t Like To Draw?

Could you have them build something they are grateful for out of legos or play-doh or sticks? Or draw in the dirt with a stick? Or use this idea in categories at the pool or have them sprint down the yard and back. “Name one thing in our house you are grateful for… GO! Name one person you are grateful for… GO!”

Use their gifts and interests and find a way to tie it back to a virtue. If we sneak it in vs give them a lecture – it sticks.


Have your kids done summer journals?

What are some virtues or values you are hoping to spend time on this summer?





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One Comment

  1. This is fantastic! Thank you for the idea. Every summer I give my kiddos a “summer challenge” and this is perfect for my six year old. Enjoy your summer! Here in New England we have 18 more days of school 🙁

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