Emotion Journal

Ages 8+


  • A notebook filled with blank pages
  • Markers, crayons, colored pencils
  • Colored construction paper
  • Stickers
  • Craft items
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue or tape

Recipe for Fun!

An Emotion Journal is an extremely useful tool in learning how to cope with emotions. Your child’s journal can be a safe space to record what’s going on in their life, and even more importantly, capture the emotions that they are feeling in the moment. It can be as simple as a binder full of lined paper, a journal purchased from the store, or one you make on your own.

STEP 1: Depending upon the age of your child, either sit with them or ask them to make a list of emotions, i.e., happy, sad, excited, nervous, scared, confident, jealous, mad, thankful, embarrassed, brave, shy etc.

STEP 2: Using your craft supplies, give your child some time to decorate the front cover of the journal. Suggest that your child add their name to the front cover to personalize it as their own, i.e. Mary’s Emotion Journal. )

STEP 3: Using the emotions list they made, create a page (or pages) for each emotion. Show your child how to title the page with the name of the emotion and use different craft items to decorate each page so that they are noticeably different from each other.

STEP 4: Suggest a specific time each day to encourage your child to write down entries, after dinner, before bedtime or during a challenging moment.

  • Let them know that it’s okay to write down their feelings without fear of judgement or criticism. Their feelings don’t have to be expressed in full sentences but rather in a few words or through simple drawings.

  • They can keep it very simple or add as much or as little detail as they want. It’s their book!

STEP 5: At the end of each week, take the opportunity to review the entries together to explore emotions and discuss healthy coping strategies.

  • In time, they may be able to view their emotions in a more positive manner.

STEP 6: Once the first journal is done, suggest making another one. Or consider separate journals for each emotion if your child enjoys writing. As the seasons go by, pull out the older journals to show your child the progress they have made managing their emotions.