365 Days of Gratitude – A Draw and Write Journal for Kids is a great tool for helping children develop a gratitude practice early in life. At the same time, it gives parents a concrete strategy to support the development of reading and writing. Plus, it’s a valuable way to spend quality time together.
The journal is 8.5” by 11” and has 183 pages. This allows it to lie almost flat while your child is drawing and writing. Each two page spread has four spaces for your child to draw and then dictate or write what they are grateful for.
There are so many ways to use our gratitude journal for kids. One easy way is to have your child draw a picture of what they are grateful for. Then, have them dictate a response to fill in the prompt “I am grateful for…” and write it down for them.
Dictation is a great way to model writing for younger children, and develop concepts about print. After you write, be sure to read it back to your child, touching once under each word. If it seems easy and casual and things are going well, ask your child to count how many words are in the sentence. Or, have them show you a particular word that you think they might know, perhaps the name of a sibling or a simple sight word.
Instead of drawing, your child could cut pictures out of a magazine. Or, you can find images online and print them out.
You could also use photos of family vacations and outings, or daily activities like eating dinner or playing outside. Your child will love to express gratitude about family members pictured in photos, or about the various rooms in your house. A fun option is to have your child pose with the item or person they are grateful for, take a digital photo and then print it out.
Instead of having your child dictate, they could fill in the prompt themselves, using their own spelling. Or, you could make it more of a shared task, encouraging your child to ask you when they are unsure about how to spell a word.
Depending upon the age of your child and the amount of time you have to record that day’s entry, you can choose if you want to illustrate with a drawing or a photo, and if you want to have your child dictate or write more independently.
This Draw and Write gratitude journal for kids is undated, so you can start it at any time. The beginning of a new calendar year in January is a great time to start. Or, a child could begin journaling after receiving this as a birthday gift.
For years I’ve created themed gifts based on a specific book, or a specific subject. For instance, I might give a child The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and include a couple of related toys. Or, I might pick three favorite dinosaur books and add a plush dinosaur. One of my favorites was when I chose books for a friend’s two boys, and found matching pillowcases!
With book subscription boxes, I can give themed book gifts to the children in my life, and the giving goes on all year. This also gives me a way to connect with the recipients as the months go by. I like to check in every now and then by email or text to see what books and goodies have arrived. This gives my young reading friends an authentic reason to write, as they dictate to a parent or use budding keyboarding skills to reply.
Giving a book subscription box is a great way to build a child’s personal library, and expose them to new genres and subjects. For a reluctant reader, receiving a box in the mail each month creates a ton of excitement, which often transfers to the books themselves.
Bookroo is geared for kids ages birth to 10. Depending on age, kids receive board books, picture books, or early chapter books, beautifully wrapped. For board books and picture books, the curators of this box are aiming for what they call “hidden” gems, rather than classics. Books are chosen through a rigorous review process which includes input from 12 families with young children.
Older children receive one “hidden gem” early chapter book, and one well-known “classic” early chapter book. Bookroo is a great book subscription box option for families who want some help expanding their library in new directions. $19.95 per month.
Reading Bug Box
The Reading Bug Box offers three options for book subscription boxes for kids. The Baby Bug Box is for ages 0-30 months, and includes three board books each month. The personalized Reading Bug Box is for kids ages 0-13, and includes three or four books based on the recipient’s age, gender, and interests. There is even a Reading Bug Box for 2, a personalized book subscription box for two children at the same address. $19.99 per month.
OwlCrate Jr. is a book subscription box for kids ages 8-12. Each box includes a middle-grade novel, as well as related goodies that are fun and educational. Examples are science or art activity kits, notebooks, bookmarks, writing tools and collectible toys. $27.99 per month.
The Story Box
The Story Box is for younger children, ages 0-6 years old, with three options to choose from. The Board Bookpackage includes two board books each month. The Picture Bookpackage includes two hardcover picture books each month. The Familypackage includes one board book and one picture book.
Books are chosen by a team that includes a speech pathologist. This team looks for books that have attractive illustrations, strong vocabulary, fun story lines, rhyming, and alliteration. A unique feature of these book subscription boxes is a helpful parent guide, with easy tips for supporting children’s speech, language, and pre-literacy skills. $14.99 per month.
Kid Curated Books
Kid Curated Books offers boxes for four age groups ranging from 0-14. Parents provide detailed information about their child’s reading level and preferences, including what types of books to avoid. Parents can provide monthly feedback so that future book choices will better match their child’s needs and interests.
Each shipment contains four books. There’s a 15% discount when you sign up a sibling, and gift cards are available. $34.99 per box, with the option to deliver as often or as seldom as you like.
What I really love about Kid Curated Books is their stand alone book boxes for baby showers, holiday gifts, or birthdays. The baby shower boxes are my favorite. They include a variety of classic books with a matching onesie. Absolutely adorable, and so much easier than trying to track down so many themed items.
There are two STEM boxes for young engineers and scientists, and two “Girl Power” boxes for both younger and older girls. These boxes are beautifully packaged and include a card and a bookmark.
Amazon Prime Book Box
Are you a Prime member? Amazon has added another benefit to its Prime membership. The Amazon Prime Book Box program is set up to send your child either four or two hardback books in each box, at up to a 40% discount from Amazon’s list price.
Age groups are baby-2 years old, ages 3-5, ages 6-8, and ages 9-12. A unique feature is that you can specify delivery every 1, 2 or 3 months. Five days before shipment, Amazon will send you a curated list to choose from, or you can let it be a surprise. $19.99 per box.
STEM Reads Book Club
The STEM Reads Book Club is a monthly book club for children (ages 4-8) who love to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Each themed box includes two (or more) handpicked, kid-friendly books, exclusive author notes, engaging learning activities, and fun surprises. Boxes often include new or recently released titles, including some from up-and-coming authors or publishers.
Books are chosen by a team of advisers with advanced STEM degrees and professional experience in science writing and editing. Subscriptions do sell out, so don’t delay if this book subscription box sounds like a good match for your young reader. $34.95 per month.
A book subscription box is a great gift for kids, and a fantastic way for you to support and encourage any young reader in your life. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!
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