Symbolized by eggs and bunnies, spring and Easter are times for new beginnings and fresh starts. But just like many other holidays around the world, Easter is often centered around candy as kids receive baskets filled with chocolate and candy eggs. This year, consider skipping some of the sweets and put together a personalized journaling basket.
Journaling offers children a judgment-free space to reflect, establish goals, process feelings, dream and express themselves. Not only does journaling help build writing and communication skills, but it’s also associated with a slew of mental health benefits including:
- Stress management
- Problem/conflict resolution
- Stress reduction
- Coping mechanism
- Self-exploration and reflection
Though there are several benefits associated with journaling, it can be difficult to know where to start. Parents can offer writing prompts if a child needs some ideas to get started. If journaling doesn’t sound exciting to your child, try offering ways to make it their own. Just like a kid may be likely to drink water out of their favorite decorated bottle, they may be more likely to journal with a favorite glitter pen or colorful marker.
Journaling doesn’t have to be limited to words. Children can express themselves through doodles, scrapbooking, photos and stickers. Here are some things to include in a journaling basket:
- Journal. A blank book with lines on the page is helpful for journaling, but consider a larger book to offer room for doodles and pictures.
- Stickers. Stickers can help channel creativity and make journaling more fun. Moreover, smiley face stickers can help younger kids express emotions about their day when they don’t have the words.
- Tapes. Colorful tapes with patterns and textures are a fun and artsy way to incorporate photos, notes and movie tickets.
- Markers and pens. A variety of colorful, metallic and glittery markers can make writing more fun and creative.
- Some sweets. Easter doesn’t have to be without sweets to be healthy. Pack in a few favorite sweet treats.
Personalizing the basket
- Think beyond traditional. Skip the plaid-lined Easter basket and offer a container that be repurposed for a child’s room to get more bang for your buck.
- Customize the stickers. For a sporty kid, stickers of sports balls, goals, shoes, hats and more can help them express their creativity and vent about sports. An outdoorsy kid may enjoy wildlife and plant stickers.
- Additions. Add a couple more fun things that go along with their interests, like sunglasses and a water bottle.
Whatever you put in your child’s basket this year, make it fun and personalized.
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family. Find out more on AHealthierMichigan.org.
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