Author Focus: Emily K. Neuburger

Posted In: All posts, Book Love

Playful Learning: Journal Prompts

“When the ideas whisper your name, invite them in.”

– Emily K. Neuburger

I’ve been a fan of Emily K. Neuburger. for a number of years. Her first book, Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling, is full of creative storytelling and writing inspiration. I was honored when she asked me to contribute to her latest book, Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking. I was joined by  other amazing authors like the swoon-worthy Rachelle Doorley of Tinker Lab, and Kerri Smith.

Receiving my copy in the mail was such a wonderful experience —seeing how all of these creative ideas have come together in such a beautifully designed book. Journal Sparks is a true delight!

Meandering your way through these easy and fun activities is the perfect way to keep your entire family writing during the summer months and is a lovely way to spend time together. The ideas presented in this book are inspiring for young and old and can be accomplished with what you have on hand—yay!


Below are a few of my favorite journal prompts…


Nature Tracing


I love that even the youngest children can join in on this nature tracing activity! Loosely trace your natural treasure and fill in with watercolor pants. This would be a lovely way to document your most treasured collections.


Word Jar


Collecting favorite words in a jar and using them for inspiration in your journaling, is wonderful way to increase vocabulary and discover interesting, new words. What a great thing to do together as a family!




It’s always refreshing to slow down and notice the little things… Paying close attention to the finer details in life is an important skill that can strengthen reading and writing development. This activity is a wonderful way to get the power of observation flowing.


I hope that you and your family enjoy, Journal Sparks as much as we have!

For more information about Emily, click here.


Book List



With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.


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