Of course children are not going to produce professional pieces of art and depending on the age will not write sentences or even full words to begin with (if the child is not at that developmental stage of being able to write) But what they can do is form shapes and gain confidence in writing letters then words from practise in a fun way. Certainly in Scoltand, children at nursery (children can start nursery at aged 3 in Scotland in some circumstances) will be encouraged to write their names on their art work they do at nursery. I don't produce professional pieces of art either so as long as you can let go of pre conceived ideas of what your child should be able to do in a journal the more freeing and fun the experience will be. I have three children of my own, all grown up now. I used to love having art and craft sessions with them. However I did not do journaling and that is something, if I had known about then, I would have done. For me the bonus is I now have grandchildren so my intention is to start art journaling with each of them as and when they are ready to begin. We will go at their pace and stop if they do not wish to carry on. Having said that, they are my grandchildren so why would they not be artistic with fantastic imaginations? lol
I have had my first art journal session with my granddaughter aged 4. Here are some photos of the mini art journal she made, with a tiny bit of help from me and jennibellie of course as we used the inspiration station free tutorial click on the link to view the information video showing how to access the free class on jennibellie's journal workshop community. Alternatively just go straight to jennibellie's journal workshop The inspiration station class speaks about having a single box full of inspirational art supplies as well as having favourite items to offer inspiration in times of losing your mojo :) This box is separate to all your other art supplies and what you want to make it. This is ideal for children as it can be their own art supplies and items to use in their own art journal as well as make the mini journal. I see this as a single box that will be easy to get out and use at any given time. They will know exactly what they can use and it can be full of things that are childproof. As well as things that won't matter if they destroy them in the name of art :) They can even decorate it themselves, a project in itself :)
I have not organised an inspiration station box for my granddaughter to use yet but here are the photos of the mini journal made.