Young minds are full of imagination, wonder and curiosity. Writing can be an amazing outlet for kids – allowing them full reign to express their personality and creativity. Even so, most kids dread the thought of writing, especially when it comes to tedious writing assignments in school. And in the age of email, text messaging and social networking, kids’ tolerance for writing anything longer than a few sentences is being severely tested.
Being able to write and write well is an essential skill for all ages. That’s why it’s even more important today to encourage your children at a very early age to write, learn how to spell and follow rules of grammar and punctuation. So how can you help make writing fun for your children?
If you have a group of kids, you can play the ol’ grapevine game – you know, where you whisper something to one person, they tell it to someone else, and so on until the last person says out loud what they heard – and the version is often far different from how it began. To make it into a writing game, have one child write out a sentence on a piece of paper then pass it to the next participant. The next child will change one word in the sentence and so on until it reaches the last player. When the final sentence is read aloud, everyone will be amazed at how one word can entirely change a story or message.
Another fun group writing game is to have a child begin a story with one sentence, then each person adds on a sentence and builds the story until everyone is doubled over in laughter or the story ends.
Whenever your child begs or whines for something, turn it into a persuasive writing opportunity. Have him tell you in writing what he wants, why he wants it, what he would do with it if he got it and why he thinks he deserves it. Of course, you must set the expectation that his argument is no guarantee he will get what he wants, only that it will increase his chances.
Fun experiences are great writing prompts for children, and kids are especially eager to talk about their favorite things. So when you take your kids to the park or the zoo or you go on family vacation, have them write a story about their experience. Give them a writing prompt before you go so your child can be thinking about it during the trip.
For example, if you go to the park, have your child write about her favorite activity. What did she enjoy the most – the slide, the swings, the sandbox? When you go to the zoo, tell her to write about the animal she liked the most. Going on a family vacation? Ask her to write a story about her favorite place, tourist attraction or activity when you get home. Even mundane experiences, like going to the mall or the grocery store, can be creative writing opportunities.
Whether your child likes to write or struggles with it, your support and encouragement can make a world of difference. Cultivate their creative writing talents with interesting and fun writing prompts. Whatever writing assignments you give to your kids or they bring home from school, praise them for their efforts. The more positive feedback you provide, the more confident they will become and the more they will enjoy writing.
Online lessons like Time4Writing’s writing classes can help children build and strengthen the foundation for strong writing skills in elementary school, middle school, high school and beyond. Throughout these eight-week interactive writing classes, students will learn about basic mechanics, paragraph structure and essay writing.
Time4Writing is popular as a writing homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment, for remediation, and as a summer school alternative. All of Time4Writing’s online lessons are led by certified writing teachers who provide valuable feedback after every writing assignment.
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