Writing! Do you wish your kids would do more of it?
I think children really want to write even before they want to read! It is another form of communication open to them. I am sure at some point you have been passed a note in scribble writing by a toddler wanting your attention 🙂
But how do you keep encouraging them? Well, how about using books…
I have some fabulous kids writing books on my shelf that will help you encourage your kids to write in lots of different ways.
My children are both very different. One loves to write stories and one hates it 🙂 But they both write. Here is how!
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So where do you start?
If I am totally honest we didn’t do a lot of handwriting practice or tracing letters (or spelling practice, or grammar!). Although the children liked it occasionally.
What they did enjoy was drawing a picture and then writing something underneath – and so we discovered the Draw Write Now series of books. These clever books have a drawing lesson one side, then space to draw and write (or copy) on the other. There is a whole series of them but I recommend you try one – then buy draw/write paper booklets and make up your own 🙂
My daughter in particular loves writing stories. Even when she was small she would pace back and forth behind me dictating a story (which I had to type and print out leaving space for pictures!)
What really gets her creative juices flowing are story starters – a beginning paragraph or prompt to start the story off for her – leaving her to take it wherever her imagination decrees! I have collected some of our own in my homeschooling-ideas Story Starter book – and suggest a few others from Amazon too.
Journaling and Prompts
My goodness, I just can’t say enough about journaling with your kids. I have written about it here, and I still think this is one of the most valuable things you can introduce your children too.
We mostly prefer a free format type of journaling where we can write about anything, anytime, anyplace 🙂 But guided journal books and prompts have their place too.
Doing the Days has a special place in my heart as it kicked off so many fun projects for us – not just journaling ones. It contains several activities for every day of the year. For example (a much shortened version) for April 10th states
“Walter Hunt patented the safety pin on this day in 1849. Write about all the uses for the safety pin that you can think of”.
Unlike my daughter, my son would rather have his fingernails pulled out than sit down and write stories! But he does like to make lists and actually is the one most likely to want to buy a notebook (he and I both have a huge collection!)
Both children love the idea behind bullet journaling and use this type of list making to stay organized. My son is a big moleskine notebook fan – while my daughter prefers her filofax clipbook! They also have enjoyed listing making books (such as the Wimpy Kid one). We don’t have the Q&A a Day for Kids book but I would have loved it when they were younger.
Do encourage your children to make lists – it is a great way to get them to put pen to paper, and build useful life skills. My son tracks his pocket money, where he is at in computer games, books he has read, friends birthdays and so on. Check out my post on the Ideas Daybook for more ideas.
Creative Writing Activities
It is handy to have a few reference books on your shelf to help you come up with great writing activities when you need them.
And if you have a budding novelist, here are a few ideas for you!
I have to mention NanoWrimo here as that is what got my daughter fully into writing her own books. They have lots of activity packs and information on the site that is worth checking out.
If your child is interested in writing detective stories then the Book of Poisons is a hugely interesting reading.
“If you want to kill off characters with something poisonous, you need to know how a villain would gain access to such a poison, how it would be administered, and what the effects on the victim would be”.
Not for the faint hearted but gripping, and made my daughter very interested in science and forensics. Though it did worry her brother a little over what she might be planning to do with her new found knowledge 🙂 I think they also do murder weapons too.
Kids Writing Books
I hope you find something here that will encourage your children to pick up a pen 🙂 And if you do I would love to hear about it. Just leave me a comment or come visit my facebook page.