Learning to be an effective and creative writer is an important life skill. As a teen and as an adult, writing is a necessary skill needed for term papers, presentations, email and other correspondence. If children learn how to express themselves on paper when they are young, writing will not be a daunting task allowing them to clearly focus on the purpose of their writing. The following are ways to help your children learn to express themselves through writing and help them to become a better writer.
- Play games with your kids to help them increase their vocabulary. Games like Scrabble and Bananagrams are great tools for teaching kids how to spell and learn new words. A rich vocabulary is a great first step to creative writing.
- Use your car time effectively by playing word games. Think of different ways to say the same thing. If your child says “I’m hungry”, Challenge them to find how many different ways they can say that same thing using more description. One way might be “I’m so hungry, my stomach feels like an earthquake.” This is fun for the whole family and a great way to pass time in the car while sitting in traffic or on a road trip. When kids learn to write, their writing can be very repetitive and learning descriptive ways to say things will greatly help them when it comes to putting thoughts on paper.
- Have your child write early and often. Thank you cards are a great way to practice writing. Have your child write letters to their grandparents and aunts and uncles. You might even consider a service project for your child where they can write letters to the elderly living in retirement homes. Who doesn’t enjoy getting a hand-written letter in the mail?
- Encourage writing at home with fun activities like “Story Starters”. Fill a jar with ideas to start a story. Have your child draw a “Story Starter” from the jar and then finish the story on paper. Encourage them to add pictures so that they are using their left and right side of their brain. You can write a story along with your child and then share your stories.
- Edit your child’s writing and give them encouraging words along with a few possible ways to make it better (punctuation, spelling, etc.). If you are writing with your child, let your child edit your story while you edit theirs.
To learn more about having a creative writing class offered after school at your child’s elementary school, click here. Or check out the summer writing camp, Writing the Right Way: An Aspiring Writer’s Adventure!