Children write for the same reasons that they listen to stories or read books: to be entertained, to share experiences and ideas, and to try something new. If your child is a reluctant writer, however, it can be hard to know where to start. The good news is that all children have creative imaginations and often just need a little encouragement to put their many ideas down on paper. Use some of the ideas below to make writing a part of your daily routine, and to inspire your child to love writing!
5. Practice storytelling.
Simply engaging your child in more conversations will help them become a better writer. Get in the habit of telling each other stories about your day, during dinner or at bedtime. Emphasize the structure of your story, what happened first, next, and last. Practice storytelling by looking through old family photos together and recounting fun experiences. Try to expose your children to new words through stories and conversations.
4. Create a special place in your home where your child can relax and write.
Find a quiet nook to put either a desk or comfortable pillows. Call it a “Writing Corner” and fill it with paper, pens, markers, a clipboard, a notebook, and a folder for storing their writing. All of these items can be found at a dollar store. Hang up examples of their writing and some writing of your own for inspiration. Every once in a while ask your child if you can join them in their Writing Corner to write any lists, notes, or thoughts that you may have.
3. Give your child their very own “Writing Box.”
A writing box can be used at home or on the go, and children will love having their very own writing supplies. Fill a shoe box or small plastic storage box with supplies that can be found at the dollar store such as: pens, pencil, markers, crayons, pads of note paper, stencils, blank envelopes, small notebooks, erasers, etc.
2. Ask them for help with your own writing.
You are your child’s biggest role model for reading and writing, so if you demonstrate that writing is useful and pleasurable, then they will also have a positive attitude toward it. Ask them to help you out by writing the grocery list while you dictate, writing reminders for the family, creating a happy birthday sign, writing out a dinner menu, addressing envelopes, or writing “idea lists” for weekend or summertime activities.
1. Be Their Audience.
You are your child’s audience, and they want to impress you. Give your children an opportunity to share what they have written. If your child knows that their work will be read by you and your family members, they will want to write. If they know that their writing will be posted on the refrigerator, they will want to write. And if they know that their writing may spark a discussion at the dinner or breakfast table, they will want to write. When you have an audience, you do your best work!