Published : Monday, January 21, 2019 | 1:17 PM
Children are full of imagination, but that does not always mean that they have an easy time putting pen to paper. Many young kids struggle with writing, whether it’s coming up with the ideas for a story or using correct spelling and grammar.
Many children freeze when a blank page is put in front of them, but there are a few simple things you can do to spark their creativity and bring out their inner author. Incorporating a few fun, writing-centric activities into their daily schedule will help children learn to love writing.
What are the benefits of honing your child’s writing skills?
Writing has many benefits for a child’s academic success. It helps to improve communication skills by providing a way to express his or her thoughts. It is also vital to developing a child’s vocabulary and their ability to think abstractly and problem solve.
Developing writing skills can help with your children’s future careers, as well. Nearly 74% of employers are looking for a candidate with strong written communication skills. However, a recent assessment found that over three-quarters of students in both eighth and twelfth grades lack proficiency in writing. Developing children’s writing skills early, both at school and at home, can help put them ahead of the pack when it comes time to look for jobs.
How to make writing fun for your kids
Make a comic book
Most children are great at creating pictures. Let them do what comes naturally first by making a series of images; then ask them to go back and provide a story to tie the images together. Before they know it, they will have written a strong story by connecting their artwork.
Give them a blog
To get your child writing, create a blog in which they can share their stories. Encourage them to blog about their day at school or a topic or hobby that interests them. If you are concerned about them putting too much information online, edit the privacy settings so the blogs can only be seen by family and friends.
Set up journaling time
Journals and diaries are a great way to get kids to express themselves through words. Take them to a local bookstore, and let them pick out a fun, eye-catching journal in which to share their thoughts. Schedule a half an hour before bed every night for them to journal about their day.
While their journaling may not be grammatically correct all the time, getting them writing without being worried about grades can help them realize that writing can be an enjoyable activity. The more they use their journal, the more they’ll refine their unique voice.
MadLibs is a great, fun way for your child to learn grammar and parts of speech. While they may not be writing a story, they will learn how the tone and plot of a story can be changed with word choice. They’ll also love the funny, random story that they create at the end of the exercise!
Develop their inner author
While you don’t want to push your children too hard to start writing, ensure they have the resources to do so when they do want to write. Set up a writing desk for them, and stock it with paper, crayons, paints, pens, and everything else they need to create their own book. Once their masterpiece is complete, laminate it and display it proudly on a bookshelf in your home, surrounded by other authors.
Start a story
Sometimes the hardest part about writing is knowing where to start. If your child struggle to get started, you may be able to help by starting a story and encouraging him or her to finish it. If their favorite thing is superheroes, begin a superhero series and let them create the twists and turns. Sometimes, a few introductory sentences are all they need to get the creative juices flowing.
Have story time
When your child writes a story or picture book, start incorporating it into their nightly storytime. Have them read the story to you, and encourage them to give different voices to the characters. Reading their story out loud to an audience will give them confidence, and may help them recognize grammatical mistakes that can be avoided when writing their next tale.
Writing is an essential skill not just for academic purposes, but in the workplace too. The more comfortable children become with expressing themselves, the more they will develop enhanced communication and language skills that will benefit them throughout life.
Stratford School is dedicated to offering an integrative approach to writing as part of its innovative STEAM curriculum. Learn more by scheduling a tour at your local Stratford School today.
Stratford School – Altadena, 2046 Allen Ave., Altadena, (626) 794-1000 or visit www.stratfordschools.com/find-your-campus/altadena.