June 19, 2014

Top 10 Ways to Keep Kids Writing This Summer

Writing is one of those things where the more you do it, the better you get at it. (And I must write a lot because I'm such a great writer, clearly.)(and that was sarcasm there.)

Unfortunately, writing is one of those things most kids just don't like to do. I've found that if I bother the kids about spelling and grammar every time they try to write something, it just discourages them from writing more. There are some projects we do that I'm more involved in, and I show them how to revise and rewrite, but most of the kid-directed writing I just let be as it is. The kids are happier this way and my main goal is to have them enjoy writing.

A resource we have used and found success with is "Games for Writing" by Peggy Kaye. It's great for helping young kids overcome fear of writing. I suggest you check it out.

Here are some other ideas to help get kids writing:

1. Make Your Own Stationary

The kids use rubber stamps sometimes to make their own stationary. Once they've created one, I will copy it for them to create several pieces. They have really liked doing this.

2. One-a-day journal

I bought these for my oldest two at Christmas. It's easy to complete each day and asks fun questions. I love looking back at the kids answers (and so far, they don't mind me reading). They use the same journal each day for 3 years, so each year they can look back and see their previous answer and how things have changed. You can start it anytime.

3. Set up a post office

My kids love writing letters to us and each other. Once they taped envelopes to everyone's bedroom doors and used those as mailboxes. Once they cut a hole in a box and used that. The kids will take turns being the mailman and delivering the letters.

4. Get official looking seals and sealing wax

We once bought our kids letter seals and sealing wax when we visited Williamsburg. They loved them. It definitely encouraged letter writing. I told them they had to write a certain number of lines before I would use the wax to seal it. Otherwise they would just scribble a quick note or draw a smiley face. They just really liked the seals and pretending they were royalty sending important communications back and forth. Also, this makes a fun stocking stuffer at Christmas time. You can get gold wax, or sparkly glitter wax. It's fun stuff.

5. Write commercials or plays and film them

My kids love coming up with crazy things and filming them. Joshua has come up with a whole series of "Mouse and Pig" plays. He writes scripts and directs his siblings. It's fun to watch, and good writing practice.

6. Create a family newspaper

Clearly I don't worry too much about spelling and grammar when they're writing for fun

The kids like doing a weekly family newsletter. Maren usually is in charge, and she assigns her younger brothers as reporters. They each type up (or dictate to me) part of the newsletter. It's great writing practice and great family history keeping. Joshua got tired of Maren bossing him around at one point and started his own competing newspaper.

7. 15 minutes of free writing

We try to make writing a habit. During school time, we set aside 15 minutes for free writing. I give a writing prompt or story starter, but also let the kids just write about their own ideas if they have one. I don't grade spelling or grammar. The freedom to write and not worry about mistakes I think is important.

8. Create signs

My kids like to make posters and signs when they're playing. They make shops to sell things at and create posters to advertise. Maren recently created a bunch of advertisements for her new "Odd Jobs" store, complete with tear-off slips on the bottom letting the family know where she could be contacted.

9. Have them create a treasure hunt

My older kids like to create treasure hunts for the younger kids. It's fun and writing at the same time!

10. Make books

Even before my kids can write on their own, we make books together. Kids love making and reading their own books. We've done this several ways. Sometimes I've typed up what they've dictated and then they illustrate it. Sometimes we take pictures of their toys for the illustrations. Sometimes we work on it as a long project, with several revisions before it's copied by hand into a hardback blank book. Whatever way we do it, the kids are always proud of the book they've made themselves.

How do you encourage your kids to write?

This post is part of KBN's Top 10 Summer Learning Blog Hop


1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! I will definetly be using some of these this summer. Thanks!


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