They want to be on their iPads playing Minecraft or the computer playing Animal Jam.
So writing–actually putting the ole pencil to the paper–is far down on their list of fun things to do while school’s out.
But I’ve got a few ideas for you to get our kids writing again. A few fun, totally cool, ways.
Honestly, the kids and their neighbor buddies helped me put this list together. So it has to work, right?
The cool thing is that beyond this list of seven ways to get kids writing you can always pull out the cool writing topic cards. Print them out. Let your kids pick one, two, or a few, and give ’em a few new pens.
You may be surprised at what happens.
Here’s the skinny. . .
7 Ways to Get Kids Writing (and Cool Writing Prompts for Kids):
In no particular order. . .
It amazes me what happens when you ask kids to write their names.
They love it.
They really, truly do.
And sure, it’s not high-level thinking or super creative writing; rather, it’s just writing. Just plain writing.
Leave a bunch of writing tools on the table with a pile of blank paper, and ask kids to:
- write their first name
- write their full name–first, middle, last
- write their nickname
- write their dream name (this will surely result in giggles. . . tell them that as an example yours is ‘Queen Mom’)
Kids love to make lists.
If you’re working on something in the kitchen, ask your child to write a quick grocery list for you as you dictate items. Tell them that spelling does not matter and to give each word their best guess.
Or get children into the habit of writing a ‘to-do’ list at the beginning of each day or every Sunday.
It’s good to have a plan.
And kids writing their plans, checking items off as completed, and keeping everything together in one notebook is a great way of chronicling progress!
Often journaling is best done when modeled.
The children I know who regularly journal have parents who also do a lot of journal writing.
That’s not to say that everyone has to go out and start spending hours a day writing in a journal, but perhaps your family could either begin each day with a journal entry or wind down each day by writing for a few minutes.
Consider getting your kids into journal writing by:
- starting a Family Journal, where everyone adds one sentence about his or her day
- leaving a journal on the counter and using it as a way to communicate
- giving everyone a topic at the beginning of the week, and each person takes one day to reflect upon it
- using a journal to stay in touch with long-distance family or friends.
The possibilities are endless. Just know that there’s something really cool about keeping a ‘family record’ of sorts this way.
There is honestly nothing like getting an old-fashioned letter in the mail.
And no child can deny this!
Give everyone the challenge of writing one letter each week for 52 weeks. Can you imagine how much fun that could be?
Or if that’s too much, sit down together and write one letter–one teeny, tiny letter–to a family member.
The connections are invaluable.
I have always found that if kids have the correct writing utensils, they’re more inclined to write.
Really. When I was in the classroom, I kept jars of fun pens and pencils on my shelves, window sills, and desk–and they were all free for kids to use each day.
Kids had favorites, and they’d come right in, grab one, and get down to business. Then they’d return them at the end of class.
Students wrote. They completed their work. They were ready to learn.
And the more kids write, the better their ideas flow.
Seriously. Leave out a bunch of cool pens and pencils, some tablets, and notebooks. And see what happens.
You may be surprised.
Sure, kids can follow a recipe by following directly from a cookbook, but how about adding in one small step?
Have them write their shopping list–the ingredients needed to create their dish–and then write down the directions?
Children are less likely to miss a step in the cooking process when they recopy the recipe, and they’re also getting some much-needed writing practice.
Sometimes all kids need is a little bit of a push to get their creative ideas flowing.
You can give them that push with these Cool Daily Writing Prompts for Smart & Creative Kids.
We’ve come up with 14 pages of four cards each–so a total of 56 cool writing prompts that are bound to get your kids writing.
Topics that give them a chance to stretch their brains, think about steps, consequences, and favorites, and get their pens or pencils on the paper.
Use these cards by:
- printing out all of the cards and leting ’em at the topics
- picking one card each day
- having kids choose a card for another person, then sharing stories
- encouraging kids to keep a continued notebook of their journal responses and ideas
- giving kids a chance to write, edit, revise, and then share their writing with friends or family.