Some children take to writing very naturally, and really enjoy creating their own characters, stories, and texts. If your child struggles with writing, and doesn’t seem to enjoy it, there are things you can do at home to encourage their interest. Have a look at these activities, which are simple to set up, and see whether any of them support your child to write more, with increased interest.
Play A Game Of Consequences
This game, which can be played with as few as two people and as many as ten, is essentially a ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ activity. Check online for templates, or come up with your own sentence starters. Fold a piece of paper into sections, each one representing one part of the story. Write the sentence starters on each section (ensure that when it is folded down, you can’t see the rest of the story apart from the next section which you will write on). Then, give each person playing a chance to finish a sentence starter. Encourage your kid to be as imaginative as possible. When all of the sentences are finished, unfold the paper and read the story out loud – most of these end up being very funny (and a little strange!). Kids really enjoy this game and are often inspired to write stories about the characters which arise from the game.
Practice Mindful Writing
Similar to mindful coloring, mindful writing involves tracing the letters of the alphabet and coloring them in to develop your child’s understanding of the letter formations. This is a gentle, relaxing way of improving handwriting, which is often a barrier to children producing longer pieces of writing. You can also get your child to watch you write out simple words, and then trace over your lettering, again developing their knowledge of letter formation and shape.
Use Picture Cards
Many children want to write, but struggle to start with a blank page. Give them picture cards, showing potential charaters, settings, and plot points. Your child can select their favorite cards and create a story from this. Don’t worry if at first the stories are meandering or don’t make sense, as your child practices the plots, characters, and settings will become more coherent.