How to Encourage and Improve Kids Writing Skills

Encouraging your kids to write over the summer is relatively easy.  Many of the activities below may also help maintain family quality time.

Sit down with your child(ren) and help them learn to be creative with their writing. Give them a writing prompt or let them pick a story title. As they begin to write, ask them questions to help them be descriptive. As them what their main character is wearing, what food he/she likes, where does he/she live, does he/she have any family, and other simple questions.  It teaches them to expand their writing and become improved writers.

Have your child(ren) write thank you notes to everyone that gives them a gift, or does something nice for them. A hand written note is more personal, is more creative, and means more to the recipient. The child(ren) also have the opportunity to draw on the note to bring out even more creativity. Shop at local dollar stores, retail stores and office supply stores for inexpensive stationary, and keep a variety on hand for any occasion.

Have kids write letters to long distance family. By writing they begin to exercise their brain and are able to expand it.

Write one sentence on a piece of paper, or notebook, and leave it somewhere in the house. Each person that finds it writes the next sentence. When the page is filled you can read the story everyone created.

Introduce your child(ren)to writing comic strips. This may also help a child to read who is not interested in reading. It’s a great way to introduce reading and writing in one activity.

Visit the library often. Kids are often encouraged to write a story after they have finished reading a good book.

Allow kids to write, and put on a play together. Give them the tools needed, and then watch them write a play and assign parts to siblings or neighbor kids. They’ll benefit with social interaction, creative writing, drama, and will have lots of laughs.

Supply kids with sticky notes. Let them make daily to-do lists, or reminder lists for school. Teenagers will also benefit from this because they will learn to be more organized and responsible for their own work at home and at school.

Sidewalk chalk is great for encouraging younger kids to write. They can draw and write names, short sentences, and practice writing. They are more willing to learn this way because it’s fun!

Keep a supply of writing materials available year round. Simple spiral notebooks are sold at extremely low prices when schools start, and check clearance sections of stores often. Buy pencils, pens, markers, paper, notebooks, journals, and many other writing materials when they are on sale. Having the items constantly available allows for freedom and creativity.

Tips:

*Check with your local library and book store(s) for writing workshops for kids and adults.

*Let your kids catch you reading or writing.

*Buy journals on clearance for road trip writing, or for any journalism projects.

*Mechanical pencils are great for writing in the car.