Explore our top tips for encouraging children to get writing, by making the experience fun and enjoyable. Many children find writing boring so getting them to sit down and do writing exercises can be impossible.
By making writing a fun activity, children will be more likely to pick up a pen and get involved without being steered into it. Try these ideas to make writing fun for your child:
1. Make pens, pencils, crayons and paper readily available to your child
They can sit down and write whenever they want to, not just when you provide them with the necessary resources. Set up a creation station or writing corner with lots of different coloured pens and pencils as well as an age-appropriate spelling dictionary. Make your own writing prompts by printing letters in bright colours then laminating the page so your child can use it as a guide.
2. Incorporate writing into everyday life
Your child will become used to writing without thinking of it as a task. Get them to write out a shopping list before you go to the supermarket and let them tick the items off as you find them. Encourage them to write their own messages in birthday and thank you cards – even these few lines are beneficial for writing development.
3. Writing about an experience is a brilliant way to encourage writing
Children love to talk about what they’ve been up to. Whether you go to the park, to the zoo, or away on a family holiday, get your child to write a story or create a scrapbook about what they’ve done. If they prefer drawing, encourage them to write a description of their pictures.
4. Get your child to write up a holiday planner with activities and events
Include their suggestions as well as your plans so they understand that it’s a fun activity. Once they’ve written out the activities they can decorate it with drawings and stickers.
5. If your child has got a good imagination, a themed post box can be a brilliant way to get them writing
Use whatever your child is interested in, whether its princesses or robots, and get them to write and post letters. When they’re asleep you can write a letter in reply for them to read the next day.
6. Make them feel proud of what they have achieved by turning their work into a book and displaying it on a bookshelf
Get them to create a comic or a story and then fasten the pages together and put their name on the front so they recognise their work as an achievement. Using lots of pictures in a comic book is a fantastic way to sneak in some writing if your child is particularly averse.
7. Don’t just encourage fiction
Experiencing different genres will open your child up to many different ways of writing. If they prefer non-fiction to creative stories why not get them to write down five facts about their favourite subject or a poem of words describing their favourite animal. Even retelling their favourite story in their own words is good practice for writing.
8. Having a pen pal and receiving letters in the post is a traditional way of promoting writing and friendship
This is particularly useful if you have friends or family that live a long way away. The excitement of sending and receiving letters will detract from the task of writing, making it an enjoyable activity.
9. One of the best ways to improve your child’s writing ability is by reading
Children like to listen to stories and they are learning without realising. Reading exposes your child to a range of vocabulary and stimulates their imagination. You don’t only have to read before they go to bed either – have an audiobook in the car or tell them stories when you’re queuing in a shop or walking in the park.
10. Give them the freedom to write in their own way without criticising
While spelling is important, overcorrecting your child’s work will turn writing into a negative activity and dampen their enthusiasm. Try and encourage whatever they do, however they get there and focus on enjoyment – they’ll be taught spelling and grammar at school.
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