8 tips to make writing fun and engaging for your child
Have you ever found yourself asking, how can I help my child to write? Or how can I encourage my children to write more?
Sometimes teaching your children how to write at home can feel like a huge responsibility, but there are lots of tips and tricks you can employ to help ease the process. We're here to help you and your children, so we've put together our Top 8 Tips to make writing fun and engaging for your child - Take a look:
1. Help them get started.
Even for adults, a blank page can be intimidating! So it’s understandable that it would be just as intimidating for a child.
A great idea is to start a writing session with some thought provoking questions. Start by asking them "what interests you? why do you enjoy doing that? what keeps you going when you do this task? what's your motivation?" - Asking these thought provoking questions allows for their minds to open up with creative writing.
Another great way to get them started is Mind-mapping. This helps them to build ideas about what they want to write about. This exercise is an excellent way to teach that not everything has to be perfect straight away, and that they can worry about changes and revisions later.
Our handwriting activity books
For older children we offer a practise book which helps children practise letter, word and sentence formation, as well as helping them understand vowels and digraphs.
2. Encourage them to read.
Reading is perhaps the most important thing to help a child learn to write. It’s a great way to expose readers to new words to expand their vocabulary! This can also show children how to structure sentences, the more they read, the more they will see and understand how writers link words together, and encourage kids to do the same in their own writing.
3. Use Free worksheets!
Worksheets are a fun way for younger children to have a go at writing, and to enjoy themselves while doing it. Online worksheets can make a difficult task such as writing seem much easier and less intimidating because they allow children to be creative at the same time. On our website we have many free downloadable worksheets available for you to print at home. There are arts and crafts pages, and plenty of colourful activity sheets to help your children practise their writing skills.
4. Teaching through example
It may seem unfair to a child who is perhaps not so keen on learning to read, that they are the only ones who are working. Get involved with writing yourself so that you can write together, this can make any task seem less daunting to your child! This can also help you to monitor your child’s work and see what they are doing well or could be improving. Maybe instead of writing a shopping list on your phone, let your child help you write out your list. It could be as simple as getting your child to write out birthday and thank you cards for their family and friends. Some other great ways to encourage writing by hand is to keep a calendar on the wall, rather than use your phone, and to let your children see you writing notes, or a diary, and be sure to keep plenty of notepads around in case they want to do the same!
5. Highlight the importance of drafts.
Many children can feel the need that their writing has to be perfect right away, and feel disheartened when they don’t produce their best work right off the bat! Reminding your child that a first draft can be altered and tweaked afterward is important, and can encourage them to write more freely. We understand it’s very tempting, especially when writing on the computer, to just delete what you’re unhappy with as you go. However, it could be more beneficial for your child to write by hand, so they aren’t tempted to delete as they go, then look over their writing later, to decide if they want to edit. This can help them learn critical thinking skills and help improve their writing overall! (Fun fact: Did you know Mary Shelley rewrote ‘Frankenstein’ 13 years after it was first published!) So remember editing is your friend!
Don’t forget, our erasable colour pens are great for children who are wary of making mistakes, just use our eraser and the mistake will disappear!
6. Copying Activities.
Copying text can help a child notice form and structure, more so than if they were just reading it. While it’s important to remind your child that plagiarism is frowned upon by teachers, copying activities can help them pick up on phrases and words that could improve their writing in the future. A great way to do this would be to get your child to copy out their favourite quotes, or maybe write out their favourite song or poem!
7. Spell Check.
While at first you may be reluctant to let your child rely too heavily on spelling and grammar checks, in fear that it will hinder their own spelling skills, remember this could make writing much less daunting for a child who struggles with these things. Most computers ask for approval before changing mistakes, which allow for your child to see the word processor highlight and correct words or phrases. This could make them acknowledge the change and be more mindful of it in future. So apps like Grammarly are perfectly fine!
8. Introducing an Incentive.
A small reward may be just what is needed to encourage your child to write. Maybe suggest your child keep a personal diary, or write a story, and if they complete this, at the end of the week they could be rewarded with their favourite sweets, or a movie night watching their favourite film! After a while, you may find that your child enjoys writing so much that they no longer need the special treat to complete it. Encouraging journaling or writing stories can not only improve their writing skills, but will be an excellent outlet for self expression and creativity.
Hopefully all of these tricks will help to make your life a little easier, let us know if any of these work for you by getting in contact with us on social media!
Love Writing Co. Team