Writing is one of the constant things we have to do throughout our lives.
Whether it is writing the answers in a survey form or a report, it is important one knows how to write well.
But, it is a very difficult thing to master. Sometimes, even I struggle writing my own articles here.
For children, getting them to learn art writing at an early age will help them master writing. One way is to enrol them into a creative writing class during school holidays or engaging English tutors for more consistent lessons.
To get them started, here are some activities that can help your child become a strong writer:
Activities for young children
Encourage the child to draw and to discuss her drawings
If your child likes to draw, why not ask your child to talk about their work? Ask questions about their inspiration, what colours they used and what story does the picture have. You may even courage them to write on the drawing to add to their story.
Ask your child to tell you simple stories as you write them down
Write down your child’s story and don’t change anything. Get some clarification if you think you missed something. Dived into details like “So what colour is the cape of Red Riding Hood?” or “What happened to Elsa when they found out she has powers?”.
Encourage your child to write her name
If your child is learning how to write their name, help them practice at home. Spell the letters for them and point at things that have that letter. If their name, for example, starts with an A, you can point at the apples. At first, your child will only get the first few letters of their name. But, give them time and practice, they will be able to spell and write their full name after.
Turn your child’s writing into books
As your child starts to get a hang of writing, collect their work and bind them together to make a book. You can even use their drawings as a cover page. Be creative with this and even get them to work on it with you. When they are older, they will definitely appreciate it since they get to see what they did during their childhood.
There are a lot of games nowadays that helps children develop their vocabulary. Some examples you can use are word games, cryptograms and pictograms. You can also use flashcards or make them yourself. There are plenty of apps online that encourages writing by getting your child to trace their finger to the letter.
Make sure your child sees you writing
Be a role model!
Your child will get interested in something you do if they see you doing it. So, why not inspire them to write by showing them you are writing. You can talk about what you are writing and why you are writing. This will help them understand where writing can be used and why it is important.
Encourage your child to write, even if she’s scribbling
Let your child try writing for themselves.
You can ask them to help you sign greeting cards, list down things or create stories. They may take a long time so only ask your child to do it when you are not rushing for time. Don’t rush them or discourage them with negative remarks and do watch your body language too!
As your child gets older, write together
As your child gets used to writing, why not ask them to help you write?
It could be writing letters, messages and notes for the family. It makes great bonding time. You can also write each of your own birthday wishes in cards or blessings in Christmas cards. If they have a lot of friends or family living overseas, why not get them to write them letters?
If your child sees something interesting, why not inspire them to write about it?
Ask them to write about the things they see, why it caught their eye and describe it in writing. This is especially useful during road trips and getting your child to write down each object they spied with their eye. It will help them develop their note-taking style, which would help in their classes. As well as stop them chanting “Are we there yet?” from the backseat.
If your child likes a specific song or nursery rhyme, ask them to write the lyrics down. You can also inspire them to write their favourite quotes or poems and put them in a place where they can read it all the time. It can even help them get inspired.
Hang a family message board in the kitchen
Put up a message board for the family to read everyday. It will inspire your child to write messages for the family. Of course, make sure there are notes for your child to read too. Put your child in charge of writing up the weekly schedules or list down the weekly errands. This will encourage a sense of responsibility as well.
Keeping a journal
Writing a journal is a great way not just to practice writing, but also to vent one’s feelings. Encourage your child to start one so they can write about the things they like, dislike or the things they want to remember. They can also write down their dreams or nightmares the night before. Of course, do not force them to share their journals with you.
Things to remember
Teach your child to take time in thinking about how they will write their writing exercise or project. Good writers often take their time to find the right inspiration or subject before they write. Be patient. They will write when they are ready.
Respond to your child’s writing
If your child starts to think about ideas on what to write or asks you for your input, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. You should also give your input and give ideas on how they can improve on mistakes.
Avoid writing for your child
Do not write your child’s work which will be submitted and seen as their work. As tempting as it may be, do not rewrite it as well. Inspire them to write their project on their own.
Provide your child with spelling help
Since your child is just learning how to read and write, they will pretty much guess how new words will be spelt. Do not dissuade them from this practice because this means they are becoming aware of phonics. Practice the misspelt words with your child and help her when she asks.
Practice, practice, practice
Finally, writing is a skill we continuously develop as we grow older. Support your child and open opportunities for them to practice writing. There are plenty of ways to encourage active writing like blogging, submitting their short stories to sites like Wattpad or enter writing contests.
Reading and writing go hand-in-hand in building one’s chances for success. Giving your child opportunities to practice while they are young will make a difference. So, inspire them to do their best and encourage them to keep trying. Writing takes time and sooner or later, they will be able to master it.
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