Ten tips to help your child enjoy writing
25 July 2018

Ten tips to help your child enjoy writing

Writing creatively, expresses thoughts and ideas in ways that are creative. Therefore, entertainment (writing to entertain) should be the main focus when doing creative writing.

So how do we get these creative juices flowing in our little ones, in order to help them on their way to becoming great writers?

We know this can be a struggle when a child has been asked to produce a creative piece and he / she comes up blank. Because they struggle with ideas, they become disinterested and unmotivated to take part.

Below, we have selected our top tips to help you assist your child:

  1. Express interest in your child’s ideas. Be your child’s number one fan, ask questions, find out as much as you can about anything your child has written about as this will show that you have been paying attention. Never pass up a moment to compliment your child for coming up with something creative, adding interesting language techniques etc to their write-up. Don’t forget to display your child’s work, when / wherever possible.
  2. Encourage your child, with gifts to aid his/her writing efforts e.g. pen sets, book sets, writing resources that could help boost their writing skills (thesaurus, dictionary etc)
  3. Build your child’s bank of words through experience; go on trips to different places for your child to learn different words, phrases etc which you both could later discuss and describe using your senses. Help your child vocalise his/her ideas.
  4. Prompts (pictures etc) and story starters are always a great way to kick-start your child’s writing process. Brainstorming sessions on how else stories could be started or ended, or how situations could be resolved. Think of existing characters and tweak their personalities or appearances a bit e.g. what if Mr James had a beard instead of being clean-shaven. Another great way to practice ideas would be to use existing stories and as their blueprint, then begin to change the main aspects of the story e.g. instead of the 3 little pigs (which could be changed to other creatures, or humans instead) moving out, how about them moving back home, then think of all the drama that could be caused as a result. Eclecticism is never a bad thing – even the greatest of the writers need to draw inspiration from somewhere.
  5. Promote vocabulary building through games like: scrabble, Catchphrase, Taboo etc which will help your child broaden his/her vocabulary bank and enable them learn how to use different words appropriately. Other games to play could be collaborative story-telling, where a group of people take turns in adding a piece to the story, with each person required to keep the story as interesting as possible by adding twists and turns as well as surprises. Points could also be given for adding language techniques etc that would improve the standard of the story. Be sure not to drag the games out too long, so the child doesn’t lose interest – short bursts of perhaps 15-20mins would be advisable.
  6. Wordless books will give your child the freedom to interpret the images in whichever way it sees best; for your child to explain the story in his / her own words.
  7. And of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without getting your child to help out with any form of writing task in the house - putting the shopping list together, writing invitations, taking phone messages and drafting notes whenever the opportunity presents itself.

As parents, it can be quite hard to resist the urge to correct and point out mistakes, but balancing this out with injecting most of your comments with positivity and enthusiasm is the key, while rewarding your child’s efforts with praises and compliments should be the aim. This will encourage your child to do more and possibly strengthen his / her passion, should the potential be there.

Also don’t feel the need to create the next Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare. Be happy with what you have!

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