Writing ideas for all ages
It’s a skill all our kids need practise at, but rarely are interested to try unless we beg, cajole or bribe them. I’d like to share a couple of apps, strategies and resources, that might inspire, encourage and ignite the inner writers inside our children.
It very very important that children have a reason to write.
Here are some of the ways I’ve got my own children to start writing, sometimes with amazing and surprising results.
Postcards and Email
Whilst on holiday, ask your child to choose a postcard, and write one sentence to a friend, teacher or Granny and Grandpa about what they are doing, they may just be interested to write another couple of sentences or want to write to more than one person. If they are losing interest or becoming tired, offer to write the address. Keep the activity light and not a chore or something that is compulsory. Remember its a holiday activity.
Or send an electronic postcard via email app for kids called Maily. This is a completely safe, made just for kids email service, where children only send and receive email to addresses you choose (Nanny and Grandad, cousins, parents) and you will see every copy of the sent and received emails too. For more info click on the link. https://www.maily.com/
I was asked to write a holiday diary as a child, and whilst I didn’t hate it – I didn’t love it. I did like choosing the postcards to stick in and adding the entrance tickets of places we visited. Having said that, some children will love doing this kind of activity, especially if they choose a new book to write in and a set of new pens to write with. However, others may need the added incentive of technology. This can achieve the same end, with hopefully an added interest and a development of their technology skills at the same time.
In our family we use Book Creator – you can add photos from the web, via saving from the internet, or take photos with your tablet to use later in the diary. It can be written in a diary or comic style – the possibilities for presentation are endless. My 5 and 7.5 year old both enjoy using this.
Planning a meal or baking a cake
What a great reason to write a list! This idea isn’t a new one, but one that I was reminded of last summer when my friend decided to do a cooking playdate. They firstly read the recipe together, decided what they needed to buy, the children wrote the shopping list and went (supervised) shopping for what they needed. The holidays can give children more time to develop life skills – in this example; reading, decision making, dealing with money and weighing out the ingredients needed for cooking/baking, and possibly others that haven’t sprung to mind so readily.
Who can write quiz questions for the family?
Another idea developed from a conversation with a friend. In our family we like a couple of age appropriate BrainQuest questions before bed, but I’ve heard other families like to quiz each other at meal times or in the car too. Why don’t you challenge your children to write 5 questions that they think will stump Mum or Dad and have them read them out at family quiz time.
Early learners in writing
Perhaps you have little ones that are just beginning to form their letters, some may be very willing to practise writing letters or you may have a reluctant child or one that likes it to be perfect, either way, try watching BBC CBeebies show on YouTube – Get Squiggling Letters. Each programme showcases one letter of the alphabet and shows how to write it, with examples that are animated and with real children practising too. Apps that can practise letter formation using the tablet are Blackbeards Alphabet, Hairy Letters and Pocket Phonics.
There have been many blog posts devoted to journalling, that can do it greater justice than I can in this article. It is something that is ongoing and often not just a holiday activity. So I will defer to those with greater knowledge and add links for this one:
Journalling from Homeschooling ideas – http://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/journaling-for-kids.html
Journal Buddies – http://journalbuddies.com/
Journalling with an artistic twist – http://artfulparent.com/2012/01/guest-post-beginning-art-journaling-for-kids.html