Most parents recognise that the traditional three Rs are king when it comes to education. These three Rs being Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. These days, however, writing is being pushed back in importance. With the advance of the digital age, kids are being taught how to type and how to use a smartpen more than they are taught the art of handwriting. And with this, there is less emphasis on the whole idea of writing.
The art of picking up a pen or pencil to just be creative, to use words to communicate, to tell a story, to share a passion … is losing traction. But for many careers, writing is still an important skill with relevance. If someone excels at writing as a youngster, it can be of advantage in their future life.
For example, they will tackle writing assignments as a student ably and confidently, and are unlikely to have to check out writing service review because of their lack of writing skills. If you want to shift the focus and help your child to be as creative as they are numerate and tech savvy, there are plenty of fun exercises they can do. Some exercises can be done with your guidance, enabling you to interact in their education, more than just helping with homework. And, a side benefit is that your child’s handwriting will develop nicely – an asset, especially if she grows up to be a doctor (no illegible prescriptions!)
Here are some fun writing exercises for kids to generate their creativity:
1. Letter writing
Some children are more appreciative of a task if they see a benefit and others will not want to willingly work on something that feels like schoolwork when doing it in their play time. A writing exercise that doesn’t seem like schoolwork and has a purpose is letter writing.This is one of the easiest but most fulfilling writing exercises for kids. You can get them writing letters to a relative who is far away (but make sure they are willing to write letters back) or you can help your child find a pen pal. Be sure to use a reputable pen pal site and also, take this as a good opportunity to teach your child about online safety (remembering to follow the guidelines yourself, too). Writing letters to pen pals can also aid in other creative writing exercises in this list.
2. My First …
All good creative writing tells a story. Even though your child may be young, they will still have experienced a lot of “firsts”. A first day of school, a first visit to the hospital or a first taste of ice cream all make excellent starting points for stories. Writing “first” stories generates creativity by engaging the child in using description and descriptive words (adjectives).
3. If I …
This is a fun exercise because it gives a freedom of expression. You’ll get some interesting insights into your child’s thoughts and feelings if you set them an “If I” exercise. Push their imagination by asking them to write about a subject such as If I were a king/queen, If I were a girl/boy (the opposite of their own sex), If I had a million dollars.
4. It’s all relative
A lot of the inspiration for creative writing comes not from the imagination but in responses to the things children see around them. Children have an innate curiosity but you can spark an interest in making them be more critical of their external stimuli by introducing them to investigative techniques. Children ask tons of questions, but this exercise teaches them how to use questions to get results. Set your child the task of interviewing a relative (or close friend) about a particular incident, story or event in their life. It might be a trip, military service, an accident. Your child will ask lots of questions and then write up the story.
This is a fun exercise that is suitable for various grades and ages. It tests vocabulary and powers of observation as well as awareness of the world. You’ll have to do a little work beforehand. Make up a long list of adjectives in the form of idioms. For example: as black as, as cold as, as yellow as, as tall as …. Now get your little angel to complete the saying. If appropriate, ask them to think beyond the obvious – so, ask them to look for something more than as black as night and as cold as ice.
6. A story behind a story
Writing is a great way to spark a kid’s imagination. It’s great to allow freedom of expression by asking them to write without a prompt, but it also beneficial to push them a little. Find an interesting photograph or picture and ask them to write a story about what lead up to the event pictured. This will require your child to mentally travel back through what happened and form a story. For the next exercise, you can ask them to take the story forward, in what happened next. Obviously, you need to choose a picture that is interesting enough for stories to be imagined. The whole point of these exercises is not to try and make your child into the next Jane Austen or Stephen King. Creative writing stimulates imagination, improves vocabulary, improves writing structure among other benefits, and above all, can be a fun way of learning.