Encouraging your kids to write over the summer is relatively easy. Many of these activities will help improve your children’s writing skills and also maintain quality family time. You will find below 10 tips to improve children’s writing.
How to Improve Children’s Writing Skills
Writing is a skill that requires fine motor skills to hold the pencil, clarity of thought to have something to write, and the ability to transfer the thoughts to paper by writing them down. While any one of these areas can be difficult for a child, a parent can help with each step. Let’s have a closer look at how to improve children’s writing skills.
WRITING BASICS: HOLDING A PENCIL
First, ensure the child can properly hold a pencil. A child who cannot hold a pencil correctly will experience pain while writing and this can cause him to write very little. The thumb, pointer finger and middle finger should work together to hold the pencil. The wrist should be straight and in line with the fore arm. If the wrist is bent, this needs to be corrected.
If the child writes with the left hand, it is especially important to ensure proper hand and wrist position as poor hand positioning can cause poor handwriting. Learn more about how to write with the left hand.
PARENTS WORK WITH CHILDREN TO IMPROVE WRITING Skills
Improve papers together. When assignments come home from school, parents can sit with the child and work together to add details to the papers or make corrections to them. Ask the child to read the paper aloud and write down several questions or suggestions that the child can use to make improvements.
Have children submit written requests for what they want. This is a great way to improve persuasive writing skills. Children have to articulate what they want, why they want it and why the parents should give it to them. Go over the papers together to ensure the best persuasive argument.
Improving children’s writing skills takes patience and hard work, but with some careful attention to details, improvements will be seen. Watch for correct hand positioning, foster creative thinking, and model editing and revising skills.
How to Improve Children’s Writing
Helping to improve children’s writing can set the stage for a more successful education and the ability to communicate clearly.
1. ENCOURAGE FREQUENT AND CREATIVE WRITING
Play games to encourage creative thinking. A child who claims to have nothing to write about, needs to be taught to think creatively. One game to play is “once upon a time …” where each member of the family adds one line to the story.
Give them a writing prompt or let them pick a story title. As they begin to write, ask them questions to help them be descriptive. Ask them what their main character is wearing, what food he/she likes, where does he/she live, does he/she have any family, and other simple questions. It teaches them to expand their writing and become improved writers.
Have children write in journals daily. Daily practice writing will go a long way towards improving writing skills. The children can write about anything in their journals and parents do not have to read the journals. This encourages free thought and expression.
2. Have your children write thank you notes to everyone that gives them a gift, or does something nice for them.
A hand written note by your children is more personal, is more creative, and means more to the recipient. The children also have the opportunity to draw on the note to bring out even more creativity. Shop at local dollar stores, retail stores and office supply stores for inexpensive stationary, and keep a variety on hand for any occasion.
3. Have kids write letters to long distance family.
Writing letters to long distance family members will not only improve your kids writing skills, but it will exercise their brain and also expand it.
4. Write one sentence on a piece of paper, or notebook, and leave it somewhere in the house.
Each person that finds it writes the next sentence. When the page is filled, you can read the story everyone created.
5. Introduce your children to writing comic strips.
This may also help a child to read who is not interested in reading. It’s a great way to introduce reading and writing in one activity.
6. Read books.
Kids are often encouraged to write a story after they have finished reading a good book.
7. Allow kids to write and put on a play together.
Give them the tools needed, and then watch them write a play and assign parts to siblings. They’ll benefit with social interaction, creative writing, drama, and will have lots of laughs.
8. Supply kids with sticky notes.
Let them make daily to-do lists, or reminder lists for school. Teenagers will also benefit from this because they will learn to be more organized and responsible for their own work at home and at school.
9. Sidewalk chalk is great for encouraging younger kids to write.
With sidewalk chalk, they can draw and write names, short sentences, and practice writing. They are more willing to learn this way because it’s fun!
10. Keep a supply of writing materials available year round.
Simple spiral notebooks are sold at extremely low prices when schools start, and check clearance sections of stores often. Buy pencils, pens, markers, paper, notebooks, journals, and many other writing materials when they are on sale. Having the items constantly available allows for freedom and creativity. They might even decide to write you a poem!
These are additional tips to help improve children’s writing
- Check with your local library and book store(s) for writing workshops for kids.
- Let your kids catch you reading or writing.
- Buy journals on clearance for road trip writing.
- Mechanical pencils are great for writing in the car or while on vacation.
With these helpful tips, you are on your way to encourage and improve your children’s writing, not only for the summer, but during the school year too!