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Have Fun Writing With Kids

Updated on April 25, 2007

There are so many reasons to take on writing projects with your child. Whether you save it for summer break or practice all year long, it's a wonderful way to bond with children and teach them at the same time. The fun thing about writing is that you end up with a tangible result. Notebooks are cheap. Stock up on them in the fall when you can buy them for pennies and you will have all you need.

Writing projects can lend structure to long summer days. Practicing writing skills over the summer will also make those first few days and weeks of school easier in the fall. If you're not on the traditional calendar, look at some of these projects as an addition to your child's regular schoolwork. Summer break lends itself to a longer, connected type of project, but remember, even if you've only got a few minutes, you can use it!

Need ideas? Click here for great Writing Projects.

Make Writing Fun

Don't be picky. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. Let these writing exercises be fun. When my daughter was in Kindergarten, she loved to scribble lines that looked somewhat like writing and then ‘read' her story back to me. That is fine. Don't make it hard on yourself or on the child by putting expectations on writing.

Family Writing Time

It's wonderful to write together as a family because everyone has their own level. It's independent, but it can be done at the same time. You may find you get as much out of it as they do. Not everyone has to write on the same topic at the same time. You'll be surprised how much you can capture on paper about your memories of childhood camping trips in the ten minutes your children are creating an imaginary creature.

How to Write With Kids

Explain to the child how it's going to work. You're going to time the writing and it will be a silent activity. The only rule is that the writer must keep writing the entire time. So that means no complaining that he doesn't know what to write. If he can't think of anything to write he needs to make a list, write the same word over and over, or simply write ‘I don't know what to write'. (Grown-ups are more likely to do this - kids write because they haven't yet been told enough times that they don't have anything important to say.) They can even draw if they'll promise to write a little something about what they've drawn.

Set a timer for five or ten minutes depending on the age of the child and go. Give a one-minute warning when time's almost up. If there is more than one writer, it's fun to share what we wrote, but make sure kids know they don't have to read what they've written out loud if they don't want to. Same goes adults. The point is for all writers to feel free to write whatever they want.

Read more from Lela Davidson

Read Lela's humor column, After the Bubbly

Learn about writing with Writing Mom

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    dabblingmum 

    10 years ago

    I agree. It can be a blast to write with your kids. But then they grow out it, darn. LOL. My daughter had a reading issue a few years back and we developed a website so she could review children's books. Together we worked on the design and the basic content. Then I hit up some writer's groups who offered to be the first to send her books to review. She'd read the books, then write the review, then we'd talk about a few edits, and we'd post online. Soon she was getting lots of books as other authors found out about her site and cause. She loved the attention. It pushed her to work harder on her reading. After a few years, she got burnt out and we closed the site, but those memories will last a lifetime. She still talks about the children's authors who believed in her enough to help her with her reading. Today, she reads good. Her teacher said that inside her brain, she's now too grades higher in her reading, but when she reads out loud she gets nervous and things aren't quite there yet. That is a huge blessing she says and she knows it's because of the project we did together. She loves reading so much now that she has a summer list of 20 books she wants to read. And always, halfway into her reading, she'll stop to write a few stories of her own.

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