Let’s face it. Some children are natural born storytellers with creativity and imagination spilling from their fingers. For them, exploring creative writing is just the beginning of a beautiful journey. However, for some children, getting them to want to write is a tedious and stressful task. While writing might not come naturally to every child, this does not mean that your child can’t eventually learn to really love creative writing! This blog explores how to encourage your child to want to write.
There are plenty of different online tools out there that are built to get your child writing (including Night Zookeeper)! But this article intends to explore the basics to help build a foundation to get a child started with the right frame of mind to love creative writing.
If you want your child to master the basics and be more present with you, try these helpful tips to encourage them to love creative writing.
Verbal Storytelling: Writing doesn’t always start with pen, paper, keyboards and letters; it actually can begin with an idea. Ask your child to tell you a story out loud. Encourage your children to start telling you any kind of story. Whether it is about their day, or about a three-headed magical flaminkey, get your child used to articulating their ideas out loud. This encouragement will set the foundation for them to communicate better and eventually to get them to start capturing their ideas on paper or screen.
Drawing: At Night Zookeeper we are very ardent in our belief that creative writing goes hand-in-hand with drawing. Many children articulate their thoughts differently, and one way to start telling a story is by drawing it! You’ll be amazed at how many children take to “drawing” their stories before ever learning how to write them. Remember, a simple drawing can turn into an entire adventure! The next time your child draws something, ask them to tell you the story behind it.
Reading: Whether you’re reading to your child, or they are reading on their own, definitely encourage reading in order to encourage writing. The more your child gets absorbed in a story, the more they will want to write, themselves. Also, once their reading level increases so will their ability to write better.
Alphabet Magnets and Poetry/Word Magnets: Rather than bringing your child to writing, we say bring the letters and words to your child! Everyone remembers how much fun fridge magnets were as a child. You can encourage your child to “arrange” a new word on the fridge, everyday! You can even encourage them to make up a word, provided that they tell you a story around what it means. If you use word magnets, you can encourage them to start writing sentences.
Grocery Lists: If your child is having trouble writing long-form sentences and paragraphs, have them start with household items. You can get them used to grouping certain words together, while also getting them involved in what items make their way into the house! If you have the fridge magnets, they can even start “writing” what they want you to purchase on the fridge!
Diary Keeping: If your child is struggling to use their imagination to create new stories, perhaps they can start by writing down their own feelings and experiences in a diary. Diary writing is a particularly safe space to encourage writing because it’s private. Daily diary writing could encourage your child to start branching out to try other types of writing.
Be your own author!: So many children dream about being various kinds of awesome jobs when they grow up. Imagine the look on their faces when you tell them that they could be an author, right now! It’s one of the few jobs that starts with the person taking their great ideas and writing them down.
Play Word Games: Some children are really incentivised by games. Spend some quality time with your kids playing word games together. You can encourage your child to write by having them play simple word games like “I Spy”, Mad Libs, unscramble the word, or find the word. The better they get at identifying the right words, the more confident they will get at being able to put them into a story.
Letter Writing: A fun family activity could be writing a good old-fashioned letter to a loved one. You can both write it together, but this gives your child a chance to explore their feelings and practice gratitude – all while writing it in a letter!
Night Zookeeper: Here at Night Zookeeper, we’re constantly taking the above concepts and articulating them into a fun-to-use accessible program that encourages children to love creative writing. From drawing and writing about magical animals, to playing word games and competing in writing competitions, Night Zookeeper offers children the chance to explore their potential and get better at creative writing! Get your child started today!
Try out these helpful tactics to encourage your child to want to write. Do you have something to add to this list? Please let us know in the comments!