Writing is a great way to get language, grammar, and vocabulary practice in for a young child, and we’ve got some helpful, age-appropriate suggestions to get started!
From fine motor skills to vocabulary and language, writing is a fantastic exercise for students of all ages. But how do you introduce a young child in kindergarten or elementary school to the idea that writing is enjoyable? Here are some fun and age-appropriate ways to get started.
Little ones: Write an I-Can-Journal!
For your kindergarteners and early-graders, there are lots of new skills to be learned – writing is only one of them. Every skill learned such as tying shoes, riding a bike without training wheels, learning to dress themselves, or learning letters and numbers is a moment worthy of celebration!
You can buy workbooks at places like your local dollar store, or you can make your own by putting together a handful of pages with staples or clip binders. Then, it’s time to journal accomplishments! Show your child how to write “I can…” and then have them draw a picture of their newest accomplishment. (Drawing is great practice for fine motor coordination too!)
As your child becomes more adept with writing, help them add the word of what they’ve learned to do. And then as they become even more proficient, ask them to write a sentence or two below about the experience!
Grade schoolers: Try Short Stories and Character Creation
Short stories and writing games are an excellent way to get younger grade schoolers engaged. (Bonus, you can double up some of these with grammar lessons!) Here are some ways to get started:
Both an exercise and a game! Have your child create a character. They can draw the character afterwards too for fun! There are no rules here – except that they must make sure that they give the character some life! You’ll find that this works out to be a kind of a short story in itself.
Start with the basics: name, age, personality. Make sure that they use descriptive words... this will do wonders for vocabulary and then tell us about what sort of person the character is. It’s perfectly fine to get silly! And as your child begins to understand how to play, make sure that they can create non-human characters, too! Here are some examples if your child needs help.
- Joe was a grumpy old man who lived in a house with a red door…
- The cat, Wiggles, is 5 years old. She has long whiskers and grey fur, and she sleeps all day long
Short story creation
Did you know that children as young as 7 can write short stories, as long as they understand the parts? It’s time to tackle the fundamentals! Making characters is a wonderful way to introduce character and setting. Then a story needs these parts:
Beginning: This is where you introduce your characters and the setting to the reader!
Conflict: All great stories have a problem or a challenge that the main character ends up facing. And as stories get longer and more advanced, there will be more than one problem to solve (often they’ll be related!). See if your child can identify the conflict in their favorite stories.
Turning Point: This is where the real action is! The turning point happens in the middle of the story, after they have discovered the conflict and thought about (or learned) how to deal with it.
Resolution: Is the bad guy sorry? Does everyone live happily ever after? The resolution is part of the end, and it completes the story line for all the individual characters who are in the book.
Talk out the basic points for a story, and then get your child writing! We hope everyone has a lot of fun!
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