Encouraging Creative Writing

In my last blog , I wrote about one of life’s great pleasures: reading! I hope you have had success with encouraging your children to read, no matter what the media; books, online, newspapers, or even signs in the street.

Many of the world’s great authors recall writing creatively from their earliest years. If your children aren’t yet putting pen-to-paper, here are some ideas to inspire them to start a creative writing journey…

1. Helping little hands
Children first need to develop dexterity. Holding a writing implement is fiddly and muscle-tiring for small fingers. For this reason, early education focuses on children cutting, sticking, finger painting, and putting together jigsaws; these fun activities help to strengthen little hands.

2. Make a list
Many children are happy to provide a birthday or Christmas present wish list – you may be surprised how much they can write! Listing favourite things is a good start point: ask them to note down their 10 favourite football players, foods, or activities for the weekend.

3. Play restaurants
This has always been a big hit in our family. Children compose a short menu and, once you have perused the options, they write your order on a note pad. Top tip: play as an imaginary game with empty dishes and cups to avoid total kitchen chaos!

4. Time to rhyme
Many children love rhyming games – rhyming can be a great car game, and it’s also something that can be written down. Write down 10 words and ask them to write down three rhyming words next to each.

5. Start to structure
This can be as simple as helping them to write a holiday postcard. It’s an opportunity to talk about structure: explain how to start a letter and describe where they are. Next, they can describe an activity they enjoyed and, finally, talk with your child about how to sign off a letter.

6. What happens next?
If your child has finished a book, ask them to imagine ‘what happens next?’ Petra and her friends go on fun adventures to exotic destinations in Petra’s Planet e-magazine and in our story books. Children can write a new story about who Petra meets next!

Whatever you do, make it easy and fun to write. Let children choose special writing notebook and paper, pens and pencils. Leave pencils and paper around the house and, especially, near to toys. You may find, without encouragement, that they incorporate writing into their play.

Petra’s Planet e-magazine has word search puzzles, quizzes and activities that encourage writing in a fun and educative way.

If you have more ideas on how to encourage children to read and write, please Tweet to @petrasplanet or post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PetrasPlanet/