7 Tips to Encourage Kids to Write in the New Year

The New Year is a great time to look at what we’re doing as parents, teachers, or homeschoolers. I am all about goal setting in my homeschool. One of my main areas of focus in 2018 is writing.

I frequently hear from parents who have a hard time getting their kids to write.  Actually, if I am being honest, I have one child who I have to beg to write.  Even though he loves books and has a mother who is an author, he still isn’t a huge fan of writing. A lot of this stems from motor skills delays. I will get into that later in the article, but motor skills delays cause frustration when writing for a lot of kids.

Parents worry so much about writing, but there are so many ways to encourage your kids to write. Here’s a few that I hope help you!

  1. Use Writing Prompts. I’ve linked to some that I created on this site, but you can find more all over the web. Sometimes, the hardest part about writing is just getting started.
  2. Use voice typing software. Google Docs has free, built-in voice typing software as long as you use it with Chrome. All three of my kids enjoy writing this way. Their vocabularies are bigger when speaking than when writing and their hands don’t tire when voice typing. This is especially true for my eldest, who has a variety of motor skills delays. His brain and his hands don’t work on the same level. If he’s asked to hand write something, it’s like pulling teeth to get a few sentences out of him. With voice typing, he can write a five paragraph essay.
  3. Expose them to lots of great books. Good readers make good writers!
  4. Buy them cute notebooks and fun pencils or pens. For some kids, a unicorn notebook or a rocket pencil can make all the difference.
  5. Cut pictures out of magazines and ask your kids to create a story about the picture. It would be easy to fill a notebook with several pages like this to make this an easy to repeat activity. I did this activity with my Creative Writing students at co-op and they loved it. Just make sure to choose pictures that lead to story telling. A head shot of a man in a business suit is harder to tell a story about than a photo of a dog wearing a tutu.
  6. Play storytelling games like Story Cubes or Create a Story. Telling stories aloud gets kids in the right mindset to write.
  7. Allow them to write about their interests.  If you have a child who is obsessed with dinosaurs or ballet, it’s okay if a lot of their writing includes this interest. It might be boring for you to read 23 dinosaur stories in week, but a lot of authors have made careers out of such things.

How do you encourage your kids or students to write? Let me know in the comments!

Thanksgiving Writing Prompts for Kids

Get your kids writing this Thanksgiving with these writing prompts!

 

  • On Thanksgiving morning, you wake up and find that you are not in your bed. You are in a pen, on a farm, and you have a lot of feathers. You’re a turkey and the farmer is hungry! What do you do?
  • Your mom tells you that all pies have been banned by the government this Thanksgiving. What do you do?
  • You hate turkey. You hate pie. Most of all, you hate cranberries. How do you convince your parents to make something else for Thanksgiving dinner?
  • What are you thankful for this year that you either did not have or did not appreciate last year?
  • It’s Thanksgiving Day. Your parents decided to order a delivered meal this year. The doorbell rings. You open it and find three dozen live turkeys waiting for you. What happens next?
  • Your crazy Uncle Bob shows up at Thanksgiving with a time machine. He sends you back to the first Thanksgiving. What do you see?
  • Your Grandma serves a Thanksgiving dinner of cereal, dog treats, and candy canes. What do you do?
  • A strange guest shows up at your Thanksgiving dinner. Who is it and how does your family react?

12 Fun Summer Writing Prompts for Kids

It doesn’t matter if your kiddos are homeschooled, in public school, or in private school, it’s important to keep them writing year round. But when it’s summer and their days are filled with swimming pools, trips to the beach, and lots of time with their friends and their nights are filled with lightning bugs, barbeques and fireworks, it can be a bit difficult to get them to focus on writing.

Writing prompts can be a great way to motivate kids to get started. Just a few minutes of writing a day will help keep their skills sharp for when school or homeschool starts up again.

 

  1.  Your family is on a camping trip in the mountains. After everyone else falls asleep, you need to use the restroom. You unzip your tent to find that a strange light has filled your campsite. You head out to investigate and you find…
  2. You head to the swimming pool with your best friend one hot afternoon. When you get there, you find that it’s filled with Jell-O! What do you do? Do you dive in the sweet, sticky mess?
  3. You are swimming in the ocean when a giant shark swims up to you. Before you can scramble out of the water, the shark lifts his head out of the water and speaks to you! What does he say? What do you do?
  4. Describe the perfect ice cream sundae.
  5. It’s your first trip to sleep away camp. When you get to your cabin, the other kids tell you it’s haunted. That night, you hear a spooky sound. What happens next?
  6. You are roasting marshmallows with your family one evening when you see something scurry across your back yard. You get up to investigate and find a unicorn hiding behind your oak tree! Do you tell anyone? What do you do?
  7. Your mom signs you up for a science camp. On the first day, the instructor tells the group that he’s made an amazing discovery he wants to share with the class. You are shocked when you find out that he…
  8. One day, you are boating with your dad. A large storm comes out of no where and your boat is thrown off course. You find yourself on an island in the middle of the ocean. What do you do? What happens on the island?
  9. Your teacher sent home a long list of books for summer reading. The only problem is that they are all in Chinese! What do you do?
  10. Your best friend’s family invited you to join them at their lakeside cabin for the summer. Your parents agree and you’re off for a summer of fun! But you discover something strange when you get there…
  11. On a trip to an amusement park with your family, you find an empty section of the park. A sign on the unlocked gate reads “Closed to the Public.” The rides are all running! They look even better than the rides in the rest of the park. Do you enter the restricted area? What happens?
  12. On a hot July afternoon you are riding your bike to your friend’s house. You hit a pothole and your tire pops! As you are checking out your tire, a strange woman approaches. She’s wearing wizards robes. She tells you that she’s come from another land. What do you do? What happens next?