Foster kids’ creative writing habits with fun contests, software, and games. The more fun they have, the more practice they’ll get and soon you’ll have phenomenal, life-long writers on your hands.
Kids enjoy learning, especially if you make it exciting and fun! The practice that doesn’t seem like work at all seems to have great sticking power with children.
These great creative writing ideas will spark your child’s imagination and give them a sense of accomplishment at the same time. Make it a project – even a family project – then stand back and watch kids flourish.
Early writers should be encouraged to write anything anyway they feel like writing. It’s important to reward simply the effort of writing, whether or not the results are spectacular. Crushing aspirations right off the bat can have harmful effects on a child’s self-esteem. Since writing is such a vital skill, both for school and career, you want to minimize any fears or doubts.
Once kids have developed a joy for writing, guides can give them the help they need in understanding how to plan, design, and write their creative works of art. This software helps them choose characters and settings and gives them a place to log their writing. They can even create their book cover.
There are lots of creative writing contests available for kids. Before you select one online, however, make sure the contest is being put on by a reputable company. I’ve highlighted a few that offer something unique to the experience of creative writing:
Scholastic puts on an annual creative writing contest for kids in grades K-8. The entry must contain both writing and accompanying pictures. This contest only allows a team entry with each team consisting of three children in the age group. An adult must assist the team in meeting the submission requirements. Not only does this allow kids to practice teamwork but if a child likes to write but doesn’t want to draw, they can leverage the skills of their friends, each playing an important role in the creation.
Tus, a childrens’ magazine available in multiple languages, does a monthly writing contest for kids under 12 years of age and publishes the monthly winners on the website. Winners receive a little prize and the pride that goes with seeing their work online. Entry is simple and done online and the stories do not have to be very long. Each months’ contest is tied to a writing prompt provided for that month. Get creative and let kids have some fun with this one! They’ll also enjoy the games and activities on the site.
Amazing Kids is a non-profit organization supporting child development and excellence in all children. Not only do they put on an annual creative writing contest but they have other regular contests for children in art and creative sciences including greeting card design, book cover drawings, and T-shirt art.
If a child is just beginning to write and you want them to be able to share their work and receive recognition, use your Facebook, MySpace, or Family blog or newsletter to share their work. As they receive praise from family, they’ll build up confidence in their work and feel good about continuing their efforts.
Games are another wonderful tool used to inspire creative writing in kids. These games can be played with one child or a group of children with points or prizes for criteria like Best Idea, Longest Story, Most Characters, Best Description of Place. Make sure everyone gets recognition for something, though.
This is an easy game to set up but it helps kids get over writer’s block by giving them neat prompts to spark ideas. Pull out two objects – anything goes! Maybe it’s a toaster and a throw pillow, a Lego person and a vase, a toy car, and a wooden train. Tell kids to pretend the two items have just come to life. Now, have them come up with a one-page creative writing story using the two objects.
Similar to the traditional grapevine whispering game but done all in writing. This is great with a group of kids but one child can play the game alone as practice for coming up with creative ideas. This helps them play with words and see them matched in new ways. If a group of kids is playing, have the first player write a complete sentence on a piece of paper and then hand the paper to the next player. The next player must rewrite the sentence and either change one of the words in the first sentence or add one word. Play then moves to the next player and so on, until it comes back to Player #1. The player reads both the first sentence and the last sentence out loud to find the sentence changes.
Kids today are much more familiar with technology than we were at their age. They’re learning to type and use computers at such early age. While many of us in my generation started writing with a pencil and paper, today’s kids may feel much more comfortable at the keyboard.
If they’re old enough to have computer time and know-how to type, or are just learning to type, let them do their writing on the computer if they’re so inclined. Set up a folder on your computer where they can store the work they write online. You can even use some of today’s blogging platforms as an online writing journal for kids. Free blogs like Blogger are easy to set up and can be made private so that no one or only designated friends and family can see the blog. Kids can add pictures to their writing and practice using HTML to format their work.
About the author: Bianca J. Ward used to be a divorce coach, but now she is a professional essay writer at EssayWriterFree where she provides people with qualified works. Besides, she is a passionate photographer and traveler who has visited 52 countries all over the world. Bianca dreams about creating a photo exhibition to present her works to others.
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