With a little bit of thought, we can encourage kids to enjoy writing and even have a few giggles along the way.

  1. Buy a journal: Journaling is so important because it gives kids (and adults) a safe place to express themselves.  They can experiment with language, or even just doodle, without anyone judging or grading.
  2. Let them see you write: When your kids see you journal, or even write a thank you note, it becomes a normal part of everyday life.  Give yourselves the same writing prompt and see what happens.
  3. Play with your words:  Make language a game. If you are out to dinner and something tastes particularly good (or bad) challenge each other to come up with similes to describe it.  I’m pretty sure you can all come up with something more creative than, “this pasta tastes like cr@&.
  4. Create a new ending:  The next time you go to the movies or watch a tv show together, ask your child to come up with a different ending.  This reinforces the notion that real people have written the movie, show or video game, and they can write their own stories, too.  This stuff doesn’t just magically appear.
  5. Take a spelling vacation:  Encourage your kids not to think about spelling or grammar while they write.  Obviously, spelling and grammar are very important, but the brain is not designed to write and edit simultaneously.  This advice goes for adults, too. If you stop to wonder about a comma placement or look up how a word is spelled, you are stopping your train of thought.  

A lot of what holds kids back from writing is that same as what holds their parents back.  Follow these steps along with your kids, and you might just find yourself enjoying writing, too.