Wondering how to cope over the long summer holidays? Worried your children might forget all they’ve learned at school? We’ve got some great tips here on how you can use the summer break to fuel your children’s love of creative thinking, reading and writing.
STEP 1: CREATIVE THINKING
A good place to start is to encourage creative thinking. Often during term-time, I find that as both a parent and teacher, I need my children to follow the ‘classroom’ and ‘home’ rules closely, mainly to ensure that everything is done on time! The summer holidays are a perfect time to relax a little bit more; to encourage more in-depth conversations; to nurture children’s creative abilities; and generally, to develop deeper positive interactions.
Try asking more open-ended questions to get your children thinking. Even silly questions can spark the imagination! What would happen if the sun never set? What if we lived under the sea? What would a cat say to a dog if they could communicate? What if our house was made of an apple? Look around you for ideas and delve into the unknown!
STEP 2: READING
Next, I would take the opportunity to read! Bring a book to the park and spend the afternoon having a picnic and reading together. You could bring teddies too and read to them! Take turns to read pages and don’t forget to ask your children questions about the book to keep them engaged. There are plenty of great new books out there so take a trip to the library or local bookshop to find some books that will excite your child.
Here’s our list of recommended books, all suggested to us by children we know:
Most of all, enjoy reading!
STEP 3: CREATIVE WRITING
If you’ve encouraged creative thinking and started reading some books, your children’s minds should be opening up to the idea of writing their own story. Find them a notebook and pencil which they could carry around with them to jot down ideas. Look around you for a few days and try to work with your children to come up with a storyline. Think about who the main characters could be; try and sketch them so that they become easier to describe later on. Where will the story take place? Will the story start with some action or will it start with a description of the character and setting? It’s good to try to map out the plot together, so that your children don’t feel too overwhelmed. Are they going to write a short story, or could it turn into a couple of chapters of an adventure book? One of my most memorable and enjoyable creative writing experiences was when I wrote “The Adventures of Lucy Leek” at the end of year 6. See if you can give your child this opportunity to produce something that they will remember in years to come! Please do let us know how you get on!
Creative Writing Skills:
Our highly popular Creative Writing Skills book is better than ever before! Newly illustrated, our 84 page book guides children through the story writing process, teaching children skills and techniques to enhance their writing. This full colour book is designed for any child striving to develop their creative writing skills. It is particularly aimed at Key Stage Two children, as well as those sitting an entrance school examination such as the 11 plus. It is also perfect for home-schooled children. The book is a combination of textbook and workbook. After learning about each technique, there is an activity for the child to work through, to consolidate their understanding.
The book is structured into three parts: developing language, developing skills and developing structure.
Some of the topics include:
- Using figurative language effectively
- Varying sentence structure
- Using Show Don’t Tell
- Creating fear and suspense
There is also a final section at the end in which the child can practise different writing tasks, using a carefully designed checklist to support them.
“Having explored the various resources and materials available around to help my kids to improve upon their writing skills, I would say this is simply one of the best resources out there. The book introduces some of the key methodology and tools required to write good quality pieces. Having shopped around and tried various books, none of them provide such a structured way to teach the techniques around creative writing like this book does within the KS2 age group. The book is a power-packed resource which addresses this topic in such a friendly way which makes the learning fun. For someone trying to improve their writing skills, this is an absolutely brilliant resource and highly recommended.”
“I have been teaching (and tutoring) for almost 30 years and have a plethora of teaching resources of which Bright Light Education’s Creative Writing Skills book stands head and shoulders above the rest. So much of it either reflects or embellishes what I do with my students and many have bought the resource on my recommendation.”
“A whopping 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, this book is so well written, delivered today and my kids can’t keep it down. Love it, get your copy now. Perfect book for all years.”
Creative Writing Courses:
We run a range of online Creative Writing Courses throughout the year for Years 2-6 children: