How to get your Children Writing!
Read, talk and plan!
Read! Reading to children and, once children are able to read, encouraging them to read regularly to themselves. Reading both fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, newspapers and comics etc is the first step to getting those creative juices flowing. Not only this, but it exposes children to new vocabulary, aids spellings and is the starting point to their writing journey. If you need some advice about how to encourage your children to read, read our blogpost, Reading with Children.
Talk! Talking about ideas and storylines help children to order their thoughts, learn how to structure stories and clarify details of characters. Ask children questions, probe them as to why or when something might happen in their story.
Plan! A story plan is vital to ensure clarity, structure and excitement. Without roughly planning a beginning, middle and an end to a story, it can lead to dull, lacklustre plots.
What about reluctant writers?
Instead of writing down their stories, why not record them telling their story on the phone? Alternatively, be the scribe for your child or help them by typing up their stories for them. Often, for some, the most daunting part of creative writing is the actual task of writing. It puts them off entirely and stops creativity in its track! If we can take away this daunting task, you might find it sparks their imagination and encourages writing. Where possible, ensure your child is writing about something they are interested in; it’ll always be a struggle to write a fairytale story when all they want to write is a story based on World War II! Pick a theme you know will interest them and talk through a plan for their story to help them structure it. Another way is to allow them to type their story onto the computer; it doesn’t always have to be handwritten. If they are handwriting their work, ban them from using an ink eraser. A neat line through any mistakes is fine; it saves time and shows that it is ok to make mistakes – everyone makes them! Finally, one of the most challenging parts of story writing is the beginning. Why not give them their story starter so part of the hard work is done and it seems less overwhelming.
Creative Writing Competition!
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly 😉once a year we run a Creative Writing Competition so what better way to encourage your child to write, than a bit of competition! The competition is open to 7-13 year olds. We have three entry groups:
Group 1: 7-9 year olds (Years 3 and 4)
Group 2: 9-11 year olds (Years 5 and 6)
Group 3: 11-13 year olds (Years 7 and 8)
For more information about the competition, please visit:
A Selection of Great Creative Writing Resources
Writing Challenge for Kids (app)
This is a great app that helps to inspire children to write as well as supporting the planning and story writing processes. It’s simple to use and children are given a range of prompts to choose from and each prompt gives children ideas for how to start and develop their story, including references to settings and character. One piece of advice would be to pick and choose the prompts; don’t feel like you have to include them all! Perfect for children aged 7-14.
Rory’s Story Cubes (resource and app)
This is a nice one to help inspire storylines. Children use the pictures on the cubes to help develop their story and include different objects, settings or characters within their stories. Available as an actual resource as well as an app where children can shake the phone or tablet to roll the dice. Rory’s Story Cubes also come in a variety of different story genres including mythic, medieval and fright dice! Great for 6 years and older.
Descriptosaurus By Alison Wilcox
A favourite here at Bright Light Education; Dani and I have used this book for years! It’s superb for broadening vocabulary and description for settings, characters, creatures and emotions.
Mrs Wordsmith create some fantastic resources from age 4 and up. They all contain wonderfully illustrated words to help broaden vocabulary, practise phonics and aid the learning of sight words. We’re big fans!
My Story Book Maker (app)
This is a great one for Reception and Key Stage 1 children and allows them to make their very own story book. They can record themselves speaking which then comes up as typeface into their book. They can then add drawings, colours, photos and stickers to the pages. My daughter has loved using it!
Creative Writing Skills Book by Dani Okumura and Charlotte Badenoch
We’re pretty proud of this one 😊. Our full colour book is designed for any child striving to develop their creative writing skills. It is particularly aimed at Key Stage Two as well as those sitting an entrance school examination such as the 11 plus.
Other useful blogposts
Other blogposts of ours which you might find useful include: