The ability to write well is vitally important for your child to be successful in life. Writing well will help you succeed academically and professionally. Additionally, creative writing can be an important therapeutic distraction for your child to imagine new worlds and express their feelings. Help your child improve their creative writing skills by promoting creativity, playing word games, and stimulating their imagination with clever writing suggestions.
Method 1 of 4: Promote Your Child's Love of Writing
Step 1. Read to him every night
Reading and writing go hand in hand. Good writers are widely read on different subjects and writing styles. Your child's teacher and local librarian can help you select appropriate books based on their age and interests.
- In addition to reading to your child, have him read to you if his age allows it.
- Ask him questions about his favorite books. Why do you like certain books and not others? Help him develop his tastes as a reader and reflect on words, characters, contexts, and plots.
- If your child has a favorite author or a favorite book series, you can take him to speak with the author or to a book signing to inspire him to write.
Step 2. Establish a reading and writing schedule
Make sure your child's schedule isn't cluttered with other activities. Reading and writing take a lot of time and mental energy, so you can't expect your child to write a story between soccer practice and piano lessons. It allows you to explore the world of words in moments when you can relax, breathe, contemplate and think freely.
Step 3. Provide a place and materials for creative writing
Just as children should have a quiet place to study and do their homework, the same is true for writing activities. Ideally, you should have a desk in your room that is away from the TV. If your child wants privacy, be sure to allow it. Don't read over his shoulder, unless he tells you you can. A child's writing area should have the following materials:
- A notebook or journal.
- Pencils, pens and erasers.
- A shelf to keep inspiration close.
- An age-appropriate dictionary.
- A dictionary of synonyms. A thesaurus is not necessary for very young children, but it can be useful for older children who want to expand their vocabulary.
Step 4. Focus on creativity, not grammar
For your child to be successful as a creative writer, they must learn to experiment, take risks, and think creatively. Don't discourage their creativity by insisting on spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Feel free to gently correct her mechanical errors, but don't make her feel like she has failed in her activity or task. Rather, praise her creativity and talk to her about her ideas.
Step 5. Show interest in their ideas
You may be the only audience for your child's stories for a while. Make her love creativity and writing by showing great interest in her ideas, thoughts, and stories. Ask questions about their stories that show you have been paying attention. Praise him when he does something right, like developing an interesting character, writing a funny plot, or correctly using a difficult word in a sentence.
Step 6. Display your child's work
Children love when their drawings, stories, or paintings are shown to the whole family. Promote your child's motivation for writing by posting their stories on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board.
You can also work with your child to create a special "book" of their stories, including homemade illustrations and decorations. Sew the book with a ribbon or child to create a special file of your creativity
Step 7. Play stenographer
If your child is too young to write and develop long stories, ask him to make up stories out loud. Write down your thoughts and read them to them. This is a good idea to help very young children connect spoken and written words, or older children so they can focus.
Step 8. Write and read with your child
Be a model reader and writer for your child. Show her that reading and writing are valuable and fun activities. The more he watches you read and write, the more likely he is to continue these practices on his own.
Step 9. Communicate with friends and family frequently
Often the most valuable writing activities are those that build and maintain important personal connections. Get into the habit of sending emails or letters to friends and family, and ask your child to help you. If your child is excited about receiving and sending letters, she could carry this excitement into other writing activities.
Method 2 of 4: Play Creative Writing Games
Step 1. Incorporate writing activities into pretend play
Your child may already be playing a variety of exciting and imaginative games. Maybe you like to play famous person or enjoy the game "cops and robbers". Discover a writing activity based on your child's interests and enthusiasm to stimulate their creative writing talents. These are some options that you can consider:
- Encourage him to write a letter from the perspective of a character he likes to play.
- Suggest that he write about "a day in the life" of his imaginary friend.
- Help him invent an imaginary country and ask him to write about what people do there.
- Ask him to create a "combo" story that includes his favorite characters from totally different worlds.
Step 2. Play word games
There are many games and toys that can help build your child's vocabulary. They can all help your child develop his passion for words and learn to use them appropriately. Some popular games and toys are:
- Crazy stories
- Words up
Step 3. Play a collaborative story writing game
If your child is shy or does not feel comfortable developing his own ideas for creative writing, you can propose a game in which both of you have to write a story together. Make sure the story is absurd and light-hearted to keep their interest and participation. Here are some game ideas:
- Write a story by making a change after each sentence. First, write a sentence, then have your child move on to the next sentence, then write another, and so on. Incorporate unexpected surprises and goofy twists to make the story fun and exciting.
- Draw a picture and ask your child to imagine a story based on the image.
- Create a word list by having you and your child point to random words in a dictionary. Then think about how to use all of those words in one story.
Step 4. Keep the games short
Depending on your child's age, their ability to concentrate may be limited. So choose short, age-appropriate games so she doesn't get discouraged. Limit games to 15 to 30 minutes and allow your child to finish the game earlier if he seems bored, stressed, or tired. Remember that these games must be fun if they are to provide positive results.
Method 3 of 4: Help Your Child Find Writing Topics
Step 1. Ask questions about the world around you
Develop your child's curiosity so that he can build his creative writing skills. Ask him questions about the world around him to stimulate his curiosity and creativity. Having interesting and in-depth conversations at home will help you develop the curiosity and vocabulary necessary to become a creative writer. Consider the following ideas:
- Ask him to look out of the car window and think about where people walking on the sidewalk are going.
- Point out animals when they walk and ask your child to think about what their lives are like.
- Ask him to create a new name for his favorite park.
- Ask him what his favorite building is and why he likes it so much.
Step 2. Ask your child to rewrite a famous story
Children are often unable to develop absolutely unique characters, contexts, and plots. To get your child to practice creative writing, have him write a new version of an old classic, like a fairy tale. What would your child change about the story to make it his own?
Step 3. Have your child write a story from a random sentence
An effective writing cue can be to pick a sentence from your favorite book and ask you to write a story based on it. See if he can develop a story from original source material to teach him how versatile creative writing can be.
Step 4. Have your child "read" books without words
Wordless books can be an excellent tool for your child to develop his own ideas for a story. These books have complex and enigmatic pictures that allow children to develop a myriad of new stories and ideas. Find or buy some books without words and ask your child to figure out what those words might be.
Method 4 of 4: Build Basic Writing Skills
Step 1. Promote daily writing
Regardless of the age of the writer, the best way to improve writing skills is through regular practice. Your child may practice a lot in school. However, if your school provides limited writing practices or your child is homeschooled, you can include formal writing classes at home. Even just having your child write very simple things - like what he's done at school that day or what snacks he wants to eat - can be excellent writing practice. It doesn't have to always be a creative writing practice to be effective.
However, keep in mind that some children are reluctant to write. Let your child take time off from writing if he needs it, unless he has an assignment to complete
Step 2. Encourage him to keep a journal
A journal can be an amazing way for a young writer to expand their vocabulary, develop unique writing styles, and learn to express complex thoughts through words. This builds basic skills and provides an important means for the child to share their thoughts and feelings.
Step 3. Encourage him to plan before writing complex things
Often the best writing practice is free writing where your child simply writes whatever comes to mind. However, if your child is a little older and wants to write longer or more ambitious stories, encourage him to plan first. Make sure they have an idea of the topic of the story, the point of the story, and, if relevant, what the assignment entails. Do you have a plan for the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story?
Step 4. Resist the urge to write for him
Perfectionism can be detrimental to your child's creativity and self-esteem. Instead of focusing on his mistakes, ask him to reread his work and ask him what he thinks about it. Let him find his own mistakes and encourage him to correct them on his own. Never take his job and rewrite his story.
- For example, you can underline misspelled words without telling him what the correct spelling is. Ask him to look up the correct spelling in a dictionary.
- Make sure to provide positive reviews and kind suggestions for improvement.
Step 5. Provide fun opportunities for review
One of the most important skills your child will learn is how to go over a first draft to the end. Encourage him to make changes to the story and work hard to improve it. For example, you can tell him to use sticky notes to construct the first draft of a story so that you can add more details, clarify vocabulary, and vary sentence structure. Let him know that practice and perseverance are essential in the writing process.
- Remember that, as a parent, you are their creative writing helper, not their coach or teacher. Don't act like creative writing is a duty or an obligation. Your child must have a passion for writing to be an effective creative writer.
- Stay optimistic. You can point out instances when she makes grammar mistakes, but it's important that positive comments and enthusiasm represent the majority of your words. Be honest about praise, but emphasize the things he does well, not the things he needs to improve.
- Take into account the writing training your child receives in school. Many schools provide excellent writing training. You can get a better idea of your personal role in your child's writing skills if you know what the teachers are focusing on in class.
- Do not force your child to follow a particular form of writing (short stories, poetry, etc.) if he does not show interest. Instead, encourage him in the type of writing that interests him the most.
- Some children show little interest in writing because they enjoy other activities more. However, some children are nervous about writing due to an underlying learning disability. If your child is underperforming his peers with regards to spelling, writing, and vocabulary, talk to his teacher and learning specialists to find out if he has a learning disability that is the root of these problems.