Encouraging children to write a story of their very own can give them an enormous confidence boost, as well as help them consolidate their literacy learning by putting their phonics, grammar and reading skills into practice.
Creative writing not only allows kids to express their feelings, it helps them clarify their own ideas and beliefs, and discover what they know or think about a topic.
Here are some tips to help you foster your child’s creative writing skills:
Get children to use their senses
Ask children to write a piece as if their audience were a visitor from another planet. Get them to use their senses – taste, touch, smell and sight – to describe their setting to a person who would have no concept of what Earth is like.
Encourage them to glean ideas from the world around them
Many children struggle to get off the starting block when it comes to creative ideas. Children may want to use one of their favourite toys or a memory of an event to form the basis of a story.
Taking children on an ideas hunt, where they walk around their local area and make notes of anything they find of interest, will also help them create a bank of creative writing ideas.
Get them write about what they know and love
If your child is a fan of horses, movies, BMX bikes, or any other hobby, get them to include this interest in their stories. You may want to organise a visit to the cinema and then get him or her to write an account of the day’s events before turning it into a story.
Use drama to bring their ideas to life
As children act out a character in role, they generally add details, such as tone of voice and extended dialogue that they wouldn’t have otherwise included in a simple writing exercise. Children can also make character masks and take turns ‘hot seating’ (asking a character questions in role).
Encourage children to read from a wide variety of genres
Children who read a wide variety of genres from science fiction to comedy will have plenty of creative ideas to ‘magpie’ from.