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Encourage Your Budding Writers with These Simple Tips

Deborah Sharp Libby
Help your children become writers. Immerse them in print and provide them with many opportunities to write. It’s just a matter of getting started and developing a fun family writing routine.

Begin by creating a writing space at home with your kids. Stock it with a variety of materials such as journals, notebooks and paper in all shapes and sizes. Make sure there are plenty of pencils, pens, colored pencils, crayons and markers so your children have a variety of writing and drawing tools to choose from.

As you move ahead, it is essential to understand the important connection between reading and writing. Share great books daily and expose your budding writers to wonderful examples of stories. Kick off your writing routine by letting your children pick out and decorate their very own journal then simply set-aside time to write regularly. Talk to your kids about their writing ideas and let them know that they can write about anything. Creative stories, informative essays and letters to friends and family are all appropriate. Some kids love to write about their day while others want to write about their favorite food, animal or sports team. Do your children love to act? Have them write the script for a skit or a mini movie, then act it out and film it! Are your children creative cooks? Have them write out a grocery list for the ingredients needed and prepare their favorite feast. Regular writing possibilities are endless.

In order to best support your children’s efforts, it is important to have reasonable expectations and understand that children move through stages as writers. Learning to write follows a natural progression and writing development varies widely from child to child. Children make a variety of meaningful markings as they embark on their initial attempts at writing. Many draw pictures and scribble to convey a message. Talk to your children about their pictures and scribbles and label their work occasionally. This provides a great opportunity for you as a parent to model writing behavior, introduce letters of the alphabet, talk about the sounds that letters make and highlight common sight words. As children become familiar with the alphabet, many list letters and or words that they know while others copy down print around them. Eventually children progress to more conventional writing patterns jotting down sounds that they hear, familiar words, and stringing words together to create sentences. Be your children’s guide through the writing process. Have regular conversations about what writers do and celebrate your children’s writing!
Meet our Expert Advisory Panel
Deborah Sharp Libby
Early Childhood Language and Reading Expert
Lise Eliot
Early Childhood Mental Development Expert
Helen Boehm
Psychologist, Author, and Parenting Resource Expert
Carla C. Johnson
Science and STEM Expert
Susan Bartell
Child Psychology Expert
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