How To Keep Your Kids Writing During Holiday Break
Writing is like falling in love. Those who really succeed at the endeavor are those who are willing to put their hearts out there and risk being rejected. As you can imagine, this can be a wonderful experience–or it can be agonizing. At least for adults.
For children, falling in love with writing is less dramatic. It’s about learning to tell their stories and committing to paper all of the make-believe worlds they have created. The agonizing part of the process is finding the discipline to keep on writing when they’d rather be doing something else. This is evident during winter break, when the lure of shopping or sledding may be stronger than that of writing.
So, what is the best way to encourage young writers to practice their craft this holiday season? Read on for some practical tips.
Fill your child’s life with stories. Read to your children every day from various types of books. Take turns reading the pages aloud, or read from books that are above their reading level. Tell your own stories at bedtime, and or even when you are on a long car trip or waiting in the doctor’s office. Talk to your children constantly about everything. By keeping them aware of the world around them, as well as other pieces of literature, you’ll expand their imagination (and vocabulary!) and teach them that when they write, the sky is the limit.
Celebrate your child’s writing. When your child brings you a piece of paper with scribbles on it and tells you it’s her name, you’re looking at the child’s earliest form of writing. If you appreciate the work that she does from a young age, she will continue to do it. Celebrate all forms of her writing and she will be filled with the confidence to keep writing–even if it is the holiday season.
Practice what you preach. If you want your child to continue to write over the holidays, make sure he sees you do the same. Any time you write something–whether it’s an email or a grocery list–invite him to help if it is appropriate. Addressing holiday cards is a great opportunity to include children in your writing activities during the holiday season.
Give your child the tools. The tools can be as simple as a writing surface and a container of chalk, pens, and markers. Just make sure she is comfortable and relaxed in her chosen space. Providing a comfortable space for writing helps children and adults alike, as it associates positive feelings with the act of putting pen to paper.
Write with your child. Invite your children to write a story with you. Encourage younger ones to draw illustrations for the story while you write, and then switch jobs. Making writing a way to spend quality time with your children will make them want to do it again and again.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to forget about writing. However, by making some simple changes in your holiday routine, you can provide your child with the building blocks necessary to become a lifelong writer and storyteller.
How are you encouraging your children to write this holiday season? Share your tips with us.