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Mumsnet users share their top tips for encouraging their children to write, with Premier League

(271 Posts)
EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-Nov-18 11:07:47

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Writing, be it in a diary, a poem, a short story or even a letter can be a great way to help children explore their creativity whilst inspiring them to write more. With that being said the Premier League would like to know your top tips for encouraging you DC to write more and explore their creative side.

Here’s what the Premier League have to say: “Our Premier League Primary Stars education programme uses the appeal of football to inspire kids to learn, be active and develop important life skills. More than 15,000 primary schools use the free teaching resources for maths, English, PSHE and PE and take advantage of incentives and competitions available for their school. However, sometimes young writers need a little extra boost and that’s why we are proud to bring back our Writing Stars poetry competition, which last year inspired more than 25,000 children to write a poem. This year’s competition theme is diversity and, with the support of a fantastic judging panel including singer Olly Murs, former footballer Rio Ferdinand, Children’s Laureate Lauren Child and poet Joseph Coelho, we are encouraging children to pick up a pen and explore what it means to be beautifully different and wonderfully the same. To read some of the poems already submitted by celebrities, please click here.”

Do you find that reading to your children frequently helps develop their imagination and also inspires them to write stories too? How about encouraging your children to keep a diary to write their everyday experiences in? Do you make sure that your DC write thank you letters after their birthday and Christmas in order to help them practice writing? Do you go on days out that will help them explore the things around them and develop their imagination?

Whatever your top tips are, share them on the thread below and you will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

Standard Insight T&Cs Apply

FunkyBrownie Tue 20-Nov-18 12:12:55

My DS is 4 and just started at school, so writing is a huge novelty for him and something he begs to do more often than I offer it! He’ll always want to do a shopping list and tick things off in the shop, and has to write everyone’s birthday/Christmas cards. They might not always be totally legible, but as long as he’s got this enthusiasm I’m going to encourage it like crazy!

NightmareDaemon Tue 20-Nov-18 12:30:51

I think going to private nursery begore they started school really helped my boys. I had tried messy pkay with them before but seeing the other children play in the mess made tgem more keen to try.

Since going to school they have stay keen on junk modelling and come up with great ideas for creations.

I am led by them and their imaginations. They love Hobbycraft and come away with all sorts of ideas for creating.

We also make use of free crafts at the local library and arts centre.

I think if I pushed it they wouldn’t be as keen.

Rosehips Tue 20-Nov-18 14:50:52

I have to ask lots of questions, 'who's the story about? what do they look like?, where do they live? otherwise dc just freezes with blank page fear

Lulabellx1 Tue 20-Nov-18 15:59:31

Allow time for crafts/drawing. Sounds simple but our lives (and our children's lives) are so busy these days and they can sometimes just be glued to a screen for large parts of the day. My DD (age 7) loves drawing, and she draws every evening in bed before going to sleep. It helps settles her and we allow time for it every evening.

iwantasofa Tue 20-Nov-18 16:04:45

Get them to get used to making up stories verbally before writing them. Storytelling comes before story writing. I have found Story Cubes very good for prompting ideas. Important to remember that the physical activity of writing is not the same as the creative skills of making up a story, poem or even non fiction such as a diary.

iwantasofa Tue 20-Nov-18 16:07:03

My point is, handwriting, SPaG and creative writing are different skills and need to be tackled in different ways - you can't teach all at the same time.

BristolMum96 Tue 20-Nov-18 16:52:08

Read a lot together and play lots of games on iPad that teach words and phonics.

ILiveInSalemsLot Tue 20-Nov-18 18:08:09

I read to them and get them to listen to story podcasts in the car so they’re exposed to stories.
They love to write stories on the laptop (it’s somehow more appealing than writing them) and I try to find some creative writing competitions to enter every indie and then.
They’ve never won anything but I always tell them how fab it is that they’ve even entered.
I’ve also bought them nice notebooks that they keep by their beds that they’re allowed to write whatever they want in. I never look in them.

gemmie797 Tue 20-Nov-18 18:25:45

I have read to my sons each night since they were born. They both love to read and write stories and they are big fans of having a notebook to use for their ideas. We usually have a chat about wild and wacky ideas which we incorporate into stories

Leahsmi Tue 20-Nov-18 18:55:03

Hi, I’m looking for some positive stories!

My son is 2.5 years old. He is currently having speech therapy, portage and one to one in playgroup. He has no words at all and his understanding is limited (or selective).

I’m pretty sure the professionals are heading towards autism and although I agree he is delayed my gut tells me he’s not.

Anyway, I’m told to try not to worry and I’m trying my best but it’s so hard not to do any positive information/stories would be amazing to keep me going.

P.s positive only- first time mother here so I don’t have anything to compare to!!

Thanks in advance

sarat1 Tue 20-Nov-18 19:12:41

Take the every day, mundane and turn it into an adventure, something imaginative, what if opportunity

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Tue 20-Nov-18 20:09:02

Read, read, read.
Books develop imagination, vocabulary, spelling and story structure understanding.
I can always tell which children in my class are read to a lot at home.

coolmum348 Tue 20-Nov-18 20:09:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Beach11 Tue 20-Nov-18 20:10:46

My 2 children love making things out of anything and everything whether it be Lego or items to be recycled. The mess drives me made but they have so much enjoyment making their creations and love it when we make things together.
They both like writing and making lists.
We read every day and I think this Dow’s help with their imaginations.
Their favourite toys are arts n crafts things. Christmas is a great excuse for making cards, baubles etcs

MrsFrTedCrilly Tue 20-Nov-18 20:59:36

I had a very reluctant writer so we used to play lots of games like writing down a word then we fold over the paper over I’d write a word then he would write etc etc and then we would try to think of a story using all of the words,
Shopping lists were a good start as he could see it had a purpose and I would let him add some little treat into the shop if he’d written the list!
I think encouragement is key when you’re dealing with kids.

madcatladyforever Tue 20-Nov-18 21:17:59

Encourage them to enter competitions, when I was a child we always had handwriting competitions at the local fete and it was always so exciting entering.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 20-Nov-18 21:24:19

The more you read and converse, the more you can write. A language rich environment is absolutely key.

whitsunfells Tue 20-Nov-18 21:49:34

DS (3) is too young to write but I'm building the foundation blocks just now. Using pictures to help him learn how to tell stories and also using a puppet, who he loves to explain things to. Lots of imaginative play.

treegone Tue 20-Nov-18 22:04:12

My eldest automatically doesn't want to take part in anything I suggest so I find I end up ruining things if I get involved. When we have some quiet one on one time she can be more receptive but those times are hard to find with her siblings around and we work etc. Like a previous poster said if I push, she clams up. It's better to skirt round the edges of ideas and games rather than directly try to influence. So rather than asking questions about a story or thing she's seen, which would result in her closing her eyes and putting her hand out to indicate, 'go away and shut up mummy', I'll chat about it near her and wait for her to add her thoughts. Her creativity is closely guarded!

del2929 Tue 20-Nov-18 22:15:28

reading a variety of books helps- we recently discovered borrowbox from our local library. access to lots of online books and comics-

defineme Tue 20-Nov-18 22:39:44

Storycubes and general role play has fed into their creative writing and making reading a pleasure, not a chore, so genuine interest in their story books. They loved the idea of having their own notepads, diaries, noticeboard in bedroom, all helping encourage them to write.

JC4PMPLZ Tue 20-Nov-18 23:05:24

Lots of notebooks, different pens and pencils, always encouraging, playing games with words. Most important, join in. It helps if you are, like DP, an artist.

April2020mom Tue 20-Nov-18 23:54:49

I give them a pen and something to write in. A notebook or a pad of paper works well. When I was a child I used a whiteboard and a diary for my private thoughts. Be a role model and set a good example for your children. Encourage them to exercise their creative side and talk with you too.

asuwere Wed 21-Nov-18 00:26:03

I've always read every night with my DC since they were tiny. We also regularly make up stories, especially in the car. I always have notebooks or jotters next to colouring paper so the DC can use them for writing whatever they want.

kateandme Wed 21-Nov-18 02:15:07

big poster paper on the floor and letting them draw and write in pain first was a great hit.
making up stories with them.and getting them to think of characters too.what will they look like.what happens next.
they love me writing a line to the start of a story then they finish it off.
always be on the lookout.i think we take for granted how often kids are now looking down.and so they are missing what gives them the imaingination and wonder to be creative.we used to be out and there would be them looking at the trees.birds.colours.if they got bored they would then within five minutes be mumbling or staring at something that took there interest from the world around them.where as now they are handed a screen.
try to read with them.
get them there own pad and paper.
and the dd loved the Disney diaries with mini padlock!
Do you find that reading to your children frequently helps develop their imagination and also inspires them to write stories too?yes most definitely.
How about encouraging your children to keep a diary to write their everyday experiences in?i think its great to encourage this.also wirting holiday journals.give them something to do in cars and on the plane too which is a bonus.
Do you make sure that your DC write thank you letters after their birthday and Christmas in order to help them practice writing? yes
Do you go on days out that will help them explore the things around them and develop their imagination?as much as we can.national trust place and even going to a big park for a picnic or game.
I think young kids are stopping or not even starting to play with dolls and action figures now too.we didn't stop til we were bout ten.and the imagination went wild living through your dolls at 10 they are already wearing makeup and looking for a job!

Thiswayorthatway Wed 21-Nov-18 08:22:18

After reading Harry Potter together, we wrote a book of spells. After reading Percy Jackson, we wrote about the Greek Gods. Find something your child is excited about. Encyclopaedias are great for research.

GooodMythicalMorning Wed 21-Nov-18 10:01:26

Buy nice fancy pens and paper and they do it themselves. This time of year is useful as they get into writing cards for christmas. And is near dd birthday so she writes birthday invites and thank you cards.

burwellmum Wed 21-Nov-18 10:57:43

I think reading bedtime stories helps them build an imagination and learn about writing stories - even if they reappear in schoolwork. Story tapes are good too - possibly better as lying in the dark on your own definitely helps the imagination fly.
My children write thank you letters but I'm not convinced it has really improved their letter writing skills.

CMOTDibbler Wed 21-Nov-18 11:42:21

The biggest thing you can do is modelling being creative - make up silly stories as you go, act out a pretend thing, write down things yourself. Kids will keep doing what they see their parents doing imo, and if neither parent reads and is imaginative, they won't either

sharond101 Wed 21-Nov-18 11:43:21

My Son loves his smiggle diary with a luck and key. We make up and write down silly stories. I always ask for more adjectives when he tells me about things.

queenoftheschoolrun Wed 21-Nov-18 12:59:39

DD is a reluctant writer, I don't know why as she's an avid reader but she's never been keen.
There are some lovely books to encourage writing, Usborne do some good ones but my favourite is Descriptosaurus.

TwittleBee Wed 21-Nov-18 13:18:31

Get creative alongside them, let them see you enjoy being creative too

voyager50 Wed 21-Nov-18 13:51:54

He''s really into making up jokes and finding creative uses for words using puns and he loves making elaborate drawings with scenes full of lots of detail.

p.s. I think children should always write thank you notes but I wouldn't say it's creative - my sister and I were brought up to - it's the right thing to do - all my friends' children do to with one exception and as she got older and into her teens she stopped thanking me so eventually I stopped sending her any presents!

m0jit0 Wed 21-Nov-18 15:19:33

Read lots of stories together and do creative things like painting, messy play etc

UpOnDown Wed 21-Nov-18 15:34:34

They have a notebook wheree they can write whatever they want!

SilverDoe Wed 21-Nov-18 15:42:09

My dd is only 3 but she is fascinated by reading and writing and loves to take books to bed. We are starting to go over letters and simple words and seeing the joy she gets from this is great! I want to encourage her to be like me and write whatever stories down that come to mind, as it is the best way to encourage imagination and a sense of wonder.

JellySlice Wed 21-Nov-18 17:50:01

My 15yo told me the best thing recently. She said "I used to think you were being too fussy and controlling restricting our screen time. But now I see that it was a good thing, because I never struggle with a narrative when I'm writing. Restricting our screen time and nudging us towards creative play nurtured my imagination."

She's on track for 8s in English GCSE and wants to take it at A-level.

npret Wed 21-Nov-18 18:38:06

I always keep an art stash & plenty of paper around the house so when they feel like being creative they can access what they need quickly and that means they tend to doodle/draw or write stories quite often, even if it is only for 5 minutes at a time.

chibsortig Wed 21-Nov-18 19:22:20

Ive always made sure they have access to paper and pencils/pens/crayons. I read to them daily every night before bed.
We write shopping lists together. Even if theirs are unreadable its all about the making the list rather than reading it. Right now my not tired 3 year old DD is currently scribbling in her notebook.
I dont pressure my children to read/write but encourage them alongside school using school methods. I dont force it if they dont want to one day but pick it up the next day and try again. We are a household of readers though so we are surrounded by books.

immummynoiam Wed 21-Nov-18 19:55:18

I do think, as others have said, access to paper and pens/pencils/crayons - I try to take them on my bag for whenever a boring wait occurs. We also try and talk about what’s good and bad in various books, so they engage and critique

ButterflyOfFreedom Wed 21-Nov-18 20:43:38

My DS absolutely loves writing! He says he wants to be an author when he grows up and is always making his own books, writing stories & reading.
We've read to him since hexwas a baby and he just seems to have a natural interest in writing - just hope it stays!

QueenOfPharts Wed 21-Nov-18 20:55:13

My dc are quite young but I prefer giving them blank paper rather than colouring books which is better for their imagination and creativity. They also get a lot of enjoyment out of loose parts play and playing with card board boxes etc. My dc still love stuff like the ipad and tv but I think giving them less doing toys teaches them creativity.

MegBusset Wed 21-Nov-18 20:59:40

Mine find handwriting a bit of a chore but can both type well, so I put them in front of Microsoft Word and tell them to go for it - DS1 in particular can rattle off pages of stories much faster than if he wrote by hand. DS2 is more of a visual artist so enjoys laying out pages in an interesting way!

headfullofdreams Wed 21-Nov-18 22:09:37

Reading, playing games, story telling, more reading!

purplepandas Wed 21-Nov-18 22:21:28

Lots of reading and encouraging them to write about what they are interested in. I have one writing out names of Egyptian gods at the moment! Fancy notebooks and nice pens too.

jacqui5366 Thu 22-Nov-18 06:55:13

We often go for walks and make up fabulous stories about anything we see, we have created underground communities under the floor of country paths, and in the trees of forests, we have creatures, fairies and nymphs who live all around us, and we give animals voices and decide what they are thinking when in their field. Their stories at school are SO imaginative.

IWouldBeSuperb Thu 22-Nov-18 07:45:44

Reading lots of different books for inspiration, making sure they see parents and other family members reading/writing/ drawing for fun and relaxation, and making sure we make time for it - TV free days/evenings etc - encouraging creativity is really important for helping them entertain themselves!

Snog Thu 22-Nov-18 08:05:02

My dd does an art diary which combines painting/drawing/collage with words.
It's very therapeutic.

fishnships Thu 22-Nov-18 11:26:07

Engender a love of reading and encourage them to enter writing and poetry competitions, by suggesting ideas. And talking to them a lot about all sorts of things as well as trying to broaden their outlook by taking them to stay in interesting places like on boats, trains, yurts etc.

Beeziekn33ze Thu 22-Nov-18 13:00:48

Involve them when very young by getting them to write their names, or draw, in birthday and Christmas cards, thank you notes, to help with shopping lists and reminder notes. Send postcards to friends and relatives with a few words by the child. Write them notes and leave them on their pillow. Sooner or later you may get a reply! It's all about communication!

Let them write on chalk boards, chalk on paving stones and patios, the rain will soon wash it off! Provide thick 'toddler' chalks, crayons and pencils.

Listen to their jokes and stories, encourage them to retell stories they've heard. Let them caption photographs and drawings. Make scrap books about outings, holidays, family celebrations. Make sure they're aware of menus, recipes, and instructions - and suggest they write some themselves.

Later encourage creative writing by providing note books, plain as well as lined, and a variety of pencils, pens, felt tips. Writing on screens is fine too. Children often enjoy writing the type of story that they most like to read or something for a younger sibling which can be in a simple book format. This can be 2 sheets of A4 folded in half and stapled or tied together.

Children love rhyme and rhythms. Birmingham poet Benjamin Zephaniah recalls in his autobiography that his Jamaican mother often spoke to her children in rhyme. If they are familiar with the idea of poetry they will be confident to try writing their own.

Any imaginative game is the foundation of a play, it just needs recording in some way. Creative writing is all around and if a child is encouraged without criticism he or she will soon be involved.

daniel1996 Thu 22-Nov-18 13:45:29

We have always kept a diary, of our day, what we had for lunch, and what we did, it's only a page per day, and some are more detailed than others, we have grey clouds for bad days, and sunshine for good days, parks, ducks, and people we have met, with a few sentences on what we did, it's a start, but they are really lovely to look back on, and to see how spelling, writing and drawing are improving week on week.

lolly2011 Thu 22-Nov-18 15:39:26

We read stories, make books, menus, lists and draw a lot, my eldest in secondary school so my youngest helps with his interpretations.

Montydoo Thu 22-Nov-18 17:14:31

I always ask them to write thank you letters to grandparents and aunts when presents are sent - I did this when I was small and I think it's so kind when someone has gone out of their way to think of you. We have a large whiteboard in the dining room and whilst I use part of it for shopping lists, it us used for drawing, and practising letters an spellings, I love when my whiteboard is covered with impromptu farm animals, and 'tricky' words (because, would and thoughtful are there at the moment). I have a box which contains old ends or wallpaper and an array of crayons and felt tip pens, and we use that to spend a morning drawing a holiday scene or a Christmas scene.

RedDeadRoach Thu 22-Nov-18 18:15:58

I read with and to my dcs every single day. When my dsc was younger he loved writing stories. So me and his dad used to take turns with him to each write a line of a story and then the next person had to carry it on. Dss would then draw pictures to go with it. It was a good way to get him to practice his handwriting too!

Cotswoldmama Thu 22-Nov-18 18:39:21

My son really likes drawing but it’s hard to get him to actually sit down to do it. I’ve found that if it’s a competition he’s always enthusiastic so sometimes I make competitions up!

foxessocks Thu 22-Nov-18 19:20:40

My dc are too young to write a story but my dd who is 4.5 can tell a story she has made up, I think it's just from being read so many different stories so she has good ideas. And she gets good ideas from TV too tbh!

duck22 Thu 22-Nov-18 19:45:07

Creative play in find fules their imagination, especially outside

TheWickedWitchofWestYorkshire Thu 22-Nov-18 19:49:34

My children are avid readers - they have free access to books and can read whatever they want (within reason obvs). This means they see lots of examples of good writing in a variety of genres. They also get lots of ideas. As a result of this, they are better able to write. They have free access to writing materials and to paper of different colours, styles, shapes and sizes and can write or draw whenever they want.

Another thing is to give them plenty of exciting experiences. If they have interesting and exciting things to do, they have interesting and exciting things to write about.

I model writing too for a range of purposes such as shopping lists, letters, cards, recipes, short stories, notes, little poems etc because I believe that if children see real people writing for real reasons, they understand that it has a place in real life and are therefore more likely to want to do it.

Treaclespongeandcustard Thu 22-Nov-18 20:06:44

I read to my DC’s every night and they like to draw a lot. We make things together from old boxes and thread beads. Between them they go through yards of sellotape every week. I think they’re much more creative than I am.

TwoGinScentedTears Thu 22-Nov-18 21:16:06

We always have masses of paper and pens and pencils about. Lots of drawing and story making. I love reading their crazy stories!

angell74 Thu 22-Nov-18 22:30:10

My top tip for encouraging children to write is to join a library and expose them to as many high quality texts as possible. Providing children with good models of writing and encouraging them to explore different genres gives them the inspiration and tools from which to work.

Enigma222 Thu 22-Nov-18 22:34:22

My husband reads to the kids everyday, they love to use their imagination and make up stories and write down short stories as a result of this.

Summergarden Fri 23-Nov-18 12:47:41

Yes I think that reading to them lots helps a lot, both fiction and non fiction. I also give them cute and fun notebooks that they will enjoy writing in.

Sometimes we share a story and I ask them to write a different ending, or a different adventure for the same characters.

NastyCats Fri 23-Nov-18 13:41:20

Loads of reading and library trips. Art projects. Entering competitions. Doing family projects like 'American Day' or 'Roman Day'. Getting ideas from Pinterest. Going outside a lot for inspiration. Books everywhere.

Bumblebeans Fri 23-Nov-18 14:57:34

We regularly send postcards to family and friends who live away. DD loves it and it's really encouraging her to write

Gazelda Fri 23-Nov-18 16:01:32

Dd reads loads of books, and we encourage her to write her own stories. She loves fabulous notebooks and pens to write with.
She always makes cards for grans, teachers, neighbours etc and I ask her to write a little paragraph in them.

OneStepMoreFun Fri 23-Nov-18 22:09:53

neither of my DC (both boys) were very keen on writing. But they did like playing make believe so they'd happily write a menu for a restaurant or notes about exhibits at their museum.
I also taught them how to write secret messages in lemon juice or milk and then iron them so that the ink turned brown and revealed the message. They loved that. And they'd happily write to Santa.
And they loved writing comic books. I found some the other day when I was clearing out an old chest of drawers. they are sixteen now and their superhero comics drawn and written when they were about 6-7 are priceless.

Lindy2 Fri 23-Nov-18 23:31:47

We make up stories together. Each person takes turns to make up a line, adding to the story.
It often leads to some unusual tales especially as my 10 year old likes to make her line a bizarre as possible and tricky for the next person to follow, but it gets their imaginations going.

Elliejojo Sat 24-Nov-18 05:09:25

I find when I put toys away then my older children are more likely to find writing and creative things to do.
I always encourage thankyou cards and give extra praise when they do something like story writing for fun.

SoftBlocks Sat 24-Nov-18 07:38:24

Make sure there are lots of writing and drawing materials available.

Limit screen time so they don’t have that to fall back on as an easy option for amusing themselves.

Just let them get on with it rather than saying ‘right, now you’re doing some writing’. Different approaches work for different children, of course!

MakeTeaNotWar Sat 24-Nov-18 08:05:36

My 8 year old is a complete bookworm and gets through books at a pace that we can barely keep up with. For the past 2 years she's been leaving notes with Fruitpip, the fairy that lives in her room. She regularly writes notes and leaves pictures for Fruitpip and notes are returned. It's a cute pretence and she loves the magic of it. Plus it gets her writing and drawing lots!

the8tgHorcurux Sat 24-Nov-18 08:59:37

Giving them vocabulary helps, so making conversations with them. talking about the books they read helps too. encouraging them to illustrate their story.

alwaysinleggings Sat 24-Nov-18 09:38:30

Reading has always been a constant through my child's life, from colourful first books, pointing out animals and buses and cars. When my DS's grew up, we have story time before bed, it's either a chapter of a Harry Potter, or a Ladybird book, when we are out and about (forests, picnics by rivers in the summer) we will often make up silly stories about what lives in the rivers (a hidden community of fish who talk) or tree dwellers and what they get up to. I love to see what my children pull from their imagination. Maybe I am bringing up some budding authors - hope so.

Solopower1 Sat 24-Nov-18 11:02:05

All of the ways mentioned in the OP and above, plus:

When my grand daughter was three or four, she was already making up amazing stories, and one day, I just wrote down what she was saying. It was a proper story, a bit rambling and stream-of-consciousness (!), but it had a beginning, a middle and an end, and some characterisation. Then we drew pictures to illustrate it. I have just started doing the same with my grandson, aged 5, and although some of his themes are very derivative of TV shows, they are still his. I think the thing is not to worry about forcing them to write correctly, just get it down on paper, whatever way they tell it.

My son (aged 4 at the time) once opened a book about birds, and copied them beautifully, so that they are instantly recognisable as an owl, toucan, etc. He spent a couple of years during his childhood drawing epic battles between stickmen with weapons and lots of blood (his father and I were at war too) - but then he stopped, and has only now, aged 23, decided that he would like to do more drawing.

Children can be extraordinarily creative and imaginative, imo, but I think you have to catch them at the right time. Another grand daughter virtually stopped drawing pictures when she was about 7, as she started to focus more on sport and sums, and she just didn't have time.

Solopower1 Sat 24-Nov-18 11:10:45

I used to send my children to bed early, telling them they were only allowed to read for 10 minutes, but knowing that they would be reading for much longer. Stolen pleasures are so much sweeter ...

MakeTea, you have reminded me of another grand daughter who was writing 'poems', secretly, on tissue paper at night, when she was supposed to go to sleep. I haven't read these 'poems', as she calls them, but she showed them to me. I think they might be about her troubles, as her mother died after a long illness, five months ago. What is good about it is that she had this outlet. I don't think she is still writing them, but she is gradually, now, speaking more about her mum.

CuckooSings Sat 24-Nov-18 16:07:11

We play a game where everyone builds the story. You start with a place, then a character(s), then a surprise/mystery/event, then a solution and it always ends with a party. We usually play it in the car and end up with some very random plots especially when the 3 year old gets involved

Greensleeves Sat 24-Nov-18 16:22:58

Playing word games, storytelling games, collaborating on stories as a family and storyboarding with each family member drawing/writing a different section of a comic strip are things we did when our boys were younger.

Meeting them where they are in terms of their imaginations - much as i yearned to share Enid Blyton and Noel Streatfeild with them, we made up stories about Mario and Sonic and acted out scenarios from Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid with them, because that was what THEY were interested in, and it led onto a more general love of story and confidence in themselves as storytellers and imaginative people.

Making time to read, enjoy and compliment their writing - resisting the urge to be critical or correct spelling and grammar. This is more difficult than it sounds, but really important if you want children to see writing as something one does for pleasure rather than as a chore.

I used to offer to illustrate ds1' stories!

HopeGarden Sat 24-Nov-18 17:19:34

We have reluctant writers here.

We read a lot of books with them, both fiction and non fiction, and go to the library lots, so they’ve been exposed to lots of stories and different writing styles.
We’ve also got story cubes (a few different sets), which encourages them to use their imagination and verbally make up stories around the pictures on the cubes.

So the bit we’re trying to work on is getting them to practice the physical writing, as at the minute they’re finding that bit hard work and it’s putting them off getting their ideas down on paper.

claza93 Sat 24-Nov-18 18:58:07

Mine have plenty of notepads and pens round the house - they love writing diary entries and stories. We also have a love of books and love to read and encourage them to read.
We find days out where they can explore and make up games help to.

biffyboom Sat 24-Nov-18 20:37:49

My son is in reception, so is practicing writing more, but he doesn't really want to do it at home and has never wanted to draw much, preferring to ask me to draw a picture or word of his choice, and watching.
He will happily write cards out, and loves to read and be read to, so I hope his interest in writing will grow over time and I'm happy not to push him too much for now.

frowner Sat 24-Nov-18 23:13:08

Reading and listening to my children read and then encouraging them to use their own experiences to write their own stories has worked for us.

MichelleBolton Sun 25-Nov-18 09:03:09

Me and my two sometimes try and only talk in rhyme! I know that sounds utterly barking but we have a real giggle with it and it encourages them to think of new words and expand their vocabulary which therefore helps with creative writing.

ponygirlcurtis Sun 25-Nov-18 17:39:31

Modelling creativity myself. DS2's school have a writing competition and parents have been asked to submit entries too. I told DS2 (v v reluctant writer) that I would if he would. Most I have seen him write for years! And I got DS1 - a great drawer but massively unconfident and unmotivated - to do illustrations for my wee story. Feel chuffed that they both have done something creative this weekend!

SuzCG Sun 25-Nov-18 17:40:01

Reading to children from when they are babies is the greatest thing you can give them - stories introduce them to other worlds where anything is possible. As they get older encourage them to read different types of books - not just same old, same old stories. Once a year I choose a 'classic' book for both of mine and set it for them to read - so they need to read and understand a different and older style of text and wording. Role play when they are little is also great (we spent so much time playing shops and cafes) and toys where they can create scenes and dialogue - I used to be able to listen to mine for hours playing with cars/garages/dolls houses.

Nsmum14 Sun 25-Nov-18 18:06:40

We too are in the habit of making up stories, usually after reading books in bed, before sleeping. I make up a story, then my kids tell one each too. I agree that story telling is verbal primarily for young children; they will be more likely to want to write stories if they are in the habit of making them up in their imaginations. Regarding crafts, we always have lots of material available for our kids, and lots of different crayons and pens. We sometimes find ideas online or in library craft books and I'll sit and make things with them; other times my kids will make up their own without prompting.

Lydia30 Mon 26-Nov-18 06:41:35

When it comes to writing interest is the key. If you are trying to get a child who hates football to write about it you won't end up with a good story. If that same child is a big fan of animals and that's their topic, expect essays

Spices001 Mon 26-Nov-18 06:54:46

I read from when my daughter was born & that continued until she could read to me, it gave her a love of books & led to her creating her own stories. Her imagination and creative side knows no bounds! She’s always putting pen to paper

peanuts2091 Mon 26-Nov-18 07:03:37

Since a very early age we have always encouraged our children to draw and write stories about their week in general and to let their imagination run wild. Its part of their weekend routine now and its something they enjoy as it allows for free expression.

rhinosuze Mon 26-Nov-18 07:33:43

Since going to school writing has become one of my daughter's favourite things - she loves to fill notebooks so we often buy her something to write on as a treat. We've encouraged story writing by making them into stop go animations with her Lego afterwards - she churns out the tales!

happysouls Mon 26-Nov-18 08:01:17

When I was a child I made up my own comic with bits of story and puzzles and pictures. There was enough variety to keep it interesting. This was something I encouraged my son to do as well.

bevmichelle47 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:05:46

The children complains if we don't read a story to to them before bed lol, they always wake up and tell me their dreams they had about the fairytale stories & i ask them to draw and write about in in a huge scrap book so we can read those stories through the day. It's filling up really well, it's surprising how much imagination they have lol. I do encourage them to write a thank you letter to send back to their aunties,uncles etc., for their birthday gifts and to be honest they love it.

vickyg88 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:18:36

If they are struggling to think of something to draw/write I get them to write or draw something that we have done on that day, draw their favourite animal etc. They always enjoy it and it's a peaceful, relaxing time for them too.

AR2012 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:33:24

Read lots of books together. When they are role playing will join in. Its mainly to encourage their imagination. From there creativity is born.

SSCRASE123 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:44:35

For my lad my wife and I sat down and wrote out 20 themes/topics that we know he would be quite interested in. Each week we get him to choose one at random and then write us a short story or fact file about it. Works really well as it gives him a little nudge to help him start.

LauraMMM Mon 26-Nov-18 08:47:07

My daughter loves to read and write, I encourage her to write short stories and I have helped her with changing some describing words and use her imagination to go as magical she wants for them. I feel reading to her from birth has encouraged her love of this, I always talked about the stories after and put on voices etc to keep her engaged. To keep her love of this going we take trips to the library, write thank you notes on birthday and xmas, go to museums and talk about the world around us alot. My son loves being outside in nature, collecting things, exploring so we go on walks all the time, we try new places and let him explore at his own pace. We then tell family or friends about what he found so when he talks about it he remembers more.

frances93 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:53:58

Verbally telling stories really helps, as I found doing that first encouraged her to write them down using bright coloured pencils and crayons. We normally play a game, shouting out words and using them to create a story. I found that introducing reading from a very young age really helped inspire dd imagination.

gmaisey Mon 26-Nov-18 08:56:09

Our little lad is 2 1/2 and loves drawing, so we encourage drawing and art as much as we can. He also loves being read to so we read to him every night at bedtime.

xcxcsophiexcxc Mon 26-Nov-18 08:58:46

I found reading when I was little helped me be creative so I read lots to my little one

sheilads105 Mon 26-Nov-18 09:02:30

I give them notebooks to draw and write in. I encourage them to draw and write cations.

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