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How to get your child into creative writing

Little boy writes

One thing that kids certainly aren’t lacking in is imagination, but getting them to put their ideas down on paper can be a hard task.

Writing – be it in a diary, poem, postcard or even a shopping list – is a great way to help your children explore their creativity.

Mumsnetters shared how they encourage their child to express themselves through writing. Here's what they had to say …

Ask questions – a lot of questions
Child talks to mum

“I have to ask lots of questions, 'Who's the story about? What do they look like? Where do they live?' Otherwise my DC just freezes with blank page fear.”

Appeal to their inner Picasso
Girl draws whilst Mum looks on

“Allow time for crafts and drawing. Sounds simple but our lives (and our children's lives) are so busy these days and they can sometimes be glued to a screen for large parts of the day. My DD (age seven) loves drawing. It helps expand her imagination for stories.”

Let them make you laugh
Mum laughs

“Listen to their jokes and encourage them to retell funny stories they've heard.”

Explore a new medium
Girl listens to music through headphones

“I get them to listen to story podcasts in the car so they’re exposed to different stories. 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.”

Play the ‘what if’ game
Mum and child have fun in the streets

“Take the everyday, mundane things and turn them into an adventures or just something imaginative – a 'what if' opportunity …”

Get practical about it
Mum and child go shopping for food

“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.”

Give them a chance to shine!
Girl lifts trophy at home

“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.”

Don’t dismiss the library
Belle sings about books

“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 to work.”

Share their excitement – whatever it’s about
Mum helps daughter wear mask

“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 and help them write about it.”