Encouraging Your Child To Write
How in the world do you get your child to write? This is the battle cry of many parents. A lot of imagination, with a little bribery (or praise) is all you need to get your child writing. We'll supply the imagination. The praise and bribery is all up to you.
Grocery List: Enlist your child's help in making the grocery list. Walk around the kitchen, naming things you need from the store. Ask your child to write everything down. Your child can also suggest foods you might need from the store and he can add those, too.
Old Checks: If you've recently switched banks and have checks that need to be destroyed, first let your child play with them. Give him some envelopes and he can pretend to pay bills -- while getting him to do some writing. Of course, destroy the checks afterwards. If you do not have checks available, you can just give your child some blank pieces of paper and he can make his own checks.
Cards: If your child is interested in Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh cards, then give him some index cards cut in half and have him design his own cards. Encourage your child to give the characters names and special abilities on their cards.
Fictional Journal: Sometimes it is hard for children to write in a journal. What is there to write about? Instead of a standard journal, give your child a fictional journal. He or she can pretend to be anything they'd like to be and write a journal as that person. Your child could write from the perspective of an Astronaut discovering a new planet, Prince or Princess on an Adventure, Archaeologist finding a new species of Dinosaur, Famous Athlete, President of a Country, Passenger on the Titanic. Your child could write from the perspective something instead of someone, a mailbox, an animal, a pen. The possibilities are endless.
Letter-writing: Have your child write a letter to Santa, the Easter bunny, or the Tooth Fairy. Or, your child could write to their favorite athlete, fictional character, or movie star.
Alphabet Game: Take a piece of paper and write the letters A-Z in the left column. Then, choose a category from the following or make up one of your own. Vegetables, Fruits, Animals, Musical Instruments. For older children, the categories can be narrower and more difficult, like Countries, Characters in Literature, Presidents, etc. Set a timer and you and your child both list as many of the items in the category as you can for each letter. The trick at the end is that you have to cross off anything on your list that your child has listed. (for instance, if you both have "apple" for an "a" fruit, then the parent crosses theirs off.) Whoever has the most words wins.
Character Game: Tell your child to pick a character from a book or movie that he's familiar with, and you do the same. Then, ask several questions and you each write the answers to the questions on a piece of paper. When you've finished asking the questions, then have your child read the answers and try to guess who he was pretending to be. You do the same and see if your child can guess who you were. Whether you are pretending to be Peter Pan or Shrek, you and your child will have fun and your child won't even realize he's practicing his writing!
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