Child Writers: 12 Strategies to Motivate Them
Reading and writing are activities that children should enjoy. Help encourage your child writers to read and write daily.
Child writers tend to show a great interest in reading very early on. That’s where they get the foundation to start to develop their own stories. For this reason, one of the most important tips to motivate writing ability is to encourage a love for literature.
“Boys and girls who are less than 6 years old make scrawlings and many lines to imitate the writing of adults. This and the illustrations that many times they ‘read’ to adults as if they were a text correspond to stages of evolution in which boys and girls modify their linguistic concepts.”
We know that young children have an endless source of ideas and anecdotes that they pull from their imagination. This is exactly the raw material that has to be taken advantage of in order to develop a capacity to capture ideas on paper.
Below you’ll find a few useful recommendations so you can accompany your child writers in their creative processes.
How do you stimulate child writers to develop their abilities?
1. Give them varied materials
Choose pencils of different forms and colors, pretty paper with different textures, markers, and whiteboards. As easy as this strategy sounds, it’s an example of what we can do to help motivate young child writers.
2. Create a space at home that is free of distractions
This will allow children to concentrate 100% so they can hear the ideas that are coming up in their mind.
3. Help increase the vocabulary of child writers
Children need simple and direct instructions during their early years. However, as they begin to grow, you can start to use more sophisticated terms to communicate with them.
Use synonyms and new words when you speak with them, for instance. Consequently, this will give them more tools to express their ideas.
4. Integrate writing into other subject areas
Describe mathematical problems or science homework using written words. This will help them see that everything can be written. In addition, child writers can also practice by using a diary in which they relate their daily experiences.
5. Invite children to use writing in their daily lives
Ask them to send small notes to friends and family. Also, ask them to help write the shopping list or send an email. Thus, the child will understand that writing is an important and necessary skill.
6. Teach child writers to enjoy different types of texts
Show them magazines, comic strips, story books, articles, and hieroglyphics. Above all, non-conventional forms of writing help teach children the value in the intention to communicate and about the universality of language.
7. Share their writings with family
Dedicate a night every month to have an open mic session. Parents and children can read and share something they’ve written in this monthly event.
Recommendations from a writer
8. Take the interests of the child writer into account
If your child likes sports, let him read and write about his favorite soccer or tennis player. On the other hand, if he likes music, invite him to compose stanzas for songs.
9. Expose child writers to classic works in a fun way.
We’ve always seen Don Quijote or the Odyssey as dense books that are hard to understand. However, there are now versions for children that will help them access these traditional works in a much friendlier way.
10. Stimulate creativity more than perfecting a technique.
Especially in the first stages of writing, the idea is more important than the linguistic form of the message.
11. Find a way to have some of your child’s work featured.
Be it in the school newspaper or on the refrigerator door at home, for example, children are happy to know that others read what they write. First, you have to give them the security to write and later correct grammatical mistakes and errors in syntax.
12. Play word games and answers.
Make up words that aren’t real and invent imaginary situations. Then ask children to try to give a reaction or to figure out and elaborate on your examples. Finally, give validation to their contributions and ideas and praise their creativity.
In conclusion, child writers need help and motivation to fully develop their skills. Get involved in this process and help them build the highly important habit of writing in daily and academic life.
If you help make writing a fun activity for little ones, it won’t feel like a tedious obligation to them in the future.