Writing is a skill that children need to learn at a young age, especially in this digital age, where they’re exposed to smartphones, tablets, and gadgets that may inhibit them from learning to write.
Because of technology, writing has become a more challenging skill to master, but it remains a crucial developmental aspect that both parents and educators should pay attention to when it comes to child-rearing. The ability to write well contributes to a child’s academic performance and later on, professional success.
Below are some activities that can help children build their skills in writing.
Reading and writing are two skills that go hand in hand. If a child shows a bit of apprehension in writing, it is better to start by reading a book to them. Reading is the stepping stone to learning language and writing. It expands a child’s vocabulary and shows them how words are used in different ways. But, don’t just read any book – choose the ones that will capture their interest, inspire, and hold their attention.
For younger children who are just beginning to write, creating a worksheet where they can trace letters and numbers is one way to introduce writing. Toddlers or preschoolers may still be developing motor skills so they may need more guidance. Tracing lines and connecting dots will make the learning process easier and more comfortable for them.
For children who have more advanced skills in writing, writing letters is an activity that can help stimulate the flow of spontaneous thoughts and ideas. Another activity that older children can do is journaling. By keeping a journal, children can develop their own writing style and express complex feelings in words.
Another way teachers can nurture creativity is to provide children with a book making kit where they can work collaboratively to create a book. Not only will they develop stronger writing skills, but they will also acquire social and communication skills.
Rewriting a Story
Children may find it difficult to come up with an original idea for a story. To encourage them to practice writing, try asking them to write their own version of their favorite bedtime story or fairy tale. A variant of this activity is to let the child pick a line or sentence from their favorite book and then ask them to build a story around it. Teachers can also provide children with a wordless book or a book with images only, and then let the children create the story and dialogue for it.
Children have a limited attention span so try to keep writing sessions fun and engaging. Playing word games is a great way to hit two birds with one stone. Word games can break the ice and they also provide children with the opportunity to learn new words and build their vocabulary during playtime.
Children develop at different paces, some children may show advanced writing skills, while other children may show hesitation or anxiety in a holding a pen. Whichever the case, it is important to encourage children to develop their writing skills and to make sure that the process will be an enjoyable one for them.