It’s pretty obvious that I love writing. I wouldn’t be a blogger and a freelance writer if I didn’t! Admittedly, a lot of my writing is straight onto a computer these days, but I still sit and physically write as much as possible. I draft the majority of my posts in a notebook first, and am always scribbling things down on post-it notes and in my planner – any excuse to use pretty stationery really!
I think it is really important to get children to love writing from as early an age as possible. When they get to school, writing becomes something that is squashed into a space in a timetable, and whilst schools do their best, it’s more of a case of practising writing rather than ‘just’ writing. Being able to sit and write creatively, about absolutely anything you want is a bit of a luxury that isn’t usually possible in a constrained school timetable.
We do a lot of writing at home. The kids have various notebooks and pens and can write whatever they want in there, pretty much whenever they want. Every so often I have a flick through. Alex (who is 3) usually just makes marks on the pages with lots of ‘A’s everywhere. Harrison (almost 5) likes to write lists and names. There’s shopping lists, school registers, lists of his favourite foods, favourite singers.
So how do you get children to learn to enjoy writing? Well, think about it. To get them to enjoy reading you expose them to lots of different types of books. You read to them, you read with them. You let them see you read. Writing is no different.
How to get children to love writing
- Celebrate early writing.
Even simple scribbles and mark making should be counted as ‘writing’. Benjamin loves sitting down with a piece of paper and a crayon and covering it in lines, and he is ever so proud of it. We make a huge deal of it, letting him sit at a little desk to do is writing and making him feel just as important as Harrison with his ‘proper’ writing, just as we did when Alex was beginning to take an interest in writing.
- Let them see you write
Whether it’s writing a letter, in a diary or even just scribbling down your shopping list, let them see you do it. I think this is one of the most important things you can do.
- Provide them with various writing materials and equipment
Harrison and Alex love little notebooks, so they have plenty of them, but they also have access to plain white paper, lined paper, coloured paper, textured paper, as well as chalkboards and mini whiteboards. They have plenty of pens, pencils, felt tips, coloured pencils, wax crayons, chalks and whiteboard pens. Shops such as Smiggle and Becky and Lolo stock stationery aimed at kids to make it fun. We have this beautiful little wooden ship pencil pot from Becky and Lolo which came with three pencils and topper and is priced at £7.99. Little things like this make the process of writing much more fun.
- Be mindful of spelling and grammar, but don’t let it take over
Spelling and grammar is super important, but not as much as the sentences and ideas. Sometimes, when I just need to get into the zone, I just type or write, ignoring the fact I’m making spelling and grammar errors – I need to get those ideas down. If someone pulled me up on every single one as I wrote, I’d lose interest. Remind children to think carefully about it, and to take pride in their writing, but if they just want to write – let them.
Hopefully, you’ve found some of these tips helpful. I’d love you to leave any tips you have for getting children to love writing below!
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