Updated: Feb 21
Why is it so important to write well? For one, being a good writer can help improve your child’s performance in all their subjects (not just English) at school. It also helps them to be more confident communicators.
Yet, writing isn’t simply about putting pen to paper. It’s a skill and muscle your child needs to train regularly. They shouldn’t rely solely on classroom exercises if they intend to write great narratives and essays.
As a parent or caregiver, help your child to build a habit of writing. Set aside some time for writing, like you would watch television each day. Start with a small goal such as writing for 15 minutes each weekend, and increase the commitment with time.
In this blog post, you will discover five ways to support your primary school child in cultivating habits that enhance their creative writing skills. From fun exercises to writing prompts, these techniques will assist in supporting creative writing for primary students.
1. Create a Dedicated Space
Set aside a specific spot in your house for your children to write. It could be a writing nook or even simply a writing chair, depending on how much space you have.
Fill the space with the right writing tools. Fun stationery like gel pens, coloured markers, and even brightly coloured paper can get your child excited to draft notes and pen stories. These ‘special tools’ help your child to see that the act of writing can be fun.
2. Build Foundations
Start a habit of reading and instil a love for stories from a young age. As your child reads, they’re exposed to a variety of genres and writing styles, sentence structures, grammar and vocabulary. This forms the building blocks for them to write stories of their own.
If you’re not a reader yourself, selecting books can be overwhelming. We recommend using your child’s interests as a starting point and getting comfortable with asking experts.
For example, if your child loves trains and cars, head to your nearest library and ask the librarian to recommend books featuring modes of transportation.
For more advanced learners, explore how to further develop their skills and prepare for their next academic phase here.
In addition, play word games to help your child build their word bank. As they have fun playing board games such as Boggle or free online games such as Head’s Up, they learn to enjoy words and writing in everyday life.
3. Write Journal and Letters
Encourage your child to write a sentence a day in their journal. As your child gets more confident with time, they can progress to writing longer entries.
Daily journal entries help to improve writing because your child gets to practise the physical act of writing. This has become increasingly rare in a world consumed by technology. Writing can also become an outlet for your child’s thoughts, and a means to manage their emotions.
Staring at a blank page can be daunting even for most seasoned writers. If they’re not sure where to start, use writing one thing they’re grateful for as a prompt.
Alternatively, your child could write letters to their friends or family members. It’s a nostalgic activity that could be fun, especially with limited interactions during the pandemic.
If your child isn’t confident to draft a whole letter, start small with a postcard! And if they need ideas on what to write, check out our suggested topics and prompts below.
4. Use Story Prompts
As mentioned, starting with a blank page can be tough. Ideas aren’t just going to flow. At AGrader Creative Writing lessons, we support our students in breaking this barrier by using writing prompts. This way, they don’t have to start from scratch.
Today, we’re sharing four themes and relevant prompts your child can use to start writing at home.
Friends & Family
This theme is a great starting point for new writers because it lets them draw on things and people they’re familiar with. Use this relatively easy start to help your child build confidence in their ability to write.
Encourage your child to describe the topics below and add what they like, or dislike:
Family meals e.g. weekend breakfasts
Celebrations e.g. birthdays
With restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19, taking a trip out of the house could feel like a real treat. Through a letter or short essay, write about an exciting outing. Suggested activities:
Writing can help your child to process their emotions and be reminded of the courage they have to navigate challenges. Through a short story or journal entry, write about:
Things they, or their family members, are afraid of e.g. heights, cockroaches
Trying something new e.g. learning to ride a bicycle or rollerblade
Fuel your child’s creativity and guide them in stretching their imagination. Write a short story using the simple question: What if…
…You had superpowers?
…You could travel to the future? Describe what it looks like.
…You could change the ending to your favourite movie?
5. Repeat the Writing Process
Even as adults, we overlook how much work goes into creating something – whether it’s a reel for Instagram or articles on a news platform. Similarly, writing is more than the first draft. Help your child to see that reviews and edits are a big part of the writing process.
Share examples like Google Doodles that showcase early drafts and sketches of the featured doodle. This way, your child gets to see the process of putting something together. Like the doodles, knowing how to identify ideas and words to keep or let go of is a key part of writing.
As they review their first draft, consider if there are better ways to bring their point across. This could include changing the story flow or using tools like the vocab chart above to select words that could make a bigger impact.
Finally, get them to read their draft aloud. This helps them to check for tenses, sentence structure, and if the right punctuation has been used. With lots of practice, they’ll learn to repeat these steps and refine their writing.
As the blog post has illustrated, writing is a process. AGrader’s Creative Writing classes use a ‘step-by-step’ methodology to break writing down into different blocks and help your child develop their skills. Using visual prompts, fun writing activities, and thematic exercises, our experienced teachers guide students to understand, remember, and apply their writing skills. Learn more about the classes for P3 to P6 students here.