My child really doesn’t like writing. What are some ways to make it more fun for him?
Sometimes children do find writing difficult or unappealing. Typically this results because your child is still fine tuning his fine motor skills or he’s being pushed to work in a writing stage that he isn’t ready for right now. If you think it might be because his fine motor skills are still developing, many of the suggestions below help provide fun ways to encourage writing and simultaneously develop fine motor skills. If he’s being pushed to work in a writing stage that isn’t at his developmental level yet, remember to make writing fun. Balance free writing time that doesn’t foucs on sounding out words (remember depending on his writing stage this could just be pictures) with time when you work together to stretch out the sounds in words. Encouraging your child to move to the next writing stage is good but remember to take it slowly! Before you know it your child will be writing stories and sounding out words on his own.
Now that I know, what can I do?
Writing Center– Make a dedicated area of your home the writing center. Almost all Kindergarten classrooms have it and a home should have one too! Gather old stationery, envelopes, post-its, notebook paper and any other fun piece of paper you can find. Also gather pencils, pens, markers and crayons. Then let your child have fun writing letters, stories, lists and more.
Blank Books– Take a few sheets of paper and staple them together to make a blank book. Add these to the writing center if you like or encourage your child to write a story. Depending on the stage of writing they are in, have them draw pictures and then either write about the picture or dictate a story to you.
Chalk, bath crayons, glitter pens, etc.- We’ve mentioned them before, but these fun writing utensils really can make writing fun for your child. They’re worth the investment!
Make lists together- Have your child help you write lists. Whether you’re going shopping or making a list of people to invite to your Fourth of July party, lists are a form of writing often undervalued. Give your child a small notebook or a stack of post-its and you’ll start seeing a ton of lists and as a result, writing!
Stamps- Rubber stamps are a great way to encourage writing in a number of different forms. You can have your child make a Rebus story by writing some words and then stamping pictures in the sentences where appropriate. You can also have your child create a picture using stamps and then go back and label different parts of the picture. If you have alphabet stamps, have your child use these to narrate a story or picture.
Hair gel- Yes, hair gel. Take colorful hair gel or bath gel and put it in a ziploc bag. Double bagging is probably a good idea. Then have your child use his finger to write on top of the ziploc bag. The hair gel will push away and his writing will be visible. When he’s done, have him spread the hair gel to erase it and start again! If you like, you can also spread shaving cream in the bathtub or on the kitchen counter. Kids love to use their fingers to write in this too.
Role-Playing– Think up role-playing situations that involve writing. Find an apron and a waitress pad. Then have your child play restaurant and write down people’s orders. They could also be a letter carrier, writing letters and then delivering them or a doctor writing in a patient’s medical file. The possiblities are endless for characters that need to write!
Be creative! Writing shouldn’t be limited to a piece of paper and a pencil. Just have fun!