Encouraging creative writing in children is a challenge. At the outset, children may be reluctant writers. Often, the reluctance is because they aren’t sure how exactly to express themselves. To address this, we have several writing strategies to help children collect their thoughts and pen them on paper.
1. Sense Descriptors
Asking children to “use all their senses” to describe something is a good place to start. For example, if they were to describe earth to an alien, how would they go about it?
2. Show, Don’t Tell
Secondly, ask them to “show and not tell”. For example, while describing a character, if the character is poor, rather than simple saying “He is poor”, instead they can say that he wore ragged clothing and lived in a dilapidated house.
3. Mix it up!
Another writing strategy is to encourage your children to read a lot of books. Get them to read a variety of genres, so that they have ample inspiration and ideas to write about.
4. Encourage Observation
Encourage them to keenly observe the world around them and make a note of the interesting things that they see. These can be used later as creative ideas to write.
The Advantages of Creative Writing
1. Academic Development
“Creative Writing develops reading, writing and language skills! While writing, children are exploring words and grammar.” This is a long term skill that will help kids later in life as they begin to write professionally in various capacities.
2. Creative Growth
Not only is it fun for children, it also allows them to practice how to think ‘outside of the box’. It encourages children to use their imaginations. It broadens their thought process and helps them to see the world from a unique perspective.
3. Social Development
Creative writing develops self-confidence and identity. By creating something themselves and exploring different types of characters who face a variety of issues, children learn more about themselves. In addition to this, they discover that have the ability to create something unique and valuable.
4. Emotional Development
Children can develop emotionally from creative writing. Through writing, we give children the opportunity to express even upsetting thoughts and feelings in a safe space. They also learn how to have more empathy for other individuals. When a child writes about a character, they automatically place themselves in the “shoes” of that character. How do they feel? How do they behave? All of this teaches children about how to be empathetic towards others in the real world.
We hope we’ve equipped you with enough information to get your child started on their rewarding Creative Writing journey! Try out one or all of these writing strategies and let us know what worked.