Writing is one of the most important skills for children to develop, but it’s not one that comes easily to everyone.
Many kids have wonderful imaginations, tell great stories, and are fantastic conversationalists, but for whatever reason, they lack the ability to put those thoughts into written form. Others can write pretty well but need help with ideas or organization.
Whatever the challenge is with your child, the good news is there are some easy strategies you can deploy to help improve your kid’s writing skills.
In the guide below, we’ve put together our favorite tips to improve writing skills for children of all skill levels.
How to Improve Writing Skills: 9 Easy Tips
Here are 9 ways you can help your child improve his or her writing skills:
1. Use writing apps and games to make things fun
For many kids, writing can be a chore. It can be difficult to come up with ideas, and it can be even harder to put those ideas into words.
Just telling your kid to sit down and start writing is a guaranteed way to get resistance.
Instead, make things more fun by using writing apps or writing games.
The best writing apps can help to make the process more fun and exciting. In fact, numerous studies over the years have found that kids can learn better and be more motivated when playing games.
Night Zookeeper, for example, is an app that allows kids to create their own stories and illustrations.
The app provides helpful feedback from professional educators, so kids can become better writers while having fun every step of the way.
This popular online program offers a full Language Arts curriculum that’s taught through games, challenges, interactive lessons, collaborative projects, and creative writing prompts.
In addition, Night Zookeeper makes it easy to share stories with friends and family, so kids can get the satisfaction that comes with showing off their work.
Parents get access to a dashboard that lets them track progress, assign specific lessons, and more. All of the settings are flexible with tons of options to adapt the program to best suit your child’s learning style and pace.
2. Set up a writing area
One way to make writing more appealing to kids is to set up a special writing area in your home.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but having a designated spot for writing will make it seem like a more important activity.
You can even involve your child in the setting up process by letting him or her choose the location and decorate the area.
A writing area doesn’t have to be big, but it should be comfortable and free of distractions.
Make sure there’s a good supply of paper, pens, pencils, crayons, etc. so that everything your child needs is within reach.
Plus, it can be helpful to have some inspiration on hand in the form of books, magazines, or even just fun and interesting pictures.
3. Read together every day
One of the best ways to improve writing skills doesn’t involve writing at all. Reading is a critical part of writing development, as it helps to expand vocabulary, improve grammar, and increase overall language skills.
Make reading a daily routine that you do no matter what.
You can take turns reading aloud, or let your child read to you. Either way, make sure to discuss what you’re reading as you go along.
Ask questions, point out new words, and make connections to other things you’ve read or experienced.
Reading should be enjoyable, so try to find books that your child will be interested in. If necessary, start with simpler books and work your way up to more challenging ones.
The more your child reads, the better he or she will become at understanding how language works, and the more he or she will be inspired to write.
4. Encourage free writing
One way to get kids interested in writing is to encourage them to just write.
Free writing is a great way to brainstorm ideas, work through problems, or just let creativity flow.
The best part is that there are no rules, so it doesn’t feel like an assignment.
Kids can write whatever they want, however they want. All that matters is getting the thoughts down on paper.
Just let your child write for a set period of time, such as 10 minutes.
Encourage him or her to keep going even if there’s a lull in the ideas.
It’s amazing what can come out when the pressure is off and there’s no need to worry about spelling, grammar, or sentence structure.
5. Use a whiteboard or chalkboard for family communications
It’s important for kids to understand that writing is an integral part of our everyday lives.
They need to understand that writing is a great way to communicate with others.
One way to help kids see the value of writing is to use a whiteboard or chalkboard in your home for family communications.
For example, you can write notes to each other, make grocery lists, or leave messages.
This is also a great way to get kids involved in the family’s daily life and routines.
6. Make a homemade storybook
Just about every child will jump at the chance to create a real, published book.
With a little help from an adult, kids can design and bind their own books using simple materials like construction paper and markers.
This is a great way to encourage kids to be creative and use their imaginations.
It’s also a fun way to practice writing skills like grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
If your child isn’t yet at the level where he or she can write a story alone, it’s okay to help out and make it a collaborative effort.
You can work together to brainstorm ideas, come up with a plot, and write the story.
The important thing is that your child is involved in the process and having fun.
7. Make time to help your kid with writing
It’s important that you set aside time to help your child with writing.
This doesn’t mean that you have to sit down and do it together every night, but you should make sure to check in on progress and offer help when needed.
For example, you can ask your child to show you what he or she is working on, give feedback on ideas, or help edit a piece of writing.
It’s also important to praise effort and progress, even if it’s not perfect.
Knowing that you are there to help them and are making it a priority will encourage your child to keep trying and help him or her to see the value in the process.
8. Let your child see you writing regularly
If your child never sees you doing any writing, he or she might think it’s not that useful after all.
But if you let your child see you writing regularly, whether it’s sending emails, working on a presentation, writing letters to loved ones, or just jotting down notes, he or she will understand that writing is an important part of everyday life.
This will help to make the connection between what’s learned in school and how it can be applied in the real world.
You can even talk to your child about what you’re writing, what your process is like, and why you find it important.
This will help him or her to see that writing can be enjoyable, even for adults.
9. Encourage your child to copy
Does your kid have a favorite song they’re always singing? Do they have a poem or short story they love to read every day?
Encourage your child to simply write down their own copy of what they’re hearing or reading.
This is a great way for them to get some extra writing practice in without feeling like it’s work.
For example, writing out the lyrics to a song they love can help with spelling, vocabulary, and grammar skills.
And copying a favorite poem can help them to better understand the rhythm and flow of language.
This is also a great way for kids to begin to understand the structure of different types of writing.
Important Points to Remember
When working to improve the writing skills of your child, there are some key things to keep in mind as you employ the tips above:
- Be patient: It’s going to take time for your child to develop writing skills. Just like with anything else, the more practice they get, the better they’ll become at it.
- Encourage effort: It’s important to praise your child’s efforts, even if the writing isn’t perfect. This will help to build confidence and motivation.
- Make it fun: If your child is seeing writing as a chore, it’s going to be a lot harder to get them to stick with it. Find ways to make it fun, such as writing stories together or using an app like Night Zookeeper that has fun writing games.
- Be a role model: Show your child that writing is important to you by incorporating it into your everyday life. This will help him or her to see the value in practicing writing on a daily basis.
- Show interest: It’s important for your child to see that you are interested in what they write. Don’t just focus on how good their writing is or the mistakes they made, but instead, talk to them about the ideas they’re exploring and why you think they’re important.
Have any questions about how to improve writing skills in kids? Let us know by commenting below so we can help.