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Creative Writing Ideas For Kids

While persuasive writing, spelling and grammar get a lot of attention in school, teachers often don’t have time or confidence to focus on creative writing. Yet there is increasing evidence that more creative writing benefits children in the long run: it fosters innovative thinking, the ability to develop new ideas, enhanced self-awareness, increased confidence, as well as overall improved writing skills. There are many things parents can do to help their children, especially giving them space and time to write what interests them.

George, 11 years old

George was so convinced he was a ‘bad writer’ that he would barely write a sentence at school. His grammar, punctuation and spelling were nearly perfect, but he didn’t trust his ideas and his ability with words. When he started at Creative Write-it, he struggled to sit still for an hour and used distraction techniques to avoid writing.

George’s Creative Write-it mentor gave him permission to write whatever came into his mind, regardless of whether he thought it was ‘good’ or not. She helped him not to worry about the quality of the story or his handwriting, but to simply have fun with the process.

By the end of his second term with us, George had started writing two-page stories he was excited about and proud of. He could now focus for the whole workshop. His writing was rich in imagery, character development, and emotion. Most importantly, he had gained the confidence to try without fear of failure, and he had stopped saying he was a ‘bad writer’.

What can you do to help your child develop their writing and get their creative ideas flowing?

If you’re keen to help your child develop their writing and get their creative ideas flowing, here are a few activities you can try at home. We recommend doing the activities with your child, to demonstrate that process is important and it’s okay to write without knowing how it will end.

  1. Photographic Memory: Choose a photo from your child’s past that they haven’t looked at for a while. Ask them to write about what they see in the photo, including their memory of that time. Encourage them to write as much as they can remember. Share what you have both written to see if they match up!
  1. Five Senses: Grab some writing material and head outside to focus on your five senses. What can you hear, see, smell, touch and even taste? Write this all down. For more advanced writers, try being more descriptive. Instead of just writing ‘birds’, write ‘birds singing like they’re talking to each other’. Once you’re done, see if you can turn any of those words and phrases into a sensory poem.
  1. Draw a House: With a piece of paper in front of them and a pencil in their hand, ask your child to close their eyes. Give them instructions on how to draw a house, adding walls, a roof, windows, and so on. Once you’re done, ask them to open their eyes. Explain that this might look messy, but that’s the point! Now that their eyes are open and they have all the pieces, they could draw this again much more clearly. Drawing a house with your eyes closed is much like writing a first draft of a story – the most important thing is to relax and have fun, and see what is there to work with when you open your eyes.

At Creative Write-it (Fitzroy North andBalwyn North), we’re all professional writers who love mentoring kids through the creative process. We’ve worked with many students who are afraid their ideas or stories are not good enough, and to take some of the fear away, we make sure our workshops are fun and inspiring. We’ve learned how important it is to give kids permission to explore ideas in a safe environment. We guide rather than correct, support rather than score. We always tell young people there is no ‘wrong’, just clearer and more powerful ways of expressing ideas.

Over the past six years of working with young writers in schools, community groups, and our Melbourne-based studios, we’ve seen time and again how providing the time and space to find their own writing voice has led, not only to improved writing skills, but also to enhanced communication skills and increased confidence.

Author: Vicki Renner

Creative Write-it is based in Balwyn North and Fitzroy North in Melbourne, Victoria. We offer small-group Creative Writing Clubs, Private Mentorships, Online Mentorships, and School Programs. All programs are run by professional writers with extensive experience working with children and young people. For more information, please visit www.creativewriteit.com.au.

Vicki Renner

Creative Write-it is based in Balwyn North and Fitzroy North in Melbourne, Victoria. We offer small-group Creative Writing Clubs, Private Mentorships, Online Mentorships, and School Programs. All programs are run by professional writers with extensive experience working with children and young people. For more information, please visit www.creativewriteit.com.au.

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