As adults, written communication has become so ingrained into our daily routine that its importance is often overlooked. Through text messages, emails, and comments on social media, we are constantly expressing ourselves through the written word. Even though it is an essential skill, students often express a reluctance towards writing. A new school year is just around the corner, and with it comes the familiar, annual essay: “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” For reluctant writers, answering this question can be a nightmare. It’s not too late to change your child’s perspective with these fun writing activities. Grab a pencil, tablet, or crayons, and get started!
All of these activities can be completed with good ol’ handwriting. Looking to give your student an opportunity to practice their typing skills or improve their digital literacy? Create productive screen time by using a tablet or word processor to do these activities.
- Daily Journal: There’s only one rule to the daily journal: Fill one page a day. Draw a picture, make a list, tell a story, recount your day - this is a free zone to write about anything!
- Postcards and Pen Pals: Practice written communication with a summer penpal. Start small with a 2-3 sentence postcard, and work your way up to a friendly letter. For an added adventure, take a trip to your local post office to mail the letter in person. Addressing a handwritten letter is a practical skill that will last a lifetime. Want to go digital? Write emails to your closest pals or family members.
- Summer Bucket List: The summer may be winding down, but that’s no reason to stop exploring. Make a list of all the fun activities you would like to do as a family that never seem to happen during the school year. Need some help getting started? Check out our recent blog post about creating an unforgettable summer bucket list. Does your youngster have a bucket list activity in mind that you’re not too sure about? Have them write a persuasive list of reasons the family should do this activity. You may be surprised by how much you both enjoy it!
- Scrapbook: Now that you’ve gone on a few bucket list adventures, print out some pictures of your trips and create a scrapbook. Writing captions is an easy way to improve narrative and descriptive writing skills.
- Sidewalk Chalk Stories: This activity is great for students just entering school, and is a great way to get little learners moving. Have students draw a familiar story (The Three Little Pigs, for example) with sidewalk chalk, then label each picture. Grown-ups can assist with the labeling, but be sure to give students the opportunity to try their own spelling first. Identifying and labeling important parts of a story such as character and setting will set students up for reading comprehension success.
- Create a Summer How-To Guide: Pick a favorite summer activity, and write a step-by-step how-to guide. Some examples: How to make s’mores, how to have a water balloon fight, how to build a sandcastle. When the writing part is finished, add some illustrations or take pictures of the process in action!
Written by Mary Kate Bolinder, a certified elementary and special education teacher in Philadelphia, PA. You can discover new favorite children’s books and activities with her on Instagram @the_storygarden.