Quite often, children feel discouraged from writing creatively, as they tend to associate writing with the €˜rules' of spelling and grammar. They may fear getting it €˜wrong' or may not feel they are very good at writing. Children who enjoy writing, sometimes run out of steam and need a few new ideas to get them going again. Whether your child is a reluctant or keen writer, here are some fun ideas the whole family can try in order to encourage creative writing.
- Collaborative Writing is writing with others. This can help inspire children who are unsure of their own abilities. It can be a simple exercise such as someone starting a story, then folding the paper over before passing it onto the next person to continue. Or you could try writing stories that are linked by a unique object that appears in each one, such as a ring or a trinket. Other ideas include imagining passengers on a bus and giving each child a passenger to write about. Who are they and what's their story?
- FanFiction is a fantastic way to get kids excited about writing. FanFiction involves writing stories based around characters who already exist. They could write an episode of Doctor Who, or change the ending to their favourite book, or write an adventure inspired by their favourite TV show or film! The possibilities are endless.
- Comic Books are great fun for kids of all ages. Download comic strip pages from the internet and get the kids to draw and invent superhero characters and storylines. This is great fun for kids who don't enjoy writing a lot of narrative.
- Flash Fiction is another idea to try for kids who are not keen on writing for too long. Flash fiction can be 500 words or even less. The stories can have a traditional beginning, middle and end, or be more obscure, like snapshots. They could even try writing 100 or 50 word stories!
- Wild Writing is all about letting go of rules and the fear of being wrong. Wild writing encourages spontaneous prose, writing whatever comes into your head, or seeing what arises from images or sounds. There are lots of things to try, such as writing as fast as you can without stopping, or writing from the bottom of the page up to the top, or writing on different media such as post-it notes or chalkboards. The idea is anything goes, as long as the imagination is set free!
Chantelle Atkins is an author from Christchurch, Dorset. She writes for both adults and young adults and her work is described as gritty and contemporary. She also runs Chasing Driftwoood Writing Group, which provides creative writing groups and workshops for adults and children in the Christchurch area. Chantelle is a mother of four, has multiple pets and is on a mission to become as self-sufficient as possible.