5 Ways to Incorporate Creative Writing

five_ways_to_incorporate_creative_writingYou’d think, really you would with all the books I read, I would enjoy writing. Truth be told, I like sharing; that’s why I blog. But, writing – writing for the sake of writing – writing to tell a story? That’s a little more intimidating. The mere idea of sitting down to flesh out an entire novel scares me. All those details, plot twists, and unearthing a satisfying ending? I’m tired just thinking about it. As I’ve started to encourage creative writing in my children, I’ve come to realize perhaps I am thinking a little too hard. I need to start off with something small and work my way up to ‘bigger’ projects. Take one moment at a time and simply enjoy the process.

Over the years our family has incorporated a few creative ideas to encourage a love of writing in our home. Some you’ve already heard of; some you might already be doing; and others are just fun to explore!

Family Mailboxes

Who doesn’t like to receive mail? Each of our children received their own ‘mailbox’. We taught our kids how to write letters, post mail, and to respond within a reasonable amount of time to keep the fun going.
As a bonus, we helped each of our children create their own letterhead, bought them rubber postage stamp sets (to use in place of real stamps), and boxes of envelopes. Seeing our children become excited to both give and receive letters was such a blessing. It’s great to see them look for ways to bless the other members of the family.

Letters to Friends

Pen pals are fun, too! In the past, we’ve written letters to family members, friends, and online acquaintances. There are even websites you can work through to help your children get connected with others who are looking for a pen pal.

Dante’s Wardrobe

A few years back we ran a series on this fun, creative writing technique. Dante’s Wardrobe consisted of having our children create an ‘alternate’ personality for themselves; each person in our family picked a character they wanted to be. For the next learning year we wrote to each other, left clues for each other, and made presents for each other, based on the character we had chosen.
This helped our children think outside the box and find imaginative ways to tell about themselves. Each year we did this, we picked an entirely new character and explored new options.

Journaling

Journaling has allowed my children to write down their personal stories, poems, and thoughts without the fear of anyone else reading. We usually have scads of notebooks strewn about the house for them to use. However, we also have dedicated writing journals.
At one point we even set the children up with their own blog! Writing in this manner was especially fun for our kids and they loved the feedback from the few readers they had, besides mom and pop.

Writing Prompts

Occasionally, I have been known to throw out a writing prompt as part of our homeschool lessons. I try to make the topics something our children will want to write about. We have personified stained glass windows, asked what pirate name best suits us, and explained battle plans for attempting to conquer foreign lands.
Our prompts are generally based on our history lessons. Each of us, mom included, has a personalized journal to write in. The idea is to use the prompts given (which are planned to be silly, yet thoughtful) and write for only three minutes; no more! Then we take a moment to read our prompt and see whose is the funniest, cutest, or most heartfelt.

It’s important to point out, while doing these activities, we parents aren’t checking for errors. The purpose of these exercises is to increase their love of writing, not to make sure they are writing correctly; that is where formal practice comes in. Using these five, easy writing ideas, we are cultivating a love of writing in our home. Enjoy the ideas, and go with the flow; this should be fun!

We’re curious… Which of the five ideas above would your family use most and why?

“And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs…”
Exodus 35:31-32

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8 thoughts on “5 Ways to Incorporate Creative Writing

  1. I have a son in third grade this year and my goal is to assist him in developing a stronger appreciation for writing. I love the approach you have for allowing your children to creatively have fun with these writing ideas without focusing the attention on correcting their every mistake. It’s almost like letting them brainstorm with their writing. No judgments passed; just letting the creativity flow. I think it’s important to develop the enjoyment of writing first and then everything else will fall into place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I try to encourage writing with my 8 yr old daughter. She is autistic and doesn’t like writing due to fine motor issues. She does have a pen pal and I use that as an opportunity to work on writing. I love the mailbox idea. I think I will try that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our kids set up their own mailbox 🙂 Some of them use it more than others, so I am working on incorporating more writing prompts into our schoolwork this year. For me, it is easier said than done! But we will get there 🙂 Some of us could use more practice writing than others, and having everyone participate is a great idea to make it less about “you need practice” as opposed to “this is a fun thing everyone is doing.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the idea of having a mailbox. It’s old school yet it has that exciting factor to it.
    We’ve done letter writing in school and we even went to the post office to drop our mail. My preschool students were so happy to send their cards to their parents. 😁 And after that, they started to write more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have a family yet, but I love the concept of family mailboxes and choosing a character to be for the year! It’s such a creative idea, and I think kids would benefit so much from the creativity but also the act of sitting and hand-writing a letter, you know? It’s a lost art.

    I’m curious though, for the Dante’s Wardrobe activity, did your kids stick to the same characters they chose for the whole year? Or did they want to switch early?

    Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good question! Our entire family kept their character for the year. At the end of the year they could choose to create another “personality”, if they desired. Sometimes we did; sometimes we didn’t.

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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