5 Fun Ways to Improve Writing Skills
Sure your kiddo can type blindfolded, work the multi-gesture touch screen, and even converse solely with emoji . . . but writing by hand? Can you say chicken scratch? Your handwriting says a lot about you— poor penmanship simply looks sloppy, disorganized, uneducated, and lazy.
Help your child hone the basic, indispensable skill of good penmanship through these 5 fun and engaging activities:
Get Yourself Some Pen Pals
It's never too late to introduce your child to the beauty of good, old-fashioned snail mail. With everything so instant these days, there's nothing quite like waiting in anticipation for a specifically addressed letter in the mail. Writing to a pen pal is an awesome way to make new friends, learn about different cultures and customs, and bond with other children over shared experiences and feelings – all while honing those crucial writing skills.
Check out sites like Students of the World Penpals, International Pen Friends, and Global Pen Friends that match your kiddos up with their ideal pen pals. Find it iffy to give out personal information? Write to family members or friends' kids who live abroad!
Allow your kiddos to get personal and creative. Give them free rein, but also teach them about writing etiquette and the safety of not giving out private, identifiable information. Once your child gets hooked, they'll never look at emails and text messages the same way again!
A bit of journaling every day
Journaling is wonderful way for your kiddos to organize their thoughts, express emotion, improve penmanship, and composition skills.
Let your children decide what kind of journal they want to keep. Maybe they'd like to start a beautiful nature journal filled with flora and fauna discoveries. Perhaps they find a dream journal interesting, filling it out each morning with as much detail as they can remember. Maybe a personal journal that serves as an outlet for feelings is more their jam. The closer it is to their interests, the more motivated they'll be to write.
Encourage your kids to write consistently— some days it’ll be a five-page novella, other days they’ll simply jot down be a phrase or two. Journaling often will not only improve writing skills, but will also instill a long-term love of the craft!
Write Your Own Story Books
Got a budding storyteller at home? Take those wild tales and create your very own, one-of-a-kind storybooks!
Younger kids can start off with picture books. Simply staple a few sheets of paper together and grab some writing utensils and art materials. Let your children dictate the story-making process— perhaps they'd like to outline a plot beforehand, or maybe they prefer to make things up as they go! Assist them with writing neatly and spelling difficult words. A sentence per page is enough – and make sure to leave room for illustrations or Polaroid shots!
As your children grow up, they can focus on character development, more complex plots, conflict resolution, and all those juicy things. Soon enough, they'll skip the illustrations altogether and go straight to lengthy chapter books— completely hand-written, of course!
Make sure to celebrate each completed book with an author reading and tons of applause. If you're lucky, you might even nab the dedication!
Dedicated Writing Nooks
Create writing nooks all over the home: put up bulletin boards in your kids' rooms for posting reminders and to-do lists. Have a standing chalkboard by the dining area to display the dinner menu. Stick a magnetic white board on the fridge to jot down the week's shopping list. Have stacks of Post-Its and pens all around house for leaving miscellaneous notes. Find the perfect spot for a huge chalkboard wall to write inspirational words, important memos, or even just silly exchanges.
Having all these fun and accessible canvases will certainly encourage your kiddos to get writing. Because everything's on full display and on a larger scale, they'll become more aware of their handwriting style and legibility. It's also a great way to experiment with fun techniques like big, bold lettering, block letters, script, calligraphy, and more!
Try Traditional Workbooks
Practice makes perfect! Nothing lets your kids master those strokes like old-school tracing and copying. Find age-appropriate workbooks and limit them to a page or two a day — the key is to keep them wanting more! Besides, they're already going to be utilizing most of their handwriting skills at school. The last thing you want is to burn them out at home and have them lose interest in writing altogether.
Look for unique and interesting workbooks. Some have fun facts, wacky sentences, and even jokes and riddles to keep your kiddos engaged. It they're feeling particularly inspired, let them try a hand at cursive!
Do your kids have poor penmanship? What have you tried to help them improve their writing skills?