Every day, our little ones experience things that are brand new to them — new adventures, concepts, words, and even problem solving.
One great way to help our children harness their new skills and navigate the world around them is through creative writing.
Creative writing has so many unexpected benefits. It's a great activity to pull out to help your children stretch their mental muscles. If you're on the fence about introducing your child to the joy and challenge of creative writing, keep reading and we'll show you why it's an invaluable tool that they can use for the rest of their lives!
1. Build imagination and creativity
Children already have incredible imaginations. It doesn't take much for them to begin spinning tangled webs of stories using whatever we put in front of them.
Whether it's fully articulated dolls or the cardboard rolls left behind from paper products, our little ones can use anything to tell a story.
When you introduce them to creative kids writing, you're giving them an outlet for that creativity. They can write down the stories they've enacted with their toys and draw pictures to go along with the words. Soon, you will see their imagination reach new heights.
2. Improved ELA skills
Unsurprisingly, using the skills they learn in ELA, or English and Language Arts, will strengthen those skills. It's so easy for little ones to forget the small details like finger-spaces and punctuation.
But when you encourage them to write creatively, you enforce those skills. That makes it easier for them to succeed in a school setting!
Even if you don't turn your child's creative writing session into a lesson, when they write, they are sharpening their sentence structure, vocabulary, and their use of punctuation. Little ones especially need help with their letter sizes and positioning, and when they practice creative writing with you, this can only improve.
3. Encourage self expression
Children, no matter their age or stage of development, are full of big feelings. When we provide our little ones with the proper tools, they can use them to express those feelings without resorting to tantrums (we’re looking at you, random screaming fits).
Creative writing for kids is one way to introduce your child to complex emotional concepts. It's also a great tool for self-expression! While some children are great at communicating their feelings and emotions in words with adults they trust, others might find it easier to write down how they're feeling.
Journaling and creative writing can both go a long way towards the emotional development of young children.
4. Boost self-confidence
When children first begin to learn how to write, it can be frustrating to constantly re-write letters and sentences. Little fingers can struggle to write neatly, remember appropriate letter-spacing, and d's and b's look awfully similar to developing brains!
But like any other skill, it can only improve with practice. The more you work with your children with these complicated concepts, the better they get at them.
When your child holds up a finished piece of creative writing and knows that they did that themselves, that they put those words together and remembered all of their ELA skills and techniques, you'll begin to see their self-confidence and pride in themselves soar.
5. Help communicate and persuade
As children get older and approach more complicated topics in school, they’ll be expected to learn how to communicate ideas and persuade readers with their writing.
We know that's not the point of creative writing — however, when you work with them to build these skills, you can assure they'll be better prepared. After all, they’ll be writing college essays soon enough!
6. Better problem-solving skills
No creative story is complete without a problem. When your child writes about their heroes or heroines completing daring dos, pay attention to how they're solving the problems that their main characters come across.
Children are already naturally good at coming up with interesting and unique solutions to problems. Their developing brains see things in ways us adults might not! And the more they stretch those problem-solving muscles, the better they'll be at using them later in life!
7. Connection to peers
One of the best things about creative writing is that it opens up countless opportunities for social interaction. When children share their writing, even if it's just for a giggle, they are engaging in a trust-building exercise.
Creative writing is personal! Encourage your children to open up to those close to them. This helps them begin sharing stories and making new friends.
8. How to encourage creative writing in your children
Now that you understand why creative writing is so beneficial for little ones, here's how to get kids to start writing!
Encourage them to write about their favorite characters. Your child might find it easier to write about familiar things.
Using characters they're familiar with is a great way to get them to engage in creative writing. Ask them if they can think of another ending to their favorite story and see where their mind takes them!
Keep pencils and paper available and make sure they know that they're allowed to use them at any time. Inspiration strikes at random!
Gently encourage them but if it turns into a pain point, don't force it. Nothing will make your child less enthusiastic to write than feeling like they have to do it no matter what, even if they don't enjoy it.
Creative writing for kids
Using creative writing can be a great tool to help your child practice their ELA skills, grow their creativity, and solve problems in new and creative ways. When we teach them how to use creative writing as an outlet, there's no end to the ways that they can grow and develop.
If you're looking for more fun ideas for how to help your child grow and play, try this activity next!