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Customer Discussions > Children's Books forum

Ways to Get Kids Into Writing

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Showing 1-25 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 4, 2012 8:41:36 AM PST

Since there's so many parents and teachers here who want to get kids interesting in reading and writing, I thought this would be a good discussion.

Journals - this worked wonders to get my oldest interesting in writing. I gave her a journal at the start of summer vacation and told her she could do whatever she wanted in it - draw, write, list random words. I had my own too, and sometimes we would sit together, each writing in our own journals. I made a point to only look at what she wanted to show me and not correct anything. I started snagging the composition notebooks at the back to school sales so I have a steady supply. :)

Rory's Story Cubes - A game with dice that you use to make up a story. It says 8+, but my 6 & 4 year olds love it. There is no set "game rules" - there's suggestions, but that's it. So far they really like when we alternate lines in the story, or when the other player gets to pick the order of the story. Fun stuff.

Any other suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2012 9:38:10 AM PST
I just recently bought Rory's book cubes for my 6 and 5 year old. I love the idea and am glad you suggested it.

Hmm, journals are a fine idea. My parents actually bought me a REAL honest to goodness (lockable) diary. This really increased my writing enjoyment, and at the time, it was also a nice way to deal with any frustrations I had. I think my parents were brilliant for it!

Posted on Mar 9, 2012 7:38:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2012 7:39:31 PM PST
An excellent book for children who want to learn to write is [ASIN:159643628X Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook] by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter.

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 12:15:58 AM PDT
Lisa Ard says:
You might also check the National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) site, which offers a Young Writers Resources tab with workbooks designed for elementary, middle and high school kids that want to write.
Kind regards,
Lisa Ard
Author of 'Fright Flight, Dream Seekers Book One'

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 5:36:42 AM PDT
insanity! says:
Hi! So glad I stumbled upon this thread. My daughter (age 7) really does not like writing and will only occasionally use her journal ... love the idea of sitting and doing a journal with her each day. I also checked out the NANOWRIMO site and the young writers workbook is really great!


Posted on Mar 20, 2012 9:22:29 AM PDT
its probably weird, but i used to love doing mad libs growing up and then writing stuff based on that...yeah, I was a dork ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 10:31:23 AM PDT
Oh MAD LIBS! Those funny little books really did get the imagination flowing didn't they? Wow, I haven't thought of those books in some time:
Goofy Mad Libs

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 10:37:35 AM PDT
they were awesome on car trips

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 1:15:18 PM PDT
They were quite splendid during recess. My Dad found one of my Mad Lib books when I was in the fifth grade, and I used some scandalous words in my book, and I got grounded. Ha ha. Aside from that one experience, the laugh out loud potential of these very clever books, is worth more then it's weight in gold. I can't wait until my kids are old enough; actually the junior versions look like they might fit, and I am off to order them. Thanks again for the blast from the past :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 1:33:43 PM PDT
no problemo! I knew i loved these threads for a reason ;)

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 3:07:15 PM PDT
I'd forgotten Mad LIbs! This is part of why I'm enjoying this forum so much too. :)

I'm adding those to my list. Thanks, Deanna!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 3:24:37 PM PDT
Deanna has earned beaucoup cool points. I can't believe I had forgotten these childhood treasures. I hope my young ones will enjoy them as much as I did.

I also remember the "choose your own adventure" books, and they also got my creative juices flowing when I was in elementary school. Great to see that a lot of these fun, but very simple things, are still available.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 3:34:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2012 3:34:55 PM PDT
I'm going to introduce the choose your own adventures to my eldest this summer - I think she'll like them, and it'll be something different. :)

ETA: And I'm right with you - so glad that these are still around!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 4:05:32 PM PDT
What do you think is the appropriate age for these books? I can't really remember how old I was when I enjoyed these books. I want to say late elem. to early middle school? My memory is awful!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 4:14:04 PM PDT
I remember reading some when I was in 2nd grade. I devoured them. I think I'll check them out first, see what they have these day. Maybe I still have some old ones of mine in a box at my parents house. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 4:36:55 PM PDT
OMG! That would be awesome if you could find them! I just have vague memories of these books really cementing my love of the fantasy genre? Why can I remember Mad Libs (age) and not the choose your ending books. Darn it, I am not old enough to justify a faulty memory.

Though, I do remember these books (elem. school) being a very important stepping stone in my future love of the fantasy genre:
The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set.

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 6:01:32 PM PDT
i remember reading choose your own adventure books early on. there was a whole series of ones based on disney movies - probably aimed more at girls than boys - something like this one - Snow White and the Enchanted Forest (Disney Choose Your Own Adventure, No 1)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 7:16:28 AM PDT
Gean Penny says:
I had a difficult time getting my daughter to read books when they started teaching them to read on their own in first grade. Fortunately I was taking a children's lit class at the same time and discovered Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. She loved it the first time I read it to her and took it from me to try to read it to me. That's when it kicked in for her. Seems she went right from that to Harry Potter! Now her language skills are exceptional!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 7:19:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2012 4:20:11 AM PDT
Gean Penny says:
You might also try a joint story writing game! I used to do this in class. You both start a story, then pass it to the next person, write for a minute, then pass it again, and keep going until you get yours back. It's really fun with a group, so if you have play date come over or a sleepover, it's fun!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 9:56:12 AM PDT
This is why we need to keep this forum going - so we can help each other remember the awesome books we loved as kids. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 9:57:30 AM PDT
We do this a lot. It's fun!

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 10:59:18 AM PDT
LyraG says:
Letting children write fan fiction is a good way to encourage them to write. By picking an existing world, for example, the world of Harry Potter, and/or existing characters within those worlds, it takes away some of the difficulties in coming up with your own characters and settings. Children can come up with an extra adventure for the characters or even add in a new character.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 11:18:22 AM PDT
ohhh I like that idea

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 9:16:52 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 4, 2012 6:42:38 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 2:25:59 PM PDT
Hazel says:
I like this little book Pocket PAL: Boys and Writing and the tips are not just to get boys into writing.

Also, if you know what genre the child in question is interested in, there is a good series "Write your own...". They're short, and the general information at the beginning and end of each book is rather similar, but well, as long as you don't read too many in one go, that's okay. The illustrations and layout are attractive to young readers (and hopefully budding writers). To name just a few:
Write Your Own Fantasy Story (Write Your Own series)
Write Your Own Adventure Story (Write Your Own series)
Write Your Own Realistic Fiction Story (Write Your Own series)

Finally, I also found this a very inspirational book for young writers: Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly by the author of 'Ella Enchanted'.

@Dee, I also like your idea very much.
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  38
Initial post:  Mar 4, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 28, 2012

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