Getting kids interested in writing can be a challenge. Writing is an invaluable skill that takes a lot of practice to perfect. Children are not always willing to practice this vital skill. When they start out, they may struggle to properly form the shapes of the letters in the alphabet. As they begin to master this, many find it difficult to articulate their thoughts onto paper in a coherent manner. This can bring a lot of discouragement to a child. Once they get the hang of forming sentences and building paragraphs, they may avoid writing because they find that the act of writing cramps their hands. There are many reasons why children try avoiding writing. When you find yourself struggling to get the children in your class to write, try a number of writing utensils and accessories to encourage your students’ writing potential. For a small investment, you can get your kids to want to practice this invaluable skill!
A Touch of Color Can Make All the Difference
Children love using pencils and pens that write in a rainbow of colors. Provide your students with an assortment of colored pens and pencils. Then, use these instruments for writing to practice writing prompts that tie colors to a theme. Students can create lists of things that exist in a particular color and write that list in that very color. You may use the writing roulette strategy in which one child begins a story, the next continues it, and the last child finishes it. Each child can use a different color when writing his or her portion of the assignment. When students have access to multiple colors, it is easier for them to self-edit and assist others when proofing one’s work. Different colors can be used to make changes to the author’s work. You don’t have to supply each student with different colored utensils; you will find those that have many colors within one single unit. These handy tools won’t take up a lot of storage space either.
The Nose Knows
Just as colors are stimulating to the eye, scents arouse the nose. Scented writing utensils and erasers are another clever way to persuade learners to write. Kids find it fun to write with an instrument that emits a pleasant smell. These kind of pens and pencils are fun to use in descriptive writing. As students write in the scent of cherry, lemon, or chocolate, they can describe where their imagination has encountered that scent before! Sometimes all that a child needs to overcome the fear of writing is the courage to try. Kids are quickly interested in trying the writing device to see how it will smell. Provide them with a purpose for writing that goes beyond this experimentation.
Get a Good Grip
Grips are another fun way to spark a child’s interest in writing. A grip slides over a pencil’s shaft and is then grasped by the writer. The pencil grips are made of various materials and have just as many textures. From hard plastic to squishy foam, they can make a difference in the writer’s comfort when it comes to holding the utensil. Grips exist in all kinds of shapes and sizes too. They are especially important to try when a child complains that writing cramps the hand or causes pain in the fingers. Grips are not just for kids either. Older students expected to write for prolonged periods like during a timed essay on an exam may benefit from using grips. Have students practice writing with and without a grip to see how it feels.
Pencil toppers can bring writing inspiration too. These doodads fit atop a pen or pencil. Some serve a purpose while others are pure novelty. They can be fun erasers that may be needed desperately by the young writer. They can be brightly colored balls of fuzz that seem to have no use but as decoration. Either way, a topper can be all that is needed to support a struggling or reluctant writer. Make the topper something to write about! Descriptive writing is always an option, but your kids might want their toppers to go on an adventure. The toppers can become characters. They can each tell their stories in prose or poetry. The possibilities are endless.
Writer’s block may keep young writers from filling up their notebook pages, but simple tangible objects can help kids over that hump. Many fun tools that will get your kids writing are on the market. Don’t let kids give up on writing. Keep them practicing with cool tools for learning.