There has been a great deal of emphasis on STEM in the media lately, which has led to many parents being preoccupied with their children’s performance in the sciences. While these subjects are undeniably important, it’s also critical to provide children with a well-rounded education and give them the tools they need to communicate clearly and persuade others. Creative writing is key to this.
How to Encourage Creative Writing This Summer
Before we dig into why you should encourage creative writing, let’s talk about how you can do it. Here are a few ideas:
We’re willing to bet that on your to-do list for the summer, creative writing isn’t anywhere near the top—if it’s even on there at all! Most parents want their kids to enjoy spending time outside during summer break, but nature can provide plenty of creative writing inspiration.
Pack a fun journal and writing supplies and go for a walk or a hike. Find a shady spot to sit and have your child write a poem about the clouds in the sky, a story about the squirrels that are chasing each other up a tree, some descriptions of the different flowers that are growing in the meadow—whatever strikes their fancy. Make this a weekly activity and don’t be afraid to go with the flow rather than focusing on having specific writing prompts for your child to follow.
Rainy Day Writing Station
Set up a writing station in an out-of-the-way corner with a table or clipboard, a colorful pen, and a notebook. Whenever it’s rainy out, that’s your child’s cue to spend some time thinking and writing. There’s something about the sound of rain on a windowpane that spurs quiet contemplation—and when it’s a beautiful, sunny day out, it can be hard for some kids to sit still and write.
Although preschoolers and kindergarteners might not be able to do much of the actual writing involved in creative writing, they can work on exercising their creative muscles in other ways. Put together a notebook full of silly questions—one for each day of the summer—and spend some time each morning or after dinner writing down your child’s answers. You’re likely to get some good laughs in the process and this activity helps lay the foundation for mastering creative writing.
Why Creative Writing Matters
Certainly we’re not all destined to be best-selling novelists, so why does creative writing matter? Put simply, the ability to communicate with others is a critical life skill—not only in school and the workplace but also for interpersonal relationships. Creative writing helps children learn how to articulate their thoughts and share their inner world with others. Children need creative writing because:
It helps them feel more confident when expressing themselves.
It boosts their imagination and imaginative thinkers are problem-solvers.
It allows children to cultivate a deeper sense of empathy for others, encouraging them to think about things from another perspective.
It gives them much-needed practice in handwriting, grammar, and spelling.
It increases emotional resilience.
This summer, these benefits are even more important than ever after most children lost an entire spring of in-person schooling and may go on to miss out on the classroom experience in the fall as well. Exercising those creative muscles and honing writing skills over the next few months can make it easier for your child to get back into the swing of things once they’re back in the classroom again.
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