6 Activities to Boost Your Children’s Writing Skills this Summer
School may no longer be in session, but try giving your children some extra practice writing this summer. Not only will they have more free time to explore their creativity, but this practice will help them develop their academic skills, along with completing their Kumon Math and Reading assignments. Here are some ideas to get your children’s summer writing started:
1. Be descriptive
Summer is the perfect time for your children to practice their descriptive writing skills. There are countless opportunities to get them describing their experiences; such as the first bite of ice cream on a hot summer day or what they can see or hear at the park or at the beach. Descriptive writing is a great way to start using a thesaurus too, which helps expand vocabulary and further strengthen writing abilities.
To start, ask your children to write a descriptive paragraph or two about their favorite summer activity, food, or event. Make sure they mention all five of their senses to describe their experience. Then, using a thesaurus, work with your children to revise their descriptions, adding additional words to make their work even more descriptive.
2. Practice expository writing
Expository writing is one of the principle styles of writing used in non-fiction compositions. It helps explain information, provide directions, show cause and effect, and even highlight comparisons. By familiarizing your children with this style of writing, you are helping them build their critical thinking skills by asking them to collect and analyze information and relay that information through their writing.
One way to help your children get started is to ask them to provide directions on how to complete a specific task. For example, if your children have recently learned to ride a bike, ask them to provide directions on how to ride, from getting on the bike to parking the bike using the kick stand. Not only will your children be practicing expository writing skills, but the exercise will also help them build confidence, since they are ‘playing the expert,’ and providing valuable information to a novice.
3. Write letters
Letter writing can be an excellent opportunity for your children to combine practicing their descriptive and expository writing skills as they detail their summer adventures. If your family is planning to go on an extended vacation this summer, encourage your children to write letters to their friends back home or even to relatives or friends that your family is planning to visit. Remind them to use transition words such as “then,” “next,” and “finally” to help them explain their summer trips when writing.
4. Encourage narrative writing
Narrative writing can help your children not only express their creativity, but can introduce the concept of story mapping, which can help them differentiate between the beginning, middle, and end of a story. One way to help get your children started is by asking them to rewrite a familiar story such as The Tortoise and the Hare starting with the two animals in the middle or at the end of the race as opposed to the beginning.
5. Be persuasive
Persuasive writing is one way to help your children develop skills around presenting their point of view and providing arguments, data, and facts to support it. For example, if your children think they should be allowed to play outside longer during summertime, ask them to write a persuasive essay to convince you to make the change.
Poetry writing is another great way for your children to explore their creativity. It will also get them to start thinking about the form and function of words. Earlier this year we highlighted how writing poetry can help your children, as well as some examples of the types of poems to help get them started.