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Holidays must be carefree but holidays need not be devoid of creativity. Children await the holiday season because it’s a time when they are not bound by schedules. There is no homework and they look forward to gifts and toys during this time.
While the time during holidays should remain a time for fun and relaxation, you can use this time to encourage writing. Here are some strategies to do it in a fun and enjoyable way.
Writing isn’t always about telling stories or reporting on a book. In our everyday lives we have multiple occasions when we need to write. Introducing your child to some of these scenarios can be quite entertaining.
One important thing to remember is to avoid being critical of their writing. If you want your kids to fall in love with writing you have to start making it feel like entertainment. That can happen only when your child doesn’t feel like their work is being marked or graded.
Writing a letter to Santa is a great way to make writing fun. It is also a kind of writing that your child will not need much convincing because show me one kid who does not want gifts during the holidays.
You can use this opportunity to introduce aspects of persuasive writing like making a case for why Santa should bring them a gift. Encourage your kids to list down their accomplishments and the kind actions they have taken throughout the year. They will be proud of what they have learnt.
As a parent you might have faced more than one occasion when your child wants a particular toy or an online game, especially during the holidays. You can use it as an opportunity to get them to write a ‘convince me’ letter. Have them outline all the reasons why they think you should buy that particular gift for them.
A ‘convince me’ letter can also be about topics that your child agrees or disagrees with you, like bed time routines or screentime rules. Your child must already have been introduced to opinion writing at school. You can get them to practice this type of writing in a fun and meaningful way. This allows your child to argue with you - in writing. You can help them to find logical reasons to support their argument.
This writing activity is not just for the Holidays as you can do this on multiple special occasions during the year including birthdays etc. Kids love to draw and doodle. You can create little blank cards using card stock paper of different colors or you can buy blank cards from amazon. Imagine how special the recipient would feel when they see a card that is hand-made by your child.
Encourage your child to use crayons or markers to draw their favorite characters or animals or a scene from their own everyday life. Give them prompts to write messages on the cards and get creative beyond just writing ‘Happy Holidays’. Some examples are - ‘What is your favorite memory with the person you are writing to?’ ‘Why do you like the Holidays?’
As the saying goes, every season is a great season for reading. Also, reading is the most effective way to learn how to write well. When school’s out, a quick library or book shop visit where children can pick their own books to read is a great way to nurture creativity.
Once kids are hooked on to a particular character or book, you can encourage them to create their own version of the character or write a different version of the story. You can also have them draw pictures or illustrations of the stories they are reading and use this as an example to show how details in the story help us see what the characters or setting is like.
Holidays are a time for making family recipes or discovering new recipes. Invite your children into the kitchen to cook with you. Take it a little further by asking them to research a recipe. They can even start their own recipe book by writing down all the ingredients and the process for making their favorite cookies or their favorite holiday food.
Hand your phone to them and have them take pictures of the prepared food or intermittently while cooking. These pictures can be attached to their recipe book to make it lively.
It’s a known fact that journaling is a beneficial self-care practice, an effective way to track progress and achieve goals. It is also a great way to practice writing and improve communication skills. So it makes sense to get your children into the habit of journaling. You can make it quite fun.
Ask your children to write what they did each day during their vacation or record their adventures of the road trip. Make it interesting by printing out photos or grabbing mementos like dried leaves or souvenirs. They can either paste these or insert them into ziploc bags and attach them to the journal pages.
Remember, good writing develops with practice. It’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly. Writing is a skill that your child will need during their school career and later in their professional lives irrespective of the career path they chose. You can make it fun by incorporating writing as an enjoyable activity at home.
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