Get 10% extra on your first app offer with code APP10
Apr 12, 2024

A Guide to Help Teachers and Parents Encourage Young Writers

Untitled design - 2024-04-03T162642.523.png

Welcome to the WeBuyBooks creative corner, in this blog we are going to be looking at why encouraging young writers is important and how we as adults can inspire them to improve their writing ability. What follows is an easy-to-follow guide packed with plenty of tips, tools, and activities that you can use to help young writers reach their full potential. We are also going to take a quick look at Encourage a Young Writer Day and how important it is for developing children’s writing skills across the UK.

What is Encourage a Young Writer Day?

Encourage a Young Writer Day was created to support children in their learning and emphasise the importance of creative writing in the early years of education. It was created to give parents and teachers the opportunity to help young writers explore the art of writing and improve their literary skills.

What are Benefits of Encouraging Young Writers?

The list of reasons why writing should be encouraged in children is endless so we thought we would highlight a few of the most important ones:

- Creates an outlet: Writing lets young writers express their feelings in a way they may not be able to communicate normally. This could be through creative writing in stories and poems or through keeping some sort of written journal.

- Develops thinking skills: Creating a fictional story involves pushing your mind to create something from nothing; this includes locations, characters, items, and even emotions. Practicing this skill can help to promote a vivid imagination and independent thought.

- Builds vocabulary: Language is a complex thing to learn, but writing, especially from a young age, can help assist the process and strengthen a child’s grip of vocabulary in both written and spoken form.

- Improves problem-solving: Writing can present its own challenges; how to start each sentence, what grammar to use, how to create a story that makes sense etc. Each of these challenges needs to be overcome and by doing so, children can improve their problem-solving skills.

- Helps children make sense of their experiences: Writing can also help children understand the world around them and make sense of their experiences. Writing down daily activities or things they have seen can help to cement the experiences and develop a deeper understanding of what they mean.

Untitled design - 2024-04-03T165542.332.png

Tips for Teaching Creative Writing to Children

As teachers or parents, there are loads of things you can do to inspire children to write more. It doesn’t have to mean just sitting down with a pen and completing worksheets, there is a whole host of way to inspire young writers. Let’s look at some activities to encourage writing:

Read and write:

Reading and writing go hand in hand, and mastering one makes the other much easier. Writing things down on paper or a computer is, of course, the core of what writing is, but combining children's written skills with their verbal vocabulary can help boost both. Reading can also help children to understand what they are writing, even as adults we sometimes need to read aloud what we have written just to help it make more sense.

Writing games:

Writing games are a great way to get children more involved with writing because they make it fun. Instead of just filling out boring old worksheets or rewriting sentences, games can add a new element for kids to enjoy, and the best thing about them is they can be tailored to target any area of writing that needs work. Check out some of our favourite writing games below and give them a go yourself!

Fridge magnets:

Fridge magnets are a great way to actively encourage writing development in children. Setting little challenges every day can help to broaden a child’s vocabulary. It’s a simple trick and one that can be used again and again, never getting old and all that it requires are a few magnetic letters and something to stick them to.

Reading and Writing on the Go:

Reading and Writing on the go is a quick and easy way to keep children up to date with their writing skills. Encouraging children to read signs and posters as well as writing things down while you are out and about is a great way to help them get a better understanding of the world around them and hone their writing skills.

Most of these tips can be put into practice both at home or in the classroom and each has its strengths for developing writing skills in children.

Sign Language

Untitled design - 2024-04-03T162714.654.png

Sign language is also a great way to advance children’s mastery of language as a whole. Learning the basics of sign language not only helps children be more inclusive but it can help them develop the language they use on a daily basis. For more information on sign language and how to learn it, visit British Sign.

Writing Games to Try

Untitled design - 2024-04-03T162609.149.png

As we mentioned earlier, word games are a great way to engage children and help them improve their writing skills without them even knowing. Here are a few examples of games you can take away and try for yourself:

Story Pictures

Duration: 10-20 minutes

Number of Players: 2-20

Learning Points: Descriptive writing skills

Description: Each child writes a short sentence at the top of a page that describes something or a scene. Once all the sentences have been completed, the children pass their pages clockwise. The next person must read the sentence and draw a picture of what they read. Each child then folds the piece of paper back to hide the first sentence but keeping their picture visible and passes the page clockwise again. Next, each child must examine the picture and describe it in one sentence. They then fold the page to hide the picture and pass it on. This repeats two or three more times finishing with a picture. The aim is to see how close the final picture is to the original sentence.

Story Dice

Duration: 5-30 minutes

Number of Players: 1 or more

Learning Points: Creative writing skills

Description: Each player has a six-sided dice and a story table. The table will consist of 5 different categories with 6 options in each that correspond to the number on the dice. Each player must roll the dice 5 times and record what they get on each roll, the rolls will decide what their story will be about. For example, the first category could be a location with options like ‘in school’ or ‘in a rainforest’; the second category could be the main character with options like ‘a pirate captain’ or ‘a talking goat’. You can customise the categories and options as much as you want depending on the ability level of the children.

Pen Pals

Duration: 5-20 minutes

Number of Players: 1 or more

Learning Points: Personal & letter writing skills

Description: This simple game lets children write letters of correspondence with each other. Whether the letters are answered by you, friends at their school, or pen pals from somewhere else in the world is up to you. Reading and writing letters can help develop essential skills in both formal and creative letter writing. You might be able to set up a pen pal connection through school or you can try looking online, there are loads of great website to help you get started.

Poetry in a Bag

Duration: 5-20 minutes

Number of Players: 1 or more

Learning Points: Creative writing and poetry skills

Description: In a bag, place an assortment of small objects, things like a toy car, a rubber, a leaf, or a pebble will do perfectly. To start the game, each takes one object from the bag. Once everyone has one item, everyone must write a short poem using their item as inspiration. You can add additional rules like taking more than one item or using certain words in their poems to change the challenge level.

Young Writer Awards and Competitions

For those children that want an extra challenge, there are loads of competitions that bring some of the best young writers from all over the UK together to crown next young writer of the year. Here are a few reputable young writer competitions in the UK:

  • BBC Young Writers' Award
  • The Young Walter Scott Prize
  • BBC 500 Words
  • Author of Tomorrow
  • Atom Learning Young Author Award
  • Orwell Youth Prize
  • Young Poets’ Competition
  • Young Writers Awards

That concludes our guide on how to help young writers, we hope that you have found this helpful, and don’t forget to check out some of the useful assets and tools online to help the next generation of great writers start their journey!

Have your kids grown out of their old books? Open up the WeBuyBooks app and scan them in to turn them into a cash!

Would you like to continue the conversation? Share this post!

Open 10% extra code Modal