Has the boredom bug bitten your brood? Are you looking for a few ways to keep your kids writing while school’s out? Try these ideas for some summer writing fun.
1. Snapshot Storyboard
Take pictures of your child engaged in a fun activity such as swimming, making a craft, or climbing a tree. Print out the photos and have your child glue them on paper. Beneath each photo, your child can write a caption or sentence that explains what she’s doing (“I had so much fun sliding into the pool”) or adds an interjection (“Splash!”). Pre-writers can dictate their ideas to you while you write them down.
2. The Story within the Painting
With your children and teens, look through an art book, visit an art museum, or browse an online art collection such as the one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In particular, look for a painting that seems to tell a story. Once they find one they especially love, have them brainstorm a list of words, phrases, or ideas that the painting suggests. Then invite them to write a story that imagines what’s happening in the picture.
3. Best Memories
Sort through family photos with your children and have them choose a favorite that has lots of good memories associated with it. For some summer writing fun, invite them to write a story, reflection, or journal about the photo, focusing as much as possible on the sensory details—sights, sounds, smells, flavors, and textures—that made the day or event so meaningful.
4. New Endings
Gather a few picture books and read them aloud together—but don’t read the last few pages that reveal the ending. Instead, have the children write new endings. Pre-writers can dictate their ideas to you while you write them down. If your child is familiar with the story and can’t seem to think of new ways to end it, try reading a book that’s new to him. After he writes a new ending, compare the two versions over cookies and milk.
Older children and motivated writers might enjoy writing a new final chapter to a favorite novel.
5. Travel Brochure
Are you taking a vacation this summer? Have your children and teens design a travel brochure that highlights a favorite city, tourist spot, or other destination. Encourage them to use photos, illustrations, and maps. Make sure they include text to write details about the highlights or features of the place. What a great lasting souvenir!
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