A recipe for writing fun

by | Jan 15, 2010 | Reluctant or Struggling Writers, Writing Games & Activities

Recipe card - bees

A Quick Word about Copywork

I’d like to suggest a new way to incorporate copywork into your schooling. In a future blog article, I’ll take time to extol the virtues of copywork, which I think is valuable for pre-writers to 14-year-olds (or thereabouts). But in a nutshell, copying:

  • Teaches children a number of foundational writing, grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills.
  • Helps them pay attention to detail.
  • Offers penmanship practice.
  • Introduces them to passages of quality literature.

That’s the Reader’s Digest version! For the time being, you can find a more detailed explanation here: An Introduction to Copywork

A Personalized Recipe Box

OK, so are you ready for a super-fun copywork activity for the junior chefs in your family? Your children won’t be delving into literature, but this little exercise does help fulfill the first three points above.

Recipe Card

When I was eleven, I started my own recipe collection in my seventh-grade home economics class—pancakes, Dutchess Spice Cake, and caramel toast were three of my first cards—and I’ve been collecting recipes ever since!

Your children can embark on this journey too. Here’s how:

  1. Buy them a set of cute recipe cards, or print some out on card stock. There are tons of free printables available in patterns to suit both boys and girls.
  2. Sit them down with your own recipes and cookbooks, using sticky notes to mark your children’s personal favorites as well as special family recipes. Make sure to include several simple recipes they can prepare themselves.
  3. Provide pens or pencils and let the copying begin.

Younger, slower, or reluctant writers should have a time limit—perhaps five to ten minutes, depending on the child, but in general, keep this exercise to 20 minutes or less. Motivated writers will have so much fun that they may use this “writing” time as an excuse to avoid other schoolwork, so they’ll benefit from a timer as well.

As your children’s assortment of recipe cards grows, reward them with recipe dividers and a personalized file box to hold their collection.

They’ll treasure it someday, just as I treasure mine!


  1. Kim

    @Recipe Cards: Thanks for stopping by and “fave-ing” us. Your site looks fun!

  2. Recipe Cards

    Hello all,

    I just added to favorites this site. Good read.

  3. Kim

    Thank you, Emily. I always appreciate the kind comments people leave here. I love coming alongside families in their homeschooling journeys—after all, writing can be so overwhelming to teach.

    Everyone can use a fresh idea or encouraging word now and then, don’t you think? 🙂

  4. Emily

    I have been following your blog and I LOVE it! You have many wonderful ideas and great links! I have enjoyed the copywork section. My son struggles with writing and it’s good to know that it’s OK to have him copy writings. He really needs that I think. It was just good to have direction in this struggle he and I face.

  5. Kim

    JoJo: Thank you! I think most parents appreciate any opportunity to make writing both fun and practical.

    Isabelle: Sadly, I didn’t take this photo (I use outside sources for most of my blog images). But the original photo said “handcrafted boxes,” so I assume that perhaps the girls’ dad or grandpa made them as a Christmas present.

  6. Isabelle aka Canadianladybug

    Oooooh! I SO love this idea…. So wise as well. By the time they leave home (hopefully married and all) they would have their own recipes (memory from their youth).

    Question: Where did you got the wooden boxes in the picture? They are so beautiful.

  7. JoJo Tabares

    You are so creative to find ways to work in writing!


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