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Tis the season when almost everyone is thinking about presents. I love Christmas, and planning the perfect gifts. But, I hate clutter. So I try to think of gifts for kids and adults alike that don’t just take up space. I like things that have a purpose. And the 20 items below do just that. They’re all items that I’ve either used or seen in use, that are perfect gifts for young writers.
They’re all a great addition to your Family Writing Time. Then you can work while your child is also exploring the art of writing.
So if you’re looking for a fun (but educational!) gift, give one of these a try. They are all things I’ve either personally given my kids, used, or had experience with.
1. A Boogie Board
I was introduced to these awesome boards back when I was a teacher at a local parent partnership program. Several of my students were raving about them.
They seriously remind me of something I enjoyed as a kid–sort of like a MagnaDoodle, but in a pad with a pen attached. Then you could simply lift the page and magically erase what you wrote. (Do you remember those?)
But the Boogie Board is that toy from my past with an amazing facelift. It’s seriously cool, and feels high-tech.
Can you see your young kids practicing writing their letters and name on this thing?
How about your middles playing Tic-Tac-Toe and creating lists?
It’s useful and fun for writing of all sorts.
2. In a Pickle
So creative writing needs creative thinking. And this game delivers in that front! It’s one of the many in my massive board game collections.
In A Pickle consists of lots of cards. Each has a single word.
But, it’s not as easy as it sounds. When you have words like “nothing” and “tornado” and you’re trying to fit them into the words already on the table, you’ll have to flex your creative muscles.
This game is for older kids (it’s recommended 10+), and is one that won’t drive adults crazy!
Writing is just more fun with a great pencil!
My oldest daughter got one of these pencils with her curriculum this year. I didn’t think a smelly pencil could make such a difference.
Most of my kids will be getting some Smencils this year as a small Christmas gift. I know they’ll love them because the little guys keep trying to take their big sister’s!
I can’t wait to see what they write with them.
4. A Diary with a Lock
This gift is one my six-year-old daughter LOVES! She got this Sofia the First Diary set for her last birthday, and has been busy writing away ever since.
She mainly uses it to write stories, which she loves reading to me. The adorable stickers are a nice touch and offer some inspiration.
Diaries come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors, so see what you can find that your kids enjoy. Journaling is a wonderful way to write without worrying about grammar, spelling, and all those other rules.
It’s a very “kid-friendly” form of writing!
5. Tell Me a Story
This is my go-to gift for preschoolers and early elementary kiddos. It’s so much fun! And boy does it engage the reading and writing portion of the brain.
Here’s a post I wrote a while back on my homeschooling blog showing 15 different ways to inspire literacy with Tell Me a Story.
Tell Me a Story is a great addition to a family game collection.
6. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Writers are often inspired by others. And this book by Mo Willems offers the perfect springboard for creating your own version.
Pair this present up with some drawing paper and a pack of markers. Then your child will everything needed to create a sequel to this book.
What will the pigeon do in their version? Read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! together and then turn them loose to create.
7. Lettering Books
I’ve enjoyed doodling with letters ever since fourth grade when our first day of school assignment was to come up with a unique way to write our name. My teacher gave us a quick overview of bubble letters, script letters, and a variety of others.
A couple of my kids enjoy making “fancy writing” too. While they aren’t quite old enough for a calligraphy book, this Klutz book Lettering: in Crazy Cool Quirky Style is the perfect way for them to learn more and practice.
Writing practice is writing practice, and if the kids are inspired to create beautiful letters, let them!
Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a good old fashioned letter in the mail? I know I do! And so do my kids. It’s just different than emails.
My great-aunt lives in France, and she writes to each of the kids on their birthdays, and to the family throughout the year. They enjoy using our collection of stationary to write back.
There’s something special about beautiful paper! And writing by hand is a different skill than typing. You really have to think about what you’re going to say before you jump in.
You can find Stationary in so many different styles. Characters, animals, floral patterns, and more are available. So find something that you know your child would love and go with that.
Then get them Grandma’s address (or a friend who moved away, or …) and encourage them to write. You might even take a trip to the post office together to mail it.
9. Blog Hosting
Do you have teens? Hook them up with blog hosting and a blog all their own.
I switched to FastComet at the beginning of 2018, and have been super impressed! My site speed is faster, their customer service is superb, and my traffic is growing. They actually are also cheaper than BlueHost (my old host company.)
Since you’ll want your teen to have a say in the domain, a gift certificate or card will probably be the best way to present this gift. Then you can sit down together and fill in all the details before purchasing.
Encouraging your child to blog now will help her understand that what is published online is going to be seen by others. It’s a good way to teach internet safety, while still allowing some freedom to create.
Just be sure to subscribe to your teen’s blog. That way you know what’ being published! 😀
10. Mad Libs Books
I like Mad Libs! Back in high school, when my husband was just my boyfriend, he created a Mad Libs style game on my graphing calculator. Well, he also programmed it with some useful math programs that made calculus a breeze, but let’s not talk about that kay?
Mad Libs seriously helped me get through the long bus ride I had everyday.
My kids enjoy the book form of these as well. It’s a fun way to practice parts of speech and create super silly stories.
Mad Libs make a great gift before a road trip!
11. A Stop Motion Movie Kit
My oldest loves animation and creating video. She’ll spend hours working on getting her story board figured out, and deciding how to tell her story.
If your child is into movie making, there’s a ton of writing involved! You can’t tell a good story without actually telling a story after all.So a Stop-Motion movie kit is a good gift.
12. A Stamp Set
Do you remember the stories that use pictures instead of some words? They’re called rebus stories.
Let your child create his own with fun stamp sets.
We enjoy these wooden stamp sets from Melissa & Doug. The stamps are very durable!
Also, the addition of colored pencils offers inspiration for coloring backgrounds for the story, and creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
13. Spy Codes
Are any of your kids into spies and codes? Let them create their own coded messages for their friends to decipher. A spy science book will provide plenty of inspiration for hours of fun!
Secret messages have been used throughout history, and are so much fun to create!
14. A Book Making Kit
My fifth-grade teacher implemented a Writing Workshop. Back then it was a very new trend.
Several times a week we wrote. Once we had the text written and edited, we had to “publish” it. This meant we got to pick out wallpaper to create a cover with. Then we typed the story and printed it out.
We actually used scissors and glue to cut out paragraphs and arrange them on pages. Then we illustrated.
At the end of the school year, I had a dozen or so finished books. I still have one of them. In it, my older sister went off to space to join the Star Trek crew after getting sucked into the TV. 😀
There’s something special about seeing your own words in a book. Bring this feeling to life for your child with one of these cool make your own book kit.
This one allows you to either mail in your child’s words and illustrations or complete them online. Once you submit them, you’ll get back a printed version of your child’s book. What a great gift!
15. Story Starters
With a good supply of story starters, your child will be inspired to create lots of new stories. Don’t feel like your child has to actually write stories for all of them.
They can create:
- A comic book
- A play
- A picture
- A scrapbook of pictures and captions
For the younger crowd (beginning writers on up), I recommend these Early Story Starters in a Early Story Starters In a Jar®. They’re great for inspiring young minds.
16. Man Bites Dog
Can you tell I really loves games? They really are a fun way to practice all sorts of skills.
This is one I gave to my little sister one year. When she moved she didn’t take her games along so now it’s here. It’s fun and quick!
This game is best for older kids (it’s rated 8+, but I think slightly older is probably better, just because they’ll have more exposure to headlines.)
Your goal is to create the best, most outrageous headline from the word cards you have. Each card has a specific point value assigned, so you want to earn the most points you can from each headline.
It’s a fun way to talk about what makes a good headline, and what words are best for grabbing attention. Man Bites Dog plays quick, which is great!
You can also modify it for single player fun. Just let your child pull out the cards and start building headlines.
17. The Game of Life Adventures Card Game
Might as well keep going with the games–there are so many to inspire a love of writing!
This game isn’t like the traditional Game of Life we all know. There’s no little tiny blue and pink people to shove into a station wagon and drive around the board. No buildings or bridges to awkwardly shove into slots. An easy game. Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief!
It’s just cards. And fun.
While you CAN play the game like the rules recommend, I don’t usually. I use it mainly as a solo activity.
I let my kids pick through each type of card to create an amazing life story. They can use as many cards as they want, but they have to connect to each other in a fluid story.
This makes them apply some critical thinking skills, make decisions, and create a story.
When they’re done, they get to tell me the story they created.
If you’ve never tried The Game of Life Adventures Card Game it’d make a great addition to your writing gifts for kids list!
Basically, this is the telephone game on paper. You take turns drawing and writing captions. Then when the pages are full, you look back over the entire chain to see what went wrong.
Like when your 8 year old thinks that the dinosaur you drew was a flying dog. It was clearly not a flying dog, for the record! So much fun, and it requires writing.
19. Comic Book Creator Kit
I loved reading Uncle Scrooge comic books as a kid! And Mickey Mouse. Oh yeah, I can’t forget Donald Duck. I liked all of the Disney comics really.
And I totally believe that reading comics counts as reading. Which means writing comics counts as writing! If your kids like comic books too, let them Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish with this product.
You can throw in some blank comic book paper if you’d like. Or just do what I do and make your kids draw their own with a ruler and blank paper.
20. The Pictello App
I first heard about this from a fellow Angelman Syndrome mom. So I promptly installed the Pictello app on both my phone and my son’s iPad.
He isn’t yet able to create stories, but he enjoys listening to the ones that are preinstalled. I’ve had the other kids use it to create stories too.
You can import your pictures from your camera roll, record audio, and add text. It’s a fairly easy to use story making app.
What are your favorite gifts for young writers?
Have you used any products with your kids this year that made you stop and go, “Wow!”? I’d love for you to share them with me in the comments.
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