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Many parents worry about their kids’ writing skills. If you’re looking for ways to improve your kids’ writing, here are nine easy writing activities to do at home.
Writing is important. It’s a lifelong skill that kids will use throughout their school years and beyond. Writing lets you share your thoughts with others and explore new ideas. It’s crucial that your children see themselves as a successful writer.
Unfortunately, many adults tend to make writing unenjoyable for kids. They assign unrealistic tasks that are almost impossible to complete in the time allowed. Or they focus so much on structure and grammar that they take all of the fun out of the creation process.
To help your child keep their writing skills sharp (while they’re having fun), here are nine kid-friendly writing activities to do at home. To make it easier for you to enjoy writing together, each of these activities are:
- Easy to prepare. You won’t be spending hours trying to get ready for the activity.
- Flexible. Feel free to mix and match and change these up to work with your kids.
- Inexpensive. You don’t have to spend loads of money on fancy programs to help your kid like writing.
- Simple. You won’t have to find rare supplies or expensive items to make these work.
Ready to get started? Let’s make writing fun!
1. Pull Out the Writing Prompts
Sometimes, kids get stuck when they’re trying to write. They might not know how to get started with a story. Adults and kids can both struggle with writer’s block.
Writing prompts can help with this. I have a big list of creative writing prompts for kids. You can find them for free in this post:
You’ll also need writing supplies. A pen and paper works well. Though your child might want to decorate the paper a it with crayons or colored pencils. They can also use a computer with a word process if they prefer.
You can use writing prompts several different ways. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Write each prompt on a slip of paper and let your child draw one out randomly.
- Give your child the list and let them select one to work on.
- Write three prompts on a piece of paper. Cut them out and set them in a row. Have your child close their eyes and spin around and around. When they stop, they touch the paper that’s closest to them and use that prompt.
- You pick a prompt for your child and they pick one for you.
Once your child knows what they’re going to write about, I recommend giving them a few minutes to brainstorm. This way they can start formulating their ideas and making a plan for what they want to say. Some kids prefer to do this orally. Others are ready to use a mind map or similar pre-writing activity.
When the planning is done, it’s time to get started. Your child can write an answer. Or draw one. This way, even pre-writers can get involved. When they’re done, give them time to share what they created.
2. Have Family Writing Time
How often do you ask your child to do writing activities at home? If it’s something you struggle to make time for, having a regular Family Writing Time can help.
What’s Family Writing Time you ask? It’s a dedicated period of time each day that everyone in the family uses to work on quite literacy based activities.
I use this time to work on blog posts, social media content creation, or writing my book. While I’m busy working, the kids are:
- Writing stories
- Creating comic strips
- Drawing pictures
- Making a board game based on a favorite book
- Using toys to act out a story
- Stacking ABC blocks
- Flipping through board books
- And much, much more.
The possibilities are endless. The key is to let your child select a literacy activity that they enjoy. That way, they don’t mind working on it for a full thirty minutes.
Then, when the time beeps, we all clean up. When the room is clean, we take turns sharing our creations. This keeps the kids motivated to actually work during this time – even my three year old wants to show off what he accomplished!
Want more information on Family Writing Time?
I wrote a book sharing all of the details. It includes several at home writing activities your kids can do during this time. You’ll also find tips for getting started and troubleshooting help if you are having a hard time getting your Family Writing Time up and running. Grab your copy here:
3. Go on a Word Search
When you see this idea in my list of writing activities to do at home, you might be thinking about one of those papers where you have to circle the words in a list. And while those are a lot of fun (and also a good idea for a writing activity to do at home), that’s not what this one is.
Instead, it’s an active activity. You give your child a piece of paper and a pencil. And then you send them around the house looking for words.
For young readers and writers, have them copy down any words they can read. They might find their name written on their backpack tag, or see the word the on a magazine. Challenge them to find 10 words and write them down.
Then they can read them to you.
Older kids need more of a challenge. Have them look around the house and find things that fit these categories. Then they can write them down:
- 10 verbs
- 5 adjectives
- 10 nouns
Maybe they look out the window and see a bird flying. Flying is a verb and can go on that list. Then they look around the kitchen and see a green fridge. Green is an adjective so it can go on that list. And so on. Kids are at different levels, so adjust the challenge to meet your child where they are.
You can even give them a reward when they finish, such as an extra ten minutes of screen time, or the ability to stay up ten extra minutes past bedtime.
Here are even more word search ideas:
- A word for every letter of the alphabet
- As many jobs as they can think of
- The names of everyone on the pictures in the photo album
- All of the states they’ve been to (you can provide a map to make it easier to spell them)
- The names of all their stuffed animals
Look around you for ideas. The goal is to make writing a regular activity in your home. This is a simple way to do that.
4. Copy a Style
When I was in grade school, I went to a Writing Rally at a local college several years in a row. During these events, a famous author read their work, and then the kids broke into small classes to create a book in that style.
While you might not be able to bring in an author (though with YouTube you can probably find a video of the author reading a specific book…), you can still do this activity at home.
The process is simple. Pick an author and read a book that really embodies their style. Then, talk about the book together. Look at the elements that make it unique compared to different books.
Then give your child blank paper, pencils, and illustrating supplies and ask them to make a book of their own, inspired by the book you read.
These are the books that my kids have enjoyed copying the style of:
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
- Thomas’s Snowsuit by Robert Munsch
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
These aren’t the only books you can use for inspiration. Pick one of your child’s favorites as a starting point. Then after you read, sit back and let them do the creation. Don’t worry too much at this point about spelling or grammar or anything else. Instead, just let them write.
When they’re done, have them read their book to you and show you the pictures.
Looking for gift ideas for the young writers in your life? Check out my list of 25 Gifts for Kids to Inspire a Love of Writing.
5. Make an Alphabet Book
Have your child pick a topic, and then create their own ABC book for that topic. They can do a page for each letter, and add illustrations. When they’re finished, they can share it with a younger sibling, cousin, or friend. Or you can keep it on the bookshelf and pull out to read again later.
Here are some topic ideas that work well:
- Places and people in your state
- Bible verses
You can break this writing activity into three parts. First, your child can brainstorm what items to include in each one. Then, they can make the book and get the writing done. Finally, they can add their illustrations.
6. Make a Gaming Journal
Does your child enjoy playing Minecraft or Stardew Valley, or any similar game with a day/night cycle? If yes, you can challenge them to create a gaming journal.
Have them start a new game. Then at the end of each day on the game they can hit pause and write down a few things that they did that day. They can keep track of:
- Items they gathered
- Activities they completed
- Scores they earned (if applicable)
Your child can play a couple of days each day, and add to their journal. If they’re typing it, they can even add screenshots documenting their accomplishments.
Then at the end of 100 days of in-game play (or another number that you agree on), they can go back and review the progress they’ve made.
This is a good transition to journaling about real life. Being able to document the progress in a game can help kids see the value in keeping track of what’s been done.
If your child enjoys this activity, ask if they’d like to start journaling about their own life. You two can even start a habit of journaling together before bed. It’s a good way to decompress and let your brain start to relax after a busy day.
7. Write a Tutorial
What does your child know how to do very well? Ask them to write a tutorial, teaching you (or another child) how to do it.
This type of writing is different than creative writing, and it’s an important skill. Being able to explain things in writing can help your child share their ideas clearly.
You can have them brainstorm tutorials to write. Here are a few ideas for a starting point. How to:
- Create a specific hairstyle
- Cook a favorite dish
- Knit a simple dishcloth
- Build a redstone sorter in Minecraft
- Draw a penguin
- Beat a hard level in Mario
Anything that your child can do, they can teach to someone else. Once they have their topic, here are a few things they can do.
- Make a picture based step-by-step guide
- Write a simple set of directions
- Create a script and record a video demonstrating the skill
Since this type of writing is different, your child may struggle with it at first. Encourage them to think through the activity carefully. Ask them to do it, but to think about every step as they do.
What do they do first? What happens next? This type of writing is a great way to practice transition words and getting things in order.
8. Make Up a New Game
Games are such a fun way to learn! You can try one of these writing games for kids:
But, it’s even more fun for kids to make up their own game. Have them brainstorm ideas. Then once they pick one, they can create their own:
- Board (a piece of cardboard cut from a box works well)
- Cards (we like index cards for this – they may need cut in half or quarters depending on the size you want)
- Playing pieces (get creative. Hatchimals are one of our favorite toy to use as game pieces. Marbles, coins, and paper markers also work.)
- Rules (no fair making them up as you’re playing. Have your child write them down beforehand.)
This project will likely take several days. But once it’s done, you’ll be able to play their game with them. Make sure you read the rules first and ask questions about game play. This can help your child sharpen their skills even more.
A Simpler Version of This Writing Activity to Do at Home
If you’re looking for a quicker version of this writing activity to do at home, you can have your child go gather three random objects. Then, you can ask them to create a challenge with those items.
Maybe they bring a pillow, a spoon, and a LEGO mini-figure. Their challenge could be, you have to put the pillow at one end of the room. Then you have to start at the other end with the mini-fig in the spoon.
To win, you have to walk across the room balancing the spoon carefully, until you reach the pillow. Then you have to carefully drop the mini-figure onto the pillow. If you drop it, you have to start over.
But, before you play, ask your child to write down the rules to their activity. It’s a fun way to encourage writing.
9. Write an Epic Crossover Story
What are some of your child’s favorite cartoon characters or video game worlds? What would happen if a couple of those collided?
Fan fiction is a fun way for kids to practice their writing. Ask them to create their own awesome adventure starring all of their favorite characters.
- The My Little Ponies end up in Adventure Bay and have to work with the Paw Patrol to save the day. The ponies could have their own cool vehicles like the pups. (Want more My Little Pony activities? Read this post!)
- Mario could get sucked into Minecraft, and have to try to rescue Princess Peach in survival mode. And all of the mobs have taken on a new Koopa look.
- The Rescue Bots could find themselves working with Batman to defeat a bad guy. And yes, I know that Batman works alone…but sometimes even he needs a little help.
While writing about other people’s characters and story lines may not seem important to you, it can really help encourage your kids to write. You see, when they’re writing about familiar things, they don’t have to do as much thinking about the details. They already know those things.
Instead, they can really focus on the plot and building the storyline.
And these skills 100% transfer to their ability to write about their own characters and worlds later in life.
Pick a Writing Activity to Do at Home Today!
Which of these at home writing activities are you going to have your child do first? Pick one today and help them improve their writing skills.
And for even more writing fun to try at home, make sure you pick up your own copy of my ebook The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time. Grab the ebook here.