10 Summer Writing Prompts to Keep Your Kids’ Creative Minds Buzzing
As soon as the last bell rings and your students run through the gates, all thoughts of writing have gone completely out the window. While it’s important to switch off and recharge, pupils can lose up to 40% of what they have learnt during the year in their summer breaks.
Creative writing is an excellent way to continue developing childrens’ spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. It’s also an amazing stress buster and helps kids calm down and focus. So how do you make sure they continue to unearth their vocabulary and style while the sun is shining, they have sand between their toes, and all they care for is ice cream?
Here are 10 ideas for fun writing prompts this summer:
Writing down what you have been doing during the summer is a great way to reflect, but also to remember what you have actually done, so you can tell about all your exciting excursions to your classmates when you return after the break. Make journaling an event - start by picking out a notebook together at the beginning of the summer. Build it into your bedtime routine and create a daily habit to help your kids put pen to paper.
Postcards or Pen Pals
There is nothing better than receiving snail mail. It can feel a bit like a novelty, but in a hyperconnected world, the anticipation of a postcard or a letter can be a gamechanger. Being separated from your best friend all summer can seem like the world’s end for your young sprouts. So, if you are going on vacation, or even if you’re staying at Costa del Backyard, send a postcard or a letter to grandparents, friends, and relatives to tell them about all your amazing adventures. Staying in touch the old fashioned way keeps your children eager and engaged while they explore their writing skills.
To really boost your kids’ creative juices, why not start a writing relay? Similar to the BoomWriter book projects, start the story off and send it off to the first kid on the list. They continue the story and pass it onto the next kid and so on. By having to continue the story from someone else, challenges your kids’ imagination. They can divert it in whatever direction they want, and the story takes a life of its own. Maybe the dangerous dragon turns into a wise worm, or the princess is actually a prince in disguise?
How do I do this?
Group up with six to eight kids of similar age
Decide on the parameters - frequency, length, and writing order
Create the story start
Set your children off on their writing journey
Share the final story once everyone has written their part
Word Competitions or Challenges
Everyone loves a competition! Help your children uncover and broaden their vocabulary by setting up word challenges and competitions. This could be:
Find 10 words that describes the beach
Find 5 foods that begin with the letter B
List all the colors of the flowers in the garden
How many words can you make from R, A, E, T, S?
There are also many games that will make kids’ minds buzz with words. ‘I spy’, Bananagram, hangman, or a simplified version of Wordle are all brilliant ways to bring learning into your summer days while sipping a cold drink in the shade.
Rewrite the Ending of Your Favorite Book
[spoiler alert] What if Dumbledore didn’t die in Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince? And what happens to Charlotte’s children from Charlotte's Web? Combining reading and writing is never a bad idea. Use what you read during the summer break to spark your kid’s imagination and create their own alternative ending - or continuation - for their favorite books.
If you’re looking for new books for your kids to dig their teeth into this summer, check out our Ultimate Summer Reading List.
Similar to rewriting a book ending, fanfiction sets the character parameters for your kids. However, what happens in the story, and what universe they are in is completely up to them. Writing fanfiction is an excellent way to get your children excited about storytelling. You offer them an opportunity to dive into a world they already love and let their fantasy roam.
A Travel / Visitor Guide
Regardless of whether you’re traveling somewhere new, or vacationing in familiar surroundings, writing a travel guide to the area is a fun way to show what you have been up to during the break. You might rate your top five ice cream places - or list all the must-do things for a museum you visited. Take inspiration from travel bloggers. What are they writing about and how can you adapt it for your kids? Maybe your kids even start their own blog?
Create a Comic Book
Combining drawing, narrative skills, and writing skills is the pinnacle of creativity. Creating a comic book with your kids will have them sitting still for hours - and sometimes that’s just what you need so you can get five minutes of peace. Map out the storyline, draw the action, and bring it all to life with the perfect dialogue. You can maybe get older kids to make comics for their younger siblings.
You can learn more about the importance of storytelling and narrative skills here.
A Family Newsletter
Help your children discover their journalistic side by creating a family newsletter. This is a fun way to make the mundane into something entertaining, and it makes your kids into complete newshounds. If you want to bring in more of their creative skills, why not help them set it up with pictures, drawings, and colorful headlines? Make your newsletter a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly event so you can create deadlines to work towards.
Pick 10 Words
Knowing how to start a story can sometimes be hard. What if you don’t have a fun idea for a character, or you don’t quite know where to take your story next? Create a bag full of different words for your child to pick from to tease out their next masterpiece. Make sure you include both nouns, verbs, and adjectives to make their story extra interesting. By forcing them to use the words they pick, they get challenged to think of new ways to build their story.
If you want to get more fun ideas for how to get your kids to read and write more, check out our other blog posts.