6 Ideas to Get Kids Writing Over Summer Break
We all love the summer period, but it can get boring for children who are used to playing with their friends and learning lots of interesting new things all day! In addition, studies suggest that kids can lose up to a month's worth of learning, especially in spelling over the summer. With this in mind, it is important to encourage your students to use those moments of downtime to get writing. Not only will this provide a great few hours of entertainment, it will mean they have a super head start when they go back to the classroom in fall!
Here are some creative ideas to get students writing outside of school:
Ask Them to Write Postcards
If your students are taking the opportunity to head off on vacation over the break, then encourage them to stock up on some postcards to keep in touch with their family and friends. Receiving handwritten mail is rare in the 21st century, so it will be a welcome surprise. Suggest taking a quiet moment on the beach, or while camping, to sit down with a juice or some hot cocoa and write down all the fun experiences they’ve had during the holidays. What a cool way to get kids writing?
Create a Scrapbook
Once back from their vacation, let the excitement live on by encouraging them to create a colorful scrapbook of the special moments they had during their trip. This is the perfect way to get their creative juices flowing with crafts and writing combined. Have them print out their favorite images and attach a caption to match! If the children won’t be traveling this time around, ask them to print out pictures from previous vacations or parties. They could even cut images from magazines of what they like to see, eat or do.
Get Them To Interview Family Members
This one is lovely for so many reasons. Not only will they get some practice thinking up clever questions and writing up the answers, they will get to learn more about a family member that is dear to their heart. A grandparent would be an amazing choice for this activity - your student will learn so much from this. Alternatively, it could be a parent or guardian, a sibling, a friend, or an aunt or uncle. Once they’ve got the details down it will be an interesting challenge for them in making the interview flow well for others to read.
Write to an Author
Does your student have a favorite author they'd love to talk to? If so, this is a smart way to get them interested in writing. Ask them to write a letter noting all the things they love about their books and why they are so special to them. They can go into detail about the characters that inspire them and the settings they dream to visit! This may require some searching on the web to find their contact details, but these will usually be available on the author’s website. Imagine their faces when they receive their response in the mail!
Start a Journal
Ask children to get their parents or guardians to participate in their summer journaling by writing regular prompts for their child to answer. This could be questions like:
What were your three favorite things about today?
Name one good deed you did today
Name one small thing you did for the environment today
Name three things you love about summer
What did you eat today?
What three things are you looking forward to?
This will get them focussed on the great things they did during their day, which is an instant mood boost. It will also get them used to answering a variety of questions in writing. This is a fantastic opportunity for parents and guardians to bond with their
Write a Pen Pal
Does your student have a friend who they won't get to see over the school holidays? With people heading off on vacations and trips to visit relatives they may not see as much of their buddies over this period. Ask them to choose a pen pal, (one who can commit to writing back!) so they can spend their summer exchanging tales of what they’ve been up to, and their plans when they are back home. Maybe in their letters they can arrange their next meet up so they can get excited about seeing each other when they are reunited.
The power of practicing reading and writing over summer makes a huge difference to a child's education. Even though we might not want to push them into doing too much while they enjoy a well-earned break, it is definitely worth following up with some of these interesting suggestions so it doesn't feel like a chore!
Do you have any fun ideas to share to inspire children to write over summer?
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