One of our biggest (homeschooling) struggles with our son has been his resistance to writing. There have been a couple of different issues behind this, the first being that he just does not like the physical act of writing. Due to his proprioceptive sensory issues, he struggles regulating the pressure he uses when writing. He often presses too hard, and therefore his hand tires quickly. While he has very neat printing for his age, he forms almost all of his letters the wrong way, starting at the bottom instead of the top, and he struggles with proper spacing. I have tried a few different handwriting workbooks, however, we have found nothing yet that he enjoys, not even a minute amount. The second issue with writing is that my same child who can come with up elaborate make believe stories when playing, struggles to form complete sentences on demand; he then struggles further putting those thoughts into written words.
And yet, this same child that resisted having workbooks placed in front of him, would try and write freely on his own. He would label drawings of birds and Pokemon and he would occasionally try and write out 2 or 3 lined stories. So I knew that he could do it, it was just a matter of making it fun to help remove that brain block. I knew that if I could get him interested in writing, and willing to write, that I could then kill two birds with one stone – we could work on creative writing and his penmanship at the same time.
So, one night I was browsing the internet looking for creative writing help ideas for young children. I came across a link that provided a few creative writing prompts, and the wheels started turning. In the end, I scoured the internet for ideas and came up with a list of 100 child-friendly creative writing prompts. Some are serious, some are silly. Some will require lots of imagination, others will be more linear thinking (such as creating a list of foods that they like). All are designed to encourage my son to practice the art of writing – forming ideas and then transferring them to paper, with the added bonus of being able to work on his penmanship. As he writes, we will work on proper formation of letters and spacing.
However, I wanted to take it a step further, as just placing a sheet in front of him and ordering him to write about a certain topic, was likely to create some resistance, so I decided to make it somewhat of a game, and hopefully enjoyable. I typed out all the writing prompts, then cut them all apart and tossed them into a bowl. Each day I have my son randomly pick a “Writing Treasure”. We never know what he’s going to pull, and we have fun guessing at what today’s question might be. I also allow him to illustrate his writing when he is done (he doesn’t always do this). Our goal is to write every day, for 100 days. At the end, we will put all his pages together into a book titled, “100 Days of Writing”.
Creative writing: workbooks and textbooks not required!
One of his first entries. The one below is his writing from today. You can see the improvement!
For the complete list of our writing prompts:
I also found two online resources for Draw & Write paper, which you can download for free:
Write/Draw Paper (multiple spacings available)