Inspiring Our Early Writers Blogpost #16

Some of my favorite memories over spring break included conferring with my niece Reagan over a story that she was writing. Imagine sweet, spunky Reagan’s eyes twinkling and her hands gesturing as she shared the details of her latest fairy tale. Look out world-this girl has an amazing voice as a writer! The neat thing about this experience was not only were Mackenzie and Juliana super inspired by Reagan’s story and were helping her create illustrations to go with her story, my younger niece Quinn was inspired to create her own story, too. Kelcey just sent me a text this weekend with Quinn’s beginning of her own fairy tale. Reflecting on these sweet memories inspired me to share about my favorite ways to encourage our youngest writers and to empower even those who might be in late elementary school who haven’t realized their love for writing yet. You never know; you might be raising the next children’s book author. 

This is my super imaginative niece Reagan creating a beautiful fairy tale!

Kallie’s Top 4 Tips

A question that I have received a few times recently is: “what would you recommend for parents to do for daily practice with their children (ages 3-5)  to practice writing skills and slowly fall in love with writing?” If you would have asked me this question 7 years ago when our oldest was that age, I probably would have given you a different answer. After watching our kids grow as writers, these are my favorite lessons that they have taught me: 

1. Above all else, make writing fun! Writing should feel like a playground for your brain with lots of choice, voice, and experimentation- offer different writing utensils (flair pens, scented markers/crayons, pencils, etc.) and different paper formats (white computer paper, lined paper, construction paper, etc.), and let your children naturally pick up what inspires them. I have learned from our children when I offer choice and voice of their writing materials they will write so much more! Also, our older three children love having their own notebooks and binders. I was shocked at how much they love getting new writing materials and were motivated to write more on their own with their new materials. I guess they must get that from me! 

2. I wouldn’t worry so much about heavily focusing on formal handwriting practice beyond their names at this age yet, and focus more on letting them tell their stories through their drawings. The more elaborate the details they put into their drawings, the more ideas that they can draw from as they write. You could staple a few pages of paper together and have them draw:

  • what happens at the beginning of the story on the first page 
  • what happens when their characters have problems they need to solve on the second page
  • what happens for the characters to fix their problems on the last page. 

The more you encourage your children to do lots of storytelling and use their imaginations, the more connections they will create in their brains to prepare them to be ready to draft their own stories and retell their favorite ones.

3. Never underestimate the power of art! Watching our children develop as artists and writers has been such a cool process of seeing both skills intertwine.  The more they learned how to follow the directions on online learning videos from our amazing art teachers during the COVID-19 shut down or on Art Hub videos for kids, the stronger their hands grew to be able to do fine motor writing. They all have beautiful handwriting, and part of that I attribute to their love for making art.

4. My last tip would be when you want to focus specifically on handwriting, check out Fundations resources. Here are some helpful links:  how to print lowercase letters video, a letter formation guide for parents, and practice pages for children. Fundations is a multisensory, developmentally appropriate method to teach handwriting. I have watched our own kids as preschoolers really begin to understand where to place the letters correctly on the lines and even when I work with third graders who are struggling with letter formation, they have experienced big success with using the Fundations prompts. 

Friends, which of these tips do you want to try next with the children in your life? What other tips would you like to share? Let’s keep empowering our children to see that their words matter and through writing, they can change the world, one story at a time. I do have to include a warning though:  if you spark the love of writing with your children, don’t be surprised if they use their new skills to write opinion pieces about all sorts of things in their life, like why they should have a new goldfish or an iPod. These writers can become pretty convincing.  I’m speaking from experience here. 🙂

Writing is already bringing my sweet niece Quinn so much joy!

4 responses to “Inspiring Our Early Writers Blogpost #16”

  1. Kay Avatar
    Kay

    As Grandma, it was so awesome to listen to you and the grandkids interact about their thoughts and writing!😍 So much love and joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kelcey Avatar
    Kelcey

    Love these sweet girls, their imaginations, and their love for learning! These are great tips that I can’t wait to try with my littles. I want to try tips 2, 3 and 4 soon! Thank you for including the resources for tip 4 – this is super helpful. Can’t wait to print them out and begin using at home!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christine O'Neil Avatar
    Christine O’Neil

    So excited for you to be closer to family, friend! I love how joyful the kiddos are after spending quality time with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] correct him. :)). This is the same kid who refused to hold a crayon or pencil last February! [I blogged about this resource as a way to grow handwriting stamina. I love how Ethan and Kaden have both grown stronger […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: