This is a collaborative post.
Creative writing is an enjoyable activity that your child can do independently to develop their academic skills. It engages their imagination and is a great way to improve on vocabulary and writing.
When your child reaches GCSEs and A levels, they will be required to write during their exams. Poor quality of writing can come across as underperforming which is why it is vital for children to strengthen and develop their writing skills as early as possible. With that said, it is worth introducing to your child at a young age. Here are some ways to explore creative writing with your child.
Getting started with creative writing
The best way to get your child started with creative writing is to get them to extend on their favourite stories. It is natural for children to think of alternative endings when listening to their favourite story at bedtime so use this to get them started.
Set a task and ask them to rewrite the ending to a story. This is a much easier approach than telling them to start from scratch as the ideas are already there for them to build on.
If this isn’t their cup of tea, tell them to write a few paragraphs on their thoughts on a book they just finished. What did they enjoy specifically? What would they change? What could be done better? The idea is to get them thinking critically.
Introducing mind maps
If your child is already showing signs of wanting to indulge in creative writing and storytelling, help them create a solid foundation for their work. Start by showing them how to mind map.
This allows them to take the ideas from their head and jot them down on paper. This is the best way to build on plots and characters. Ask them to also describe the senses.
What can they see? What can they hear? If they were to touch the ground, how would it feel? The setting plays a big part in how the scene is set so get them to use colours to inspire them.
If your child struggles
If you find your child is struggling, don’t be afraid to give them some help. Creative writing can be overwhelming because the space for ideas is infinite.
Give them help setting up their mind map so they are focused and help them with their opening paragraph. If they’re really feeling stuck, allow them to take inspiration from another book.
Note that they are trying and will eventually be able to complete these tasks independently in the future.