Stocking a Writing Center
Kids need few tools to get started with creative writing. Here are some things we like to keep handy.
- Fun pens, colorful markers, and quality pencils
- A pencil sharpener
- Scratch paper or other pages for brainstorming ideas
- A variety of writing papers. For example, consider providing a primary-grade lined journal (or regular composition book for older kids). A variety of writing papers styles is helpful for children at a variety of levels. For example, my youngest children need primary grade lines, while my older child simply likes lines. Sometimes my kids like a space to put an image at the top of the paper, and other times they do not. They are also included in my writing bundle.
- Consider also including cards for sending thank you notes or papers for making lists. We like to include non-mailable postcards to send notes to each other as well.
Other than that, kids need an audience! When your child has written something, where can he or she share it?
My kids enjoy sharing compositions on a private family blog, as well as via email and letters. I also take a video of them reading their compositions, thus giving them a chance to practice oration.
Writing You, the Teacher/Parent, Can Do
If we want to encourage our children to write, we should encourage lots of it ourselves by doing it ourselves. So much of the time, we do things via apps, including email and text. To encourage writing practice, send letters, actual real letters, to family and friends yourself! Your child may then be interested in joining in by sending mail too.
My thank you cards is a great place to start! As your children see you writing your own thank you notes for Christmas gifts, they can add their own using their own handwriting and words.
Encouraging a Child with Writing Ideas
If you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I am a big fan of using great picture books as inspiration for early creative writing. See thoughts on one my favorite teacher books, No More "I'm Done!" for more ideas of how to do this.
Or, review the thoughts I share in my classic post, Elementary-level Picture Book-Inspired Writing Ideas.
What essentials do you include in your writing center?