How to Raise a Child Who Loves Creative Writing

Updated on July 20, 2020
FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway is a psychologist, writer, and mother who freed her literal-minded child from the prison of creative writing aversion.

Encourage your child's enjoyment of creative writing with games, skill builders and other activities.
Encourage your child's enjoyment of creative writing with games, skill builders and other activities. | Source

Overcoming a Creative Writing Allergy

Is your otherwise bright and imaginative child deeply averse to adjectives and backstory? Does your offspring offer deadpan stares at poetry or dreaded "poop face" grimaces at the mere mention of writing? If so, then it's likely that they have the same creative writing allergy that my daughter did. The good news, however, is that it's treatable.

Now a college student, my daughter has received multiple awards for her creative writing. But it hasn't always been that way. Her written assignments turned in for school were once anemic and minimalist. Painfully devoid of any detail, each of her sentences followed a taut subject/verb formula with little elaboration.

As she entered middle school, I recognized the ailing young writer needed a prescription for change. Here are some strategies we used for helping her to become not only a better creative writer but also someone who valued the medium for its power of expression.

Although most children will not grow up to become professional writers, virtually all of them will need writing in their adult lives.
Although most children will not grow up to become professional writers, virtually all of them will need writing in their adult lives. | Source

The Importance of Writing Well

Creative writing opens a wormhole of discovery into a world that is as adventurous or conventional as your child images it. Anything is possible, and he or she can be anyone the imagination dreams:

  • a stuttering pirate
  • the first woman to walk on Mars or
  • a polar bear undergoing an emotional meltdown as he sits on his rapidly melting iceberg.

Creative writing encourages the young mind to reach outside of the self, adopting a persona beyond one's current perspective. It requires practicing empathy and emotional self-expression while sharpening communication skills. Then, with feedback and encouragement—that's where you can help—the young writer's message becomes more artfully precise. He can compel others to action, inspire, entertain.

Most young people will not grow up to write professionally, but virtually all of them will need writing in their adult lives. Talk to your youngster about the impact that great books and speeches—yes, someone wrote those speeches!—have had on your development. Explain that someone wrote their favorite television and movie scripts before they appeared on screen. Point out adults who should know better who don't write well, and discuss how their poor writing skills make them look to others. (We're talking about you, celebrities and elected officials!) Provide both the rationale and the activities, then let your child come to their own conclusion about the value of writing.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I gifted my child the experience of hang gliding and encouraged her to write about the feeling of taking flight. She was exhilarated.Encourage your child to be fully aware so that he or she can later describe an experience using all of his/her senses and bring the reader along on the adventure.
I gifted my child the experience of hang gliding and encouraged her to write about the feeling of taking flight. She was exhilarated.
I gifted my child the experience of hang gliding and encouraged her to write about the feeling of taking flight. She was exhilarated. | Source
Encourage your child to be fully aware so that he or she can later describe an experience using all of his/her senses and bring the reader along on the adventure.
Encourage your child to be fully aware so that he or she can later describe an experience using all of his/her senses and bring the reader along on the adventure. | Source

Games, Skill Builders and Activities for Curing a Creative Writing Allergy

Help your child cure their creative writing allergy using games, skill builders, and other imaginative activities. Integrate language-rich pursuits into family life in fun ways. Here are examples:

Word Games

Who doesn't like a good board game or group game? Make yours one that is built upon enhancing vocabulary:

  • Boggle
  • Bananagrams
  • Scrabble
  • crossword puzzles and word searches. Although you could easily purchase these books, why not make your own printable word search or crossword puzzles easily online? Customize a puzzle on what interests your family: sports, the latest movie, a favorite television show, a hobby, or an upcoming holiday. Generate some excitement around the activity by offering a small prize for the first person who solves it. Alternatively, work together on the puzzle over dessert.

Improvisational Storytelling

Encourage creative storytelling through improvisation and group participation. My family enjoys the "Fortunately/Unfortunately" game, in which one family member starts a story, then the next person picks it up by saying "and fortunately ..." or "but unfortunately ... ." The new storyteller continues the storyline until they are ready to hand it off to the next person. Storytellers alternate between telling "fortunately" and "unfortunately" storylines. Thus, if the previous person told a "fortunately" storyline, then the current storyteller must tell an "unfortunately" storyline, and so on.

A similar storytelling game is "And Then You Wouldn't Believe What Happened" which capitalizes on the outlandish. The twist is that a new storyteller can jump in at any moment with a change in plot simply by saying, "And then you wouldn't believe what happened."

Haiku Texting Challenge

Even the grandparents have a cell phone nowadays, so include everyone and sneak in some poetry writing. Use a haiku texting challenge (or email, if you insist) to bring the extended family together electronically, including those geographically separated kinfolk.

For relatives who pretend they don't want to participate, include them as bystanders in the group chat/email chain. People often decide it's fun after all and jump in late. This activity can involve kids, adults, grandparents, and relatives you see only at Thanksgiving ... or not at all.

Appoint a moderator and set a beginning and end time period. It's not a competition; kids are involved! Remind or teach family members what a haiku is and assign a particular topic for the haikus (e.g., Coronavirus, cats, summer). Branch out and do

  • limericks for holidays
  • Dr. Seuss-style nonsense poems to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2 or
  • free verse poems for relatives' birthdays.

Before you know it, you'll have a family of poets on your hands! And who said they didn't like poetry?

Alternate Endings and Movie Reviews

When your child expresses disappointment regarding how a movie or book ended, have them write an alternate ending and read it to the family. If they're like most kids, they probably also get their fair share of screen time, so encourage your child to write a movie review (or book review). Who knows? He or she could become the next Roger Ebert!

Faces in the Crowd

This is a good way to pass time when you're bored in public (i.e., waiting to be served at a busy restaurant, stuck in a traffic jam). Pick out an interesting looking person or small group of people in the crowd. The point is not to make fun of them but to allow them to become the characters in your story. Describe each fictional character you imagine them to be, assigning a name and vivid background details. The other people who are with you can glimpse in your character's direction, but be careful not to stare. Tell the characters' story. Is it one of heartbreak? Conflict? Disillusionment? Betrayal? Are they running from the law? This often becomes a fun group storytelling activity.

New Adventures

Give your child new experiences to write about but also encourage them to write about common experiences. My family went hang gliding when my daughter was in middle school, an exhilarating opportunity that gave her a new perspective on what it felt like to fly. Talk about such experiences and what they mean to your child. Have them generate analogies to the natural and mechanical world (e.g., birds, planes) or to past experiences.

On a more down-to-earth level, we have also frequently explored the local riverbanks and found excitement in the everyday occurrences of turtles and an occasional snake basking in the sun. Ask open-ended questions and encourage their imagination. Allow your child to own the process of writing.

Good writers are also those who read prolifically. Make sure your child sees you reading for pleasure. Convey that reading is not a chore but something fun.
Good writers are also those who read prolifically. Make sure your child sees you reading for pleasure. Convey that reading is not a chore but something fun. | Source

The Seven Books of Summer

Good writers are those who read a wide range of authors with various styles, in eclectic genres. Your child may prefer science fiction, mystery, or a particular author like J.K. Rowling or John Green. However, growth comes with exposure to books that challenge one's thinking. My child read the Harry Potter series more times than I could count, and for her own development, she needed to read beyond her comfort zone.

At the beginning of each summer, I therefore carefully selected seven literary classics and young adult titles, many of which were best sellers and/or literature award winners. In selecting books, peruse reviews, both positive and negative. Read the books yourself, if you have time. Solicit recommendations from teachers or your local librarian.

To introduce a surprise element, I wrapped each book individually in different gift wrap and presented them all at once to my daughter. (Who doesn't like to open a present?) She chose a book to read at random and let me know which one she had unwrapped. (I required that she finish one book before unwrapping the next selection.) Because I had already read most of them, we could discuss plot, characters, theme, conflict, and anything she found important.

Her reaction to our Seven Books of Summer project was so over-the-top enthusiastic that she implored me to repeat the concept during Christmas Break. She loved the excitement of not knowing what book she was going to open next, being exposed to different story topics and genres, and being able to discuss the books with me. Just as book groups entertain discussion topics, we were able to talk about issues that came to mind for her, in addition to matters such as:

  • If the author seemed to have rushed the ending, how should the book have concluded?
  • What were the main character's flaws? At what points in the book did those flaws become significant problems for him/her? Did the character fundamentally change or was it only on the surface? How do you know?
  • Can you identify different parts of the book plot: background, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution? How does knowing the background help you understand or enjoy the story better?

Perhaps the biggest surprise for us both was that the book she liked the best from this project was Crank, a New York Times best-seller, 537 pages long, and written entirely in verse. This was a child who hated any mention of poetry. The controversial book about a straight-A high school student's addiction to meth is required reading in some high schools and drug court programs. It provided an ingenious platform for the two of us to discuss the impact of drug use. Years later, my daughter still refers to the profound influence of this book.

Creative writing can open up worlds for your teen.
Creative writing can open up worlds for your teen. | Source

25 Mystery Envelope Writing Prompts for Teens

Introduce the element of surprise into your student's writing with mystery envelope writing prompts. In each of 25 unlabeled, blank envelopes, place one writing prompt. Then seal each envelope and shuffle the pile. Sample ideas are below, or you can write your own.

Frequency of Writing Prompt Exercises

Negotiate with your teen an advance schedule for writing prompt exercises. Although my daughter wrote daily, Monday through Friday, throughout the summer, that may be too intense an undertaking for your child. Feel free to adjust the frequency level (e.g., once or twice a week) depending upon your student's needs.

Instructions for Teen Writer

Select one of the 25 unlabeled, sealed envelopes from the pile of blank envelopes and let your parent know which you draw. Each writing prompt is identified by the number inside each envelope. Some writing prompts will appeal to you more than others, of course.

If you especially dislike a writing prompt, you may discard only TWO prompts overall. If you decide to "pass" on a prompt and select a replacement option instead, no explanation is needed as to why. However, let your parent know which writing prompt was passed over. Give your best possible effort to spelling, punctuation, word choice, grammar, and storytelling. Use spellcheck and consider using a grammar checker like Grammarly.

Suggested Writing Prompts

  1. You are a 65-year-old traveler who pulls over on the to pick up a hitchhiker. By the end of the trip at least one of you is not okay. Write a creative short story describing what happened.
  2. If you could possess any superpower what would it be? What is the value of this talent (for either good or evil purposes)? How would you use it on a practical basis?
  3. You are struggling to hatch from your egg. Use your five senses to describe the experience of entry to this world.
  4. Imagine that brain transplants have become a new reality for people with dementia. Only people who are extremely important can benefit. You have been notified by the Global Committee for Societal Advancement that your brain is a match for an internationally significant leader suffering from dementia. Although the donation will cost you your life (sorry about that), your family will NEVER have to worry about money again. Your donation is voluntary. However, people like you who are identified for donation almost always take advantage of this generous program. The Committee has therefore scheduled next Friday as your donation day. Time is of the essence, and we will gratefully proceed with your donation unless you can write a convincing enough letter of appeal. The Committee looks forward to your kind gift in the name of making ours a better society.
  5. A fly is floating in your bowl of soup! Write a story from the fly’s perspective.
  6. Ask your parents, grandparents, or another long-term married couple how they met, and then weave their accounts into a vivid written narrative. Interview them separately and take notes. What did each person first notice about the other? What were their first impressions? What was their first conversation about? Describe their first date. How has each person changed over the years? Add any other questions you want them to answer.
  7. Write about your first name. What does it mean? Does it fit you? Is it the name you would have selected for yourself, and if not, why? What would you have named yourself? Why was the name chosen for you, and who selected it? What other names were considered by your parents?
  8. They peeked through the fence, wide-eyed, holding their breaths, hearts pounding. They knew they should not be there but could not look away.” Write a story about what they see.
  9. If you buried a time capsule today, what objects would you put in it and why?
  10. You think you are alone in a pitch-black, empty house when there is a mysterious sound. Write a ghost story that will have the hair on your reader’s arms standing straight up.
  11. When I look in the mirror, what I see looking back at me is… .
  12. You take a vacation to another dimension only to discover that you have brought with you everything that really irritates you. Describe your adventure, what you’re surrounded by, and what you do to return home.
  13. Create your own humorous fake news article on any topic
  14. You and two other coal miners have become trapped underground in an abandoned mine. Unfortunately, you have no food and only enough oxygen for two people. Write a short story about your ordeal and your plan to survive until help can get to you.
  15. What would you pack in your suitcase if you could never go home again?
  16. You sit down for a talk with God about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. Write the direct dialog between you two.
  17. Describe your most embarrassing memory from the perspective of someone who witnessed it.
  18. Years from now, you may be a parent who is raising a teenager. Provide parenting advice on the do’s and don’ts of raising a kind, responsible, self-reliant young adult who feels good about themselves.
  19. What person in your life do you wish you had a better relationship with? What could you do to improve that connection?
  20. His hands trembled as he ripped open the envelope and read the letter. He knew that whatever it said, its message would be life-changing.” Describe the situation, then write the letter.
  21. Look at recent obituaries either in the newspaper or online. Imagine the life of that person and write a story about them.
  22. What problem or issue do you struggle with the most?
  23. Think of a person from your past who really deserved a good scolding but never got one. Write a fictional account where you tell that person off in a clever or intelligent way.
  24. Describe the life you expect to have in 10 years. Be as specific as possible.
  25. Select a quote that summarizes your personal life philosophy. Describe what it means and how it applies to your life, using examples.

Help your teen find his or her own voice. Creative writing can be a lifelong pursuit.
Help your teen find his or her own voice. Creative writing can be a lifelong pursuit. | Source

Ongoing Prescription for Change

Transforming a child who is allergic to creative writing into one who values and excels at the medium won't happen overnight. It won't always feel fun. That's okay. However, with your feedback on grammar, sentence structure, and other elements of language, your child will become a more confident writer. Provide encouragement and support for their ideas, help them find their own voice in their writing rather than controlling it, and always remind them how being a more adept writer can take them places.

© 2020 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      5 days ago from USA

      Cynthia - Thank you for your kind comment. She has grown to really enjoy writing, and she's good at it. It helps as external validation to win awards.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia Zirkwitz 

      6 days ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Flourish,

      This is a wonderfully fullsome and inspiring program for encouraging young people to write. It is no wonder your writing "allergic" daughter went on to win prizes with her writing!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 days ago from USA

      Rajan - Thanks for your kind comment.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 days ago from USA

      Shauna - I wish she would publish it online, but she hasn't yet. Thanks for asking, however.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 days ago from USA

      Bill - She loved it enough for both of us. It made more a little woozy. Thanks for reading.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 days ago from USA

      Dora - Writing is such an important skill, regardless of one's profession. I'm sure it will benefit her in whatever career she chooses. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      12 days ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Excellent tips and useful suggestions to induce a child to get interested in creative writing. How you veered your daughter towards creative writing shows in the plethora of creative ideas in this article.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      13 days ago from USA

      Devika - That's very kind of you. Thank you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      13 days ago from USA

      Linda - I appreciate the kind comment.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      13 days ago from USA

      MG - Sometimes you have to switch it up a bit.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      13 days ago from USA

      Chitrangada Sharan - Thank you for your kind encouragement. I'm very proud of her talent as well as how far she's come.

    • profile image

      Devika Primic 

      13 days ago

      FlourishAnyway this is one of the best hubs I have read in a while and appreciate that you shared your information here. A child keen to write is one step forward to becoming creative and popular for their work display. It is fascinating and interesting in creative writing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      13 days ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your daughter's achievements, and on the great job you did on helping her get there! Thanks for sharing these suggestions which are very helpful, even if the child is not interested in becoming a writer. Excellent.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      13 days ago from Massachusetts

      Great tips, Flourish. Looks like they paid dividends with your daughter. I love the pictures of her hang gliding, looks like she was having a blast.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      13 days ago from Central Florida

      I'd love to read some of her work. Is any of it available online?

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      13 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an excellent and very useful article, Flourish. You've shared some great ideas to help a child enjoy creative writing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Shauna - My husband is an engineer, so I suspect she got the creative writing aversion honestly. She went to an Engineering Governor's Academy High School while winning both writing and engineering awards. Her preferences are probably flash fiction and short story.

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh 

      2 weeks ago from Singapore

      Very informative and intelligently written article. A little different from your usual articles but it made very interesting reading.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Bob - You're right. Thanks again for sharing the information on alternate history. I've told both my husband (in case he wants to read) and my daughter (in case she wants to write).

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Peggy - Sometimes my daughter and I used to play it, just the two of us. It's a pretty flexible and forgiving game and that's what I like best. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Your tips on how to not only encourage a child to read but also encourage creativity are fantastic. I enjoyed reading about that word game, "Fortunately/Unfortunately." It would make an excellent party time game for people of all ages. I can imagine much laughter as the story takes twists and turns.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent and enjoyable article, and what wonderful suggestions. These are great tips for the parents in a similar situation.

      So good to know that your daughter is an excellent writer. All due to your upbringing and thoughtful guidance. To see the children successful in what they enjoy doing, is the most satisfying feeling for the parents.

      Best wishes and thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Flourish, I thoroughly enjoyed this article, including the writing prompts. You have to be the coolest mom in the neighborhood to take your daughter hang-gliding just so she'd write about what it feels like to fly. Talk about giving it your all!

      Helping your daughter overcome her creative writing allergy is probably one of the best gifts you could have given her as a mom.

      You said she's won many creative writing awards. What is her favorite genre? What really gets her muse excited?

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 weeks ago

      Theoretically all history is revisionism. The trick is what is actually documented an in which cases are people just making things up. In the case of the two books the question is when were the books written? It makes a big difference. A book written in 1900 would have an accurate perception of how the North or South viewed the Civil War in 1900. A book written in 1870 would be much closer to the attitudes of the people at the time. Then there is the lore part of it. The popular belief of who was right in a conflict might depend on which side made the better movie.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Bob - That's probably how history gets so muddled. Imperfect/biased memories and perspectives enter into the fray. My husband inherited two old Civil War volumes, one from the Southern perspective and the other from the Northern perspective. Stunningly different accounts from the title on, as you can imagine. We continually edit history.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 weeks ago

      History in school is something between spotty and wrong. One alternate history essays my son chose concerned the John Brown raid. We went to Harpers Ferry and walked the ground. It gave a great perspective on the situation.

      How do I broach this delicately? Some of what you remember from your lifetime is now history. You don't have to learn it you just have to remember it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Pamela - We've played "Fortunately/Unfortunately" for many years and have gotten a lot of entertainment out of it on car rides or just waiting in random places. Thanks for stopping by!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Bob - Alternate history is an interesting concept that I hadn't heard before. I just looked it up. Wow! There's so much to imagine there! History is my Achilles heel because I took US History taught by a coach in high school rather than taking AP History like some of my peers. We didn't get past the Civil War (that I know pretty well). In college, I took some honors courses on Fascism and the World Wars, but history is still not my strong suit. For someone who is strong in history, this would be a fabulous idea! My daughter isn't on HP right now, but I've encouraged her to consider it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Linda, I appreciate your kind comment. I developed those writing prompts recently for my niece who needs to lean more into her writing. We are doing the Seven Books of Summer and the writing prompts from afar, as she lives about six hours away. We'll see how it goes!

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Ann - I'm so glad this was of interest and potential use to you. You must be very proud of your young writers/grandchildren. Literacy is so important. I used to work in a community that had a high adult illiteracy rate and started a GED/Literacy program in the facility where I worked. Teaching literacy like you do day in and day out is a real labor of love. Hats off to you for the good work that you do in promoting learning.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Mary - My mother always insisted that my siblings and I look up any words we didn't understand. Because I had a penchant for reading diverse materials from a young age, from law to medicine to fiction, I once had a smarty pants graduate professor who threw out a couple of legal terms, thinking no one knew what they meant. He asked. I answered. He yelled, "How did you know that?" How can you possibly explain it? I read widely, and my mother taught me to look up terms I didn't understand.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Eric - That's wonderful that your sons excel at writing. You must surely be proud.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Heidi - I find it interesting to know where people get their writing bug from. My mother has always been an excellent formal writer and exceedingly honest critic (sometimes much to my chagrin). However, she admits she is not one bit creative herself and does not enjoy it. She prefers the elements of language, much like how chemicals can come together and react either violently or save lives, depending upon whether you have the right mix. She can edit the heck out of what someone else writes but has zero interest in creatively generating her own work.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      John - You wouldn't believe how kids LOVE the 7 Books of Summer. Currently, I'm doing it from afar with my niece. It's a clever way to make them read what you want, talk about certain topics like that drug book that detailed the girl's descent into meth addiction, sneak in some bonding and learning about writing (plot, character flaws), and make the thing feel like a bunch of presents. I'm reading a cleverly-written book called "Speak" with my niece about sexual assault.

    • FlourishAnyway profile imageAUTHOR

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      Bill - Mine didn't start out that way. People often enjoy what they are also good at doing. Through much practice, feedback, and encouragement, she is a brilliant writer now. Had it not been for the pandemic, she would be in London for a writing program meeting famous authors, getting feedback on her writing, and finding new inspiration abroad (I hesitate to imagine what). Alas, with the pandemic, it was not to be.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a wonderful article with such a large number of suggestions. These methods obviously worked with your daughter. I really like the

      "Fortunately/Unfortunately" story telling game. It sounds like so much fun.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 weeks ago

      It seems s paradox that in this digital age there are more outlets for writing. There is fan fiction, and fan fiction sites. There are also sites like HubPages. When my son was taking history in college some of the assignment options were alternate history. Is your daughter on HubPages?

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Flourish, there are so many wonderful suggestions here, not only for parents trying to encourage their children but things that could apply in the classroom as well. (Although this year the home and the classroom may be one and the same). I especially love the creative prompts at the end.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 weeks ago from SW England

      I thought I knew a thing or two about children's writing but you've got some outstanding ideas for prompts here! I'm lucky, as all my grandchildren love writing and drawing (one has had a book published) and all read avidly. I've taught literacy so also value the ability to express verbally and put it down on paper.

      This is outstanding and I'm keeping a copy for my and others' reference.

      Ann

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are fantastic recommendations. I agree about reading. My sister did not train her kids to be writers, but because she was a prolific reader, her kids read much, too. Reading prepared them for their writing.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I will come back and read this again. Such an interesting topic. I totally failed at this until about 50 years old. My two boys are just over the top good with it. Poetry, mini books and short stories. Like their great drawings it must be from mom.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      2 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      Awesome writing exercises, even if you're not a kid! And though I never really took to writing until I was in my late 20s, I read a lot as a kid, following my dad's example. My dad was also a crossword puzzle guy. I love those kinds of activities, though I don't do them that often now.

      Thanks for sharing these really helpful ideas!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      This was wonderful advice, Flourish, and I can tell it comes from your experience. The activities were great, especially the “7 Books of Summer” and I am glad your daughter loved that.

      The writing prompts were very good too.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      What great suggestions! I am thrilled when I hear that a child loves to write. It is a wonderful gift to cultivate in a young child, and God knows we need more creatives in this world.

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