Kids need lots of practice with
writing, but for some of them, school assignments get booooooooring.
Here are some offbeat ideas for
writing projects around the house that are so much fun, they won't SEEM like
-- Biography of a favorite stuffed
animal written like an encyclopedia entry, including "facts" about parents,
youth and "accomplishments," complete with a portrait in colored pencil.
-- Recipe for something good to eat: invent it, name it, and list
at least five ingredients, with preparation instructions that are as elaborate
or funny as possible.
-- Restaurant reviews written in
newspaper style for one week of dinners in your household. Each review should
list what was served. Who liked it, who didn't, and why? Add colorful quotations
from the cook and eaters alike.
-- "Help wanted" ads for household
tasks, written in the style of classified ads, and posted near the scene of the
task, such as taped to the vacuum cleaner.
-- Write hints for a treasure hunt,
perhaps in rhymes. Come up with prizes, such as pieces of candy or small
trinkets. Hide the items, place the hints, and carry out the surprise.
-- The child can write out specific
instructions, with illustrations, for how to do something the child loves to
-- Cut out an interesting magazine
photo and use it as the setting for a story.
-- Mother or father can write a
question at the top of a piece of paper and leave it in the child's lunch with
a pencil. The child writes an answer and puts the note and pencil back in the
lunchbox. The next day, the parent responds to that answer and writes another
question. Keep it going all week.
-- Write a sequel to a favorite book
-- Make up a Christmas gift list for
a cartoon or movie character or favorite animal.
-- Letters to friends, relatives,
penpals and famous people; help your child find addresses on the Internet for
where to send fan mail to celebrities.
-- Greeting cards: try writing poems
for special occasion cards and illustrate with colorful drawings.
-- Stories and poems for publication:
help your child search for opportunities to submit pieces of writing to
-- Notes for bulletin boards with a
famous inspirational quote, followed by the child's own version. For instance:
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt" . . .
"The only thing we have to fear is being in the house with Dad after he's eaten
-- A weekend or summertime activity
is to create a kids' newspaper and circulate it in the neighborhood,
after-school group or to friends.
-- Create a board game and write
instructions, playing card information, and "copy" for each "space."
-- Make a scrapbook and write
memorable captions for photos and mementoes.
-- Write funny bumper stickers.
-- Make a collage with words and
letters cut out of old magazines and catalogs. Paste in place to spell out a
poem, story, letter or other written work.
-- Make-your-own dictionary of the
child's favorite words, in alphabetical order, with pronunciations and