Creative writing is an area which many parents struggle with. Many of us have no personal experience with creative writing and may not know how to kickstart the writing journey for our children.
Rather than scrolling through endless resources online for good material, you can use these tips to make creative writing exciting for your kids.
Reading to your children is fundamental for creative writing
Nothing prepares your children better to be good writers than to read good books.
As always, education starts from the home – and from a very early age! Without even counting the immeasurable bonding and emotional rewards, reading to your children, even when you may think they’re too young to really understand, thoroughly familiarises them with the concept of books and stories, and offers a myriad of amazing academic benefits that cannot be overstated.
Firstly, reading helps to build your children’s vocabulary and hone their grammar skills in a way that does not feel at all like deliberate learning.
Secondly, reading aloud to your children means that they instinctively pick up pronunciation and phonics, linking your pronunciation with the text they see on the page and internalising spelling and grammar rules – again without ever feeling like they need to sit down and study.
Last but not least, they internalise the structure of a good story, and understand intuitively that stories need a good build-up, an exciting climax, and a resolution for closure. They will understand characterisation and dialogue, and will be able to apply this knowledge to their own creative writing.
Using questioning techniques as a creative writing strategy
One great way to introduce the basics of creative writing to your child is by getting them to think about the books they read and the shows they watch. Rather than passively receiving all the information from the book or TV show, pause at each page or take time after the show to ask them more inferential, open-ended questions.
Try asking them to tell you what happened in the story, or what the character did. Probe them about the character’s motivations – why did he do that? How did he feel? Even young children will be able to make sense of these questions as they develop an understanding of cause and effect, and a sense of empathy for others.
For preschoolers, do not forget that the pictures in picture books are actually a great resource. The illustrations are integral to the story and help pre-readers to make sense of the plot and characters. You can point to the picture and ask, “What is she doing? Why is he doing that? What do you think she is going to do next? This helps your children to think critically about the stories they consume, setting the stage for creative writing on their part.
Attending creative writing classes for preschoolers in Singapore
Are you still unsure about your ability to introduce creative writing to your preschooler? Never fear – there are good classes available you can send your child to and allow the experts to take over. A good creative writing class for preschoolers will not feel like a “class”, but would feel more like a fun adventure where learning is incidental!
The MindChamps Writing Programme is catered specially to children from K2 age, focusing on understanding and a love of reading and writing, rather than forcing a mechanical approach which is what many writing classes do. MindChamps believes strongly in incubating and growing the child’s passion for stories, building on this to internalise a joy of writing.
Written by JoBeth Williams
Ready to kickstart your K2 child’s writing journey with the MindChamps Writing programme?