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28 Aug 2019
Some kids just don't like to write. Others find the lure of technology much more responsive and engaging. So what is a parent to do? Kids still need good old-fashioned paper and pencil skills, right? Here are some engaging activities by Helene Goldnadel that your child may actually enjoy more than tapping the keys on your iPhone.

  • Arrange a pen-pal: Has a dear friend or relative recently moved away? Do you sponsor a child that lives in an exotic part of the world? Have you thought about signing up for a pen-pal? These are all great ways for your child to practice storytelling, writing, and penmanship skills. The best part is anticipating and checking the mail to see if there is a response!
  • Post cards: If you're on the go with the family, stop by your nearest tourist trap establishment and purchase some postcards. Your child will enjoy telling friends and family about their discoveries and adventures. Just be sure to carry an address book and post card stamps with you.
  • Make lists: Kids generally like to be helpful. You can include your child and teach a valuable skill when you enlist them to write grocery and shopping lists. Keep a running list on your refrigerator and ask your child to add items as needed. Planning a trip? Your child can create a packing list and check off items as they are put in the suitcases.
  • Make an itinerary: Itineraries involve a bit of research so this is an excellent activity for older children. Itineraries can be useful for planning local outings such as a park/picnic day, birthday party, or another event that your family must plan. If you happen to be arranging a trip, your child can investigate landmarks, museums, parks, or other places of interest and create an itinerary.
  • Recipe cards: Do you have a mini-chef in the family? Your child can write down favorite recipes on index cards and file them for future use. An older child can even practice alphabetizing skills.
  • Thank you notes: Reinforce good manners by reminding your child to write thank you notes for any gifts received during the holidays and birthday. Addressing envelopes is an important writing skill, too!
  • Creative writing: Give your child a blank notebook to create new endings to favorite stories, write his or her own story, or even a comic strip. Be sure to encourage lots of illustrations! If you wish to print your child's stories, you can send them to a copy shop and have them spiral bound.
  • Journaling: Does your child have a journal or diary? Some children enjoy writing down events of the day or penning their feelings. Years later, your child may enjoy re-reading the journal.
  • Tongue twisters: Tongue twisters can be really fun to say. Encourage your child to create a unique tongue twister. Family competitions may ensue!
  • Scrapbooking: Appoint your child as the family historian. Your child can use creativity to adorn and annotate pictures of important family events. This can be something you enjoy doing together, too! If scrapbooking isn't of interest, perhaps the creation of a family blog will do. Adding pictures and stories of events will be appreciated by family and friends from afar. This enhances your child's technology skills as well.

Writing doesn't have to be boring. Your child can learn valuable writing skills from participating in enjoyable, creative, and helpful activities. If your child shows interest in one of these ideas in particular, go with it. All it takes is one spark to light the fire!

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