22 Dec 5 Writing prompts to Keep Children Writing over the Holidays
Time away from school doesn’t have to mean your children stop learning. Sure, give them plenty of time to play and explore new holiday toys and games, but build in a few fun writing exercises too. ALOHA’s Reading | Writing program works to get children to see writing as a fun and enjoyable experience and build confidence at it, rather than having writing being a chore.
- Have kids write a short note to family members who they only see during the holidays. Have them tell a story of something exciting that happened to them this past year, or tell of a memory they have of this family member. It doesn’t have to be long, but try and help them find a beginning, a middle and an end to the story. They can then tuck these stories in an envelope with the family gift.
- Have your child write thank you notes for gifts they received. Try and make it fun, rather than an obligation. Help them pick out a pack of thank you cards at the store, or help them create cards from supplies you have around home. Have them thank the individual by name for the gift and ask them for one memory of the person – “I really liked last summer when you let me pet the new kittens when we visited.” Help them think of something that might make that person smile.
- Pick a different culture’s holiday and help them write a little report on it. Or something from your heritage, if it is different from what you do now or what is usual in the U.S. Help them go online and read about it. Find a book in the library on the topic and read it together. They could even interview the family member to learn about the holiday traditions. Then parents can help them write a report telling others about the holiday, traditions, foods and activities of that culture’s holidays. If your child isn’t shy, let them read their report sometime over the holidays with the rest of the family.
- If your family does not celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza your child can write about the winter season. If you are in an area where you get snow, your child could write a story titled “The Day My Favorite Snowman said Hello.” Or if you live in an area that doesn’t see snow your child could use their imagination and write about “The Day it Snowed in [name the Town or State],” and imagine the things that might happen.
- Write about a family holiday tradition from any time of year. Have your child describe the tradition, what it looks and sounds and smells like, how it make them feel. If there is an interesting story behind the start of the tradition in your family, they could interview the family member.
Remember to keep the writing light and fun and not make it a chore. Perhaps pick a time when your child says “I’m bored, I don’t know what to do.” Most kids like using their imaginations, and you can invite them to use their imagination in writing down a story.