Getting Young Children to Write

Getting young children to write can be challenging. Does this happen at your house?

“When I give a writing assignment, my child says he doesn’t know what to write, and will just sit there.”

Here are four ideas to help you get your students writing.

1) Try a sentence starter:

  • “My mom likes…”
  • “The dog is…”
  • “Look! It’s a…”
  • “On Tuesday we…”

I’m sure you can come up with more like this!

2) Invest in a creative writing book or calendar, or use an Internet site for ideas.

I have a book called “Writing Down the Days: 365 Creative Journaling Ideas for Young People by Lorraine M. Dalhstrom. A good place to get ideas online is the History Channel. Click on This Day in History for a short article that will give you plenty of ideas for getting young children to write!

3) Have your child write what he sees.

One day I had my child close his eyes and I turned him in a circle a few times. Before he opened his eyes, I instructed him to hold out his arm and point with his finger–he chose how high or how low to point. When he opened his eyes, he was pointing at a gravy boat in the china cabinet. I told him he could write whatever he wanted about it: he could write a description of it, or tell how it was probably made, or he could use it in a short story… whatever, just as long as he wrote!

4) When all else fails…

Have your child write, “I don’t know what to write” repeatedly on the paper for five minutes. This gets old really fast! One of my sons had to do this three times before he finally started getting creative.

However, the very best way for getting young children to write is to be writing with your child. Set an example and your child will soon follow!

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