Writing doesn't just happen. Writing is a skill that is acquired by children after much encouragement and practice. Below are some ways to help your child practice writing and to help him/her see that writing is a part of everyday life:
Start by setting up an "Author's Center" at home - so that your child feels that his/her writing is valuable. Creating an area for your child to write at could be as simple as decorating a shoebox that includes various shapes, sizes, and colors of paper, as well as colored pencils, pens, markers, and crayons. Other ideas to include would be a stapler, scissors, a ruler, tape, a paper hole puncher, stickers, envelopes, and white-out. If you have the space available, a desk, lamp, cushion, or old typewriter are always a plus!
Shopping Lists - Ask your child to help you write your shopping list.
To Do Lists - Ask your child to help you create a list of errands or jobs that need to be done around the house.
Calendars - Encourage your child to record his/her own activities on the calendar. Beginning writers can draw pictures and add letters/words as they progress.
Telephone Messages - Teach your child how to take telephone messages. make sure that there is paper and a pencil by the telephone.
Family Message Center - Set up a family message center. The refrigerator may be a convenient place. Have this be a place where everyone checks on every day to read and leave notes.
Letters - Encourage your child to write letters, notes, and cards. Have him/her write to a grandparent, write a note to a classmate, or design and write a thank you or birthday card for someone special. Write to the tooth fairy, a pen pal, a favorite stuffed animal...
Journals - Start by getting a special notebook for your child to write in. Help your child record moments of his/her life. The journal will hold wonderful memories in years to come.
Books - Help your future author to pick a theme and write a "book" around that theme. It could be an ABC book, a counting book, an I Spy book, a pattern book (ex-I see a _____, I see a ______,...), a vacation book, a book about pets or animals,...
Encourage all writing efforts. Celebrate your child's attempts. Let your child see that you value his/her ideas. Children learn to write by writing, so help your child to write, write, write!