Every child will naturally gravitate toward different activities. Some will be enamored by STEM, while others might prefer sports, music, or history. Creative writing however is one of the activities that any child can participate in and get substantial payoffs for doing so.
According to UC Berkley’s research, creative writing can boost students’ future academic performance, help them develop a growth mindset, and kindness toward others.
Whether you’re a teacher working with K-12 students or a homeschooling parent, creative writing activities are a net positive for your child.
Let’s take a look at some of them, as well as the perks your kids can gain by participating in creative writing exercises.
Benefits of Creative Writing Activities for Kids
There is substantial evidence to suggest that we are at the peak of creativity at a young age. Children make friends more easily, think outside the box, and aren’t scared of speaking their minds despite apparent social norms.
According to Curtin University research, children experience creative writing in a classroom environment as an exercise in mental self-expression.
By taking away the shackles of “academic writing” and “authorial standards”, creative writing enables kids to truly write from the bottoms of their proverbial hearts.
Melissa Mauro, writer, editor, and an educational specialist at TrustMyPaper spoke on the topic: “Creative writing is not dissimilar to traditional art forms such as drawing or painting in terms of its mental stimulus. Children who participate in creative writing at a young age are likely to develop effective self-expression skills and better academic writing skills than their peers.
Beyond that, kids stand to gain a range of character traits and skills during early childhood through creative writing:
- Better ELA skills (English and Language Arts)
- Improved imagination and unconventional thinking
- Better self-confidence and communication skills
- Improved ability to solve problems through thinking
- Encouraged exploration, research, and analytic skills
- Early growth in academic writing sensibilities
Creative Writing Exercises for Kids to Explore
1. Finish a Writing Prompt
Writing prompts are one of the easiest creative writing activities for kids to implement. All you have to do is create a pool of unfinished sentences and assign them to each kid at random.
You can use Scholastic and its story starters if you want to add an element of playfulness to your writing ideas for kids.
Instruct your kids to write at least a paragraph of text inspired by the writing prompt you assigned to them. This will ensure that each child thinks about the prompt a little longer than usual to come up with a creative solution to the exercise.
2. Write Words for Each Letter of the Alphabet
A great creative writing activity for preschoolers and early K-12 students is to learn the alphabet by coming up with words for each letter.
Depending on your kids’ age group, you may have to assist them in spelling each word properly. Once the exercise is done, you can ask each student to read a single word out, and then you can write it on the board.
This is a great opportunity for all the kids to collaborate, expand their vocabulary and learn from one another through a creative writing activity.
Even children who aren’t as excited about creative writing exercises for kids are bound to perk up at the group’s energy and excitement.
3. Write Flashcards with Related Words and Match Them
Flashcards are a tried-and-tested method of studying, regardless of the child’s academic level. You can teach your kids what flashcards are all about, and you can then create them together as a creative writing activity.
Once you’ve created a pool of flashcards, you can look for matching words and phrases which correlate in some way. Think “light” and “dark”, or “apples” and “oranges”.
This will keep the children entertained, teach them new words, help them express themselves through writing, and improve their memorization.
Writing ideas for kids such as writing prompts and word rhymes can be created through flashcards you write – keep experimenting with creative writing.
4. Creative Drawing and Painting Using Letters and Words
While not strictly a creative writing activity, you can combine other academic fields with writing exercises to keep things interesting. Kids can learn letters, words, and phrases through painting, drawing, sculpting, and other art-related activities.
Instruct your kids to draw using letters exclusively, or to cut out different letters and then create collages with them.
These can be abstract or realistic, depending on your child group’s age. However, crossing into arts and crafts through creative writing can significantly affect the kids’ creative tendencies for the better.
5. Sing Spelling Songs – Then Write them Down and Sing Again
Spelling songs are as old as time itself, and they work wonders when it comes to creative writing. Use a spelling songs playlist in your classroom and encourage students to sing along.
Then, you can exercise spelling through the songs you’ve listened to and re-listen them to spot grammar errors. The creative writing activity can extend further, and you can allow kids to come up with their rhymes and songs.
Nancy Howard, SEO specialist, writer, and academic advisor at SupremeDissertations put it this way: “Through music, children can learn to associate letters and words with certain harmonics, instruments, and sound queues. This can improve their learning process in terms of musical arts and creative writing alike – mix them as much as you can.”
Have a child who loves music? Try these Music Games and Activities For Kids to get him excited and
6. Write a Letter to Your Future Self
Writing letters to your future self is one of the best writing ideas for kids that you could use in your classroom.
Your kids will most likely already have dream jobs and careers which they hope to pursue in the future. Even though these plans might change, they can still play around with the idea through a creative writing activity.
Ask them to write a whole letter to themselves 10 years down the line. Where do they live and what are they doing in the future?
Keep these concepts simple so that your kids can understand what you are trying to communicate, and the creative writing activity will bear fruit.
7. Creative Writing as Art Critique
Going back to the idea of merging creative writing with other fields, you can ask your kids to write a critique of an art piece.
Again, use your best judgment when it comes to choosing an art piece for your students to sink into.
K-12 students may not understand Pollock or Warhol, but they’d be delighted to look at Dutch or Italian Renaissance paintings. Choose the right art pieces for your kids and ask them to write down their thoughts on the painting.
What do they see, and what would they do differently in the artist’s place? This is a great creative writing exercise that will undoubtedly spark your students’ imagination and encourage them to express their thoughts on paper.
8. Tag Team Creative Writing
You can encourage teamwork and collaboration in your classroom by assigning students into teams of two at random and assigning a creative writing activity.
Ask the students to write a story (with a writing prompt or without) so that each student writes a single sentence at a time.
This will allow one student to challenge the other with creative writing, which will get more and more imaginative with each sentence. Students can then read each other’s creative writing and compare their essays to others in the classroom.
It’s a great opportunity for students to bond, develop creative competencies, and learn through writing activities for kids.
9. Write a Story from the Ending
Challenge your students to think outside the box by introducing writing prompts that address the story’s end instead of its beginning. The obvious example is “And they lived happily ever after”, but you can come up with several versions for your students.
This writing will ensure that students think differently about their creative writing activity compared to traditional exercises.
It can lead to very inspiring and unconventional ideas, and students will enjoy working on these types of creative writing exercises for kids.
Most importantly, it will keep pushing their creative writing tendencies further and encourage kids to express themselves without worrying about academic writing standards.
10. Create Rhymes through a Word Pool
As a teacher, you are more familiar with poetry than your students. This allows you to create a word pool of words that rhyme with one another, and you can ask students to create songs and poetry.
Rhymes are a great creative writing activity since students can sing along to the phrases and paragraphs they write.
One of these can even become your signature classroom anthem, for example. To make things more challenging, you can ask the students to use all the words you’ve assigned in the word pool.
This will teach them about the organization and word count management, traits that will become more important in later academic education.
Helping Kids Develop Through Writing (Conclusion)
The fun part of creative writing exercises for kids is allowing them the freedom to complete the assignments in any way they see fit.
Some students may want to create paper collages to complete the creative writing activity, while others may ask you for a dictionary to use.
Be a mentor to your students or kids and don’t discourage their creative tendencies – they will look back at your efforts fondly as a result.