Learning and applying writing skills during everyday activities is a great way for your child to develop their writing. While writing stories may teach your child to use their imagination, writing for an everyday purpose can teach them to apply writing skills within a practical context. Some great writing activities that kids can try at home include:
Listing grocery items that you would like to purchase will help your child learn the spelling of nouns. Best of all is that your child can come shopping with you and pick out these items together – helping them learn what the nouns they previously listed actually look like.
If you have a letter to send, after you’ve written the address on the envelope yourself, try handing a spare envelope to your child and have them copy the details. Writing an address on an envelope introduces your child to a new practical context of writing, and also gives you the opportunity to instruct them on the unique structure and details of letter writing, for instance, explaining what the postcode is, why the name is at the top and includes a salutation, etc.
If you’re sending a birthday or postcard to someone, let your child write something addressing the recipient. Instruct them on the correct salutation to use, who the card is addressing, what the occasion is, and the correct way to sign off their message. This activity familiarises your child with the basic structure of letter writing, but for an informal, casual purpose.
That is, on a whiteboard attached to your fridge, or wherever else around the house easily accessible by your child. Have your child write notes and reply yourself to these notes. This is a good place to have them write a schedule or times that certain activities need to take place during the day (if they’re still learning time then you may want to write that for them).
If your child is familiar with the computer and keyboard, have them try and write an email. As its structure is similar to writing a letter, it will help them learn the structure and purpose of written/typed communications, that is, writing the correct salutation, the message that needs to be conveyed, and the correct sign off, as well as the skill of summarising the emails purpose in the subject line and the address it is being sent to.
As emails are a staple of everyday life, now even more so than the traditional written letter, becoming familiar with the routine of constructing an email will give your child an invaluable practical skill as well as help them adapt their writing for the purpose of communicating a message to others.