Writing makes so much more sense to kids if they are writing with purpose. Especially if you happen to have a child who is a rather reluctant writer, incorporating writing into your every day life and play can motivate them to pick up a pencil and make their mark. Giving writing a practical purpose lets children see the importance of developing literacy skills and leads to all sorts of other fun along the way. Here are ten practical ideas to get kids enjoying writing with purpose.

10 top tips to get kids writing

:: Have your kids write your shopping list when you head out to do some errands and then be in charge of reading out the list and ticking off the items as you shop. :: When you’re planning your child’s birthday party, put them in charge. Let them write the guest list and send out the invitations.

:: Make a holiday planner. Whatever the season, take a big piece of paper and create your own calendar of events. Put the kids in charge of the drawing and writing and let them suggest some fun ideas to include on the schedule. :: Getting a real-life handwritten letter through the post is exciting at any age, so find your child a  pen-pal  and encourage some letter writing. You could pair up with a friend or send a note to a grandparent. :: If your child loves to imagine and create you could give this a twist and set up a fairy post box to write magical letters – and drop them a reply after they’ve gone to bed, ready to discover in the morning. :: When you go on holiday take some time to  send a postcard  – either to a friend or even back to your own address, to see if the card makes it home before you do. :: Make a scrap book with your child, full of photos, drawings and diary entries – perhaps a diary of your vacation or a  garden journal. Mixing up how you record things can be great for reluctant writers. One of my daughters loves to draw, but not to write so much. I find though that if we decide to do both, it turns out that she does a lot more writing than she would do otherwise. ::  Make your own comic  – to share or even to sell to friends. As with the scrap book, using lots of pictures can be a great way to sneak in some writing too. ::  Make your own birthday cards  and have your child write the note inside and the address on the envelope. Then buy the stamp and post the letter together. :: With action kids, use a pencil and paper or a chalk on the wall outside, any time you’re playing a game together, so your child can write down the scores. This is a great way for competitive kids to get writing! Try our name writing practice fun for kids! And even more handwriting practice for kids they will love! How do you encourage your kids to write with a purpose? Have you found any great practical ways to encourage them to pick up a pencil? Share a tip with us.

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  1. As an occupational therapist working with kids I suggest to parents that they have their child write a ticket for things they want. For instance, “tv”, “day at the pool”, “walk to the park”, “have a friend over”….. The list is endless! For some children, cutting out the ticket is a part of the process as well! Kids aren’t thinking about writing or cutting, they are thinking about what that ticket is going to get them!

  2. I work with preschool aged children,another activity they all love is magic painting,using water and a paintbrush! Brilliant for outside mark making!! Works well using warm water on a frosty day too,they love the frost dissappearing!! 🙂

  3. Normally I do not read article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and
    do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice

  4. Nice answers in return of this issue with real arguments and telling all on the topic of that.

  5. My 6 year old doesn’t love writing but she wrote a book that she was thrilled with. She made her own Mr. & Little Miss book. She drew out her character and we scanned it and printed it on paper with lines so she could write the story without spending all her time on the pictures. She was so proud of the book.
    Also she’s allowed to add anything to the grocery list if she writes it on it. So far she hasn’t asked for anything too bad.

  6. My daughter always loved making her own books. In 3rd grade her teacher made a special shelf for all the stories she had written (stapling the pages together in book form) in her spare time. At four, my son is much the same way. He puts words to all of his drawings.. they aren’t all spelled right, obviously but I love that he’s excited to do try figuring them out on his own.

    I love this list.. I can see my son being very into the scorekeeping, especially with some chalk outside. 🙂

  7. I especially love the shopping list tip. Doh! Of course! My son would LOVE to do that and I can’t wait to try it tomorrow morning before we go to Trader Joe’s. He knows all of his letters and numbers, but he’s not wowed by writing them. This is very helpful, thank you.

  8. My son likes to write and draw. Sometimes we write letters to his friends and teachers at school. I let him write the names and I write what he says. It’s hard to keep up with him, he just talks and talks!

  9. Ran across your blog from “Its a Keeper Thursday” Being a new adoptive mom of four kids, I cant wait to check out more of your blog. I am now a follower.