How to Improve a Child’s Creative Writing – Laying the Foundations

Many children find the prospect of writing a story in strict exam conditions quite daunting. We believe that there is a lot of work that you can do with your child, from an early age, that will lay the foundations for them to be more confident writers. If a child is more confident about their writing, they will be less fearful when they reach the 11-plus stage and may even enjoy the creative writing exam piece!

  • Read with your child. Children love being read to. If you do not have time for anything else, reading is the key to developing your child’s writing (and comprehension) skills. You do not have to read whole books. You could simply choose an extract from a book to read together. You can then analyse the language and the literary devices that the author uses in the piece. This will help your child to understand what good writing is and in turn they will be able to apply what they have learnt to their writing.
  • Help your child develop an enthusiasm for writing. Look for local creative writing courses/workshops for children. Creative writing workshops are fun and educational. They teach your child to find inspiration when they believe that none can be found and promote a positive image of writing and reading. At workshops your child will write with their peers and have the opportunity to share their writing and listen to that of others.
  • Look for creative writing competitions your child can enter. Children love competitions and this will make them want to work on and submit their best piece of writing.
  • Go on trips that will inspire descriptive writing.  For example if you go to the park, point out the colours of the leaves, the way they sound underfoot, the way the sun shines on the pond… Then ask your child to write about their experience at home. Or you could go to a gallery and write stories about the paintings…
  • Keep a notebook of your child’s writing. Read back their stories to them. Discuss them. Children are very good at spotting where they have made mistakes or where they could improve a story .. and where they have written something great!

… but most of all praise their writing and teach them that writing is life skill that can and should be enjoyed!

Helena Steel

Founder of The Story Room