Making your children write is difficult enough during school time, and even more so during non-school days. How can you make them do some writing and actually get them to enjoy it? Here are eight ideas:
1–If I were…
Encourage your children to talk about what they’d do in the present situation, or if they were at school, or if they were the president of the country, or whatever idea they might like to talk about. Once you manage to get some ideas, ask them to write them down and try to post them somewhere, for acknowledgement. That could be their schoolteacher, their friend, their neighbour or someone who could write them back and praise their efforts. My child loved writing about ‘If we were back in Cairo…’
This is a story which you start reading and then stop from time to time to let your children guess how it might continue or why a certain thing happened. Instead of shouting out their answers, you can ask them to write them down. E.g. John was driving to his friend’s house when suddenly he heard a loud bang and stopped his car to see what happened. Stop. What do you think happened? Continue. He couldn’t see anything and got back in the car. He turned the radio on and they were talking about a criminal who managed to escape from prison. Suddenly a car behind John started flashing its lights to make him stop. Stop. What do you think john should do? Why? Continue…
3–Guess the story
Find some book covers on the Internet and a short description of what the story is about. First, ask your children to guess the story. Then, they read what the book is about and see who has guessed the most stories.
4–Create your own cardboard game
My son just made his own cardboard game which we got to play as a family. He called it ‘The Trash Collector’ and it’s about collecting trash along the way and winning or losing according to how good you are at the task. He made up the rules and drew the whole thing at just 7 years old. Here it is:
The times we live in are very special. You might want to create a time capsule to remember when the whole world stood still, waiting for the pandemic to stop. You can start by finding a shoe box where you can include: today’s newspaper, a letter detailing your day or week, facts such as what TV shows you’re watching, how you play without going to school, how you’re coping with Internet and all the stuff you need to use it for, books you’re reading, etc. You may want to include a recent family photo, each member’s age, plans you had which fell through, things you miss the most and not able to do. Don’t forget to include the date! It’ll be a treasure down the memory lane at some point in the future.
This is a game of good fortune and bad luck. You might want to start by writing down a series of sentences starting with ‘fortunately’. Then pass the papers to other family members and at the back of the sentence they need to think of the ‘unfortunate’ of that situation. E.g. ‘Fortunately, the sun is shining today’ ‘Unfortunately, we don’t have a yard to go out and play’. ‘Fortunately, I have a lot of free time these days’, ‘Unfortunately, I can’t have any playdates’ etc.
Draw a map of the house and go on a treasure hunt. There can be small treats here and there and small notes with further instructions or things to do, such as ‘In order to continue your hunt, you need to do 10 jumping jacks’. You get the idea, I’m sure.
8–Create a book or a 1-minute movie
My son’s school asked them to do that and they had to write a small script to explain the pictures they put together for the video. They absolutely loved it!.