Post by Lisa Brown
Preschool age children can learn to develop writing skills even before they know how to read and write. Preparing your preschooler to be a creative writer happens with pretend play, books, drawing, and expressive language.
Following are several learning activities that you can do with your Preschool child on a daily basis to help them become a creative writer. At this age the best thing you can do with your child is read to them and let them have hours upon hours of pretend play.
Preparing your Preschooler to be a Creative Writer
Kids are great story tellers with amazing imaginations. They act out their stories through pretend play. It’s in their nature to be actors and imitate characters. Pretend play is a great outlet for preparing your preschooler to be a creative writer.
You can create a fun pretend play area by filling a box with dress up clothes, hats, shoes, and jewelry. In a corner you can add a mirror and a make up stand for beauty touch ups.
Additional items may include costumes for a fireman, policeman, mailman, cowboy and cowgirls. You can inspire creativity by adding props for a bakery, grocery store, veterinarian care, Doctor and Nurse clinic or hospital.
Read books at least 20 minutes a day. Every good writer starts with listening to a great book.
You can read your child stories that will spark their imagination. It’s best to pick out books that have great pictures and are colorful with detailed pictures.
You can talk to your children about the pictures before reading the words to them. Have them guess what is going to happen next or what they would do if they were in the story.
You can ask open ended questions that help your child ponder ideas and allow them to develop their own conclusions.
Children love to act out stories from books. It’s fun when you can include music, dance, repeating phrases, and express emotions. Ask often, who, what, where, when, and why. Help your child consider each of the character’s feelings in the picture and why they might be feeling that way.
Preschoolers like to tell stories through pictures. You can ask them to draw a picture of your family, best friend, playing at the park, going to the grocery store and eating at a restaurant.
You can ask them about their morning, afternoon, and evening routine. Or what they did first in Preschool, next, after lunch, and so on.
You could also have them draw a picture of their favorite superhero and ask them to show you in a picture his or her superpowers. Or you can start a story by drawing some characters in action and encourage your child to add on.
For example, you could draw a cat stuck in a tree and he can’t get down. Ask your child to add on to the story. He might draw a superhero to save the cat, or draw a fireman climbing up the ladder.
Write Their Words
Have your child tell you about their picture or just a story, and write down what they are saying. This helps with organizing thoughts, sequencing events, expressing words filled with action and feelings. Every story must have a beginning, middle, and end.
There are heroes and villains in a good story. In a story there are problems to be solved or someone needs to be saved.
Here are two questions you could ask. Just write their answers.
- If you were a superhero how would you save the world?
- If you were a fairy, what kind of fairy would you be?
Make a Book
Books are easy and fun to make!
You can just use a couple of sheets of construction paper, either staple it together or take a hole puncher and punch holes along one edge. Then tie the book together with yarn.
You can also record their stories that they tell you and let them listen to it. Puppets are also a great way to tell a story.
Most importantly, have fun and your kids will desire to express themselves through written words when they are ready to write. Here are more tips on fostering developmentally appropriate writing skills. Even children as young as toddlers can be encouraged to develop their pre-writing skills in fun ways.
What creative activities from this list does your child enjoy?
Lisa Brown is an aspiring writer and owner of The Family Roadmap Blog and a Parent Coach at the National Center Of Biblical Parenting. She has a 10-yr. old son, a 7-yr. old daughter, and has been married to her husband for 12 yrs. Prior to marriage, she worked over 20 yrs. enriching the lives of hundreds of children and families. Lisa has a Bachelors in Social Work and Early Childhood Education. To meet with Lisa about a parent concern or if you would like for Lisa to write an article or blog post, you can contact Lisa here.