07 Apr Is Your Child A Budding Author? April 10th Is Dedicated To Creative Writing
National Encourage a Young Writer Day is the day earmarked for encouraging children in the U.S. to write creatively, but it’s important they are encouraged to write all year long. Do you have a budding author in your family?
If so, that’s great! Writing is a wonderfully creative pursuit for all children. In this post, we offer tips for encouraging your child to write creatively – by fostering a love of books, for example. There are many ways to encourage creativity in your child, and here we outline some of the best of them!
1. Get them a library card.
Every city and town has a different guideline on how old children must be before they can have a library card of their own. If your little one is still too young, that’s okay – take them there on April 10th and borrow a couple books under your name. Reading is a primary way children learn to communicate, so reading to them even when they’re babies is beneficial. Let them choose the books they want to read – you may be surprised by what titles they pull from library shelves.
2. Start beefing up their at-home library.
If you have a shelf of children’s books in disarray in their bedroom, April 10th is the perfect day to tidy up and perhaps purchase a few new volumes at the local independent book shop, or on Amazon. Studies show that children who read a lot in childhood are more comfortable with the complex language in particular professions, like engineering and mathematics. (For a selection of STEAM book titles that make great gifts on National Encourage a Young Writer Day, check out our recent blog post). But all children, no matter what profession they ultimately pursue, benefit enormously from reading books of every genre.
3. Suggest they begin a daily journal.
Creative writers say that one of the best habits developed in childhood is keeping a daily journal. Whether it’s chock full of imaginary tales or a rundown of daily activities isn’t really the point. It’s that they get in the habit of putting words to paper on a regular basis, “flexing their creative muscles,” so to speak. Writing each day promotes discipline in writing, as (should they choose it as a career) there will be plenty of days ahead when they may not feel like writing, but must do it anyway. Journals are great training for that.
4. Encourage your child to write in different voices.
Encourage your child to write in different voices. To write a story, a child needs to understand how to write like someone else, in the first or third person. Even young children can do this if you explain it in simple terms. “Tell the story from your sister’s perspective,” for example, or “use your own voice to tell this tale” are easy concepts for children to grasp. Saying “pretend you’re someone else” is simple for a young child to comprehend. As they get older, they may want to try more adventurous voices and periods, like characters set in different times and settings – a medieval princess, perhaps, or a doctor on a spaceship in some future century.
5. Keep a good dictionary nearby.
Because we have spellcheck and other advances in technology, it may seem like this is an outdated idea, but creative writers cite dictionaries as the number one tool of their work. If your teen resists looking up words in an “actual” dictionary, bookmark an online dictionary on their laptop, like Collin’s or the Oxford English Dictionary. Both have excellent online subscription-based sites. (For a list that includes the best online dictionaries, including urban words, go to): (https://rapidapi.com/blog/best-online-dictionaries).
6. Ask them to write you a story.
Suggest a family-themed tale, perhaps involving their siblings or extended family members. Ask them to read it aloud in front of everyone, and be sure the family applauds and cheers their creative efforts.
7. Post pictures with the day’s slogan to your social media accounts.
With the hashtag “Encourage A Young Writer Day!” post pictures of your little one holding a book or writing a story – any pose that shows you support and promote their creativity. When you see similar posts on friends and other families’ accounts, send them a “like” so your child knows you’re on board with celebrating April 10th. And ask them how they would like to mark the day – they may have ideas you haven’t thought of.
All children fantasize about what they will end up doing in life – will they become a doctor, a scientist, or perhaps a writer? Encourage them to tell you how they imagine their life unfolding, and if it includes a creative profession, don’t discourage them. Parents sometimes worry that a writing career may not be stable enough, or lucrative enough. But creative writers can make very healthy incomes, so try to bolster their dreams. There is plenty of time for them to discover for themselves whether any of the arts is really for them. In the meantime, do what parents do best – champion them, and help foster their creativity in every way you can!