Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ten Fun Summer Time Writing Activities

The word "sand" written in sand
The word "sand" written in sand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I'm spending this month attending the Kennesaw Mountain National Writing Project Summer Institute at  Kennesaw State College.  It is a month of intensive training for teachers to help us develop our personal writing skills and then to translate that into lessons in the classroom for students.  In many ways, our world of modern technology has been detrimental to the development of writing.  Instead of letters, we send emails.  We text messages on our phones.  We tweet.  Just yesterday, I had a friend lament to me that she has been texting back and forth to her adult son about scheduling a family visit and she can't seem to get the communication clear.  "Listen to this," she said.  "See if you can tell if he's coming over on Saturday or not."
"Why don't you just call him?" I asked.
"Oh, he never answers or returns calls," she complained.

As I listen and learn new, exciting and innovative ways to express ourselves in the written word, I wonder if the assignments we are doing wouldn't make great but fun teaching moments throughout the summer.  Here's  ten ways you can engage your child in writing throughout the summer.  Don't just give them as an assignment though.  Do them with your child!

  • Take your child on an artist date to purchase some things to make writing fun.  This doesn't have to be expensive.  The dollar store works fine.  Consider a special notebook, pen or pencil or some stickers.
  • Write about summer time activities but from the perspective of someone or something else.  What would the dog have to say about playing in the yard or a visit to the park?  Write from the point of view of an object.  Does the frisbee like being thrown around or is it tired?
  • Keep a simple travel log--each day list the place, the best thing about the day and the worst thing about the day, draw pictures to illustrate both
  • Send Wish You Were Here postcards to friends and relatives who live far away--even if you aren't traveling. Tell them what you miss about them.
  • Make a summer newspaper.  Have a special events section, a recipe section a sports or weather section,  a whatever-topic-you-like section.  
  • Start a summer memoir.  Start with the first summer your child remembers and record memories of each year.  Find pictures that go with each summer and add them. 
  • Create a summertime collage with pictures and words cut out of magazines.
  • At the end of the each day, write  one sentence or even just one adjective that describes the day on a calendar.
  • Start a gratitude journal.  Each day write something you are grateful for.  Focus on one person for a week or a month and write something each day about that person that you are grateful for.  Give them the journal when you finish. 
  • Keep  a book-graphy or a videogame-graphy or a dessert-graphy.  Record games played, scores and any additional pointers or notes for future players.  Record favorite desserts.  Describe what makes them so special.  Include a recipe.
What other ideas do you have that would involve you and your child in writing?    
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  1. It seems so difficult to stay in touch with people, but these projects are great. I think bonding in this way with a child can lead to tighter bonds and communication in adulthood.

  2. Lynne, what fantastic suggestions these are! I wish I had had some of these as my children were coming along. Once again, I will e-mail this post to my daughter so she can get some ideas for the grand-girl, even though she is a bit young right now.
    Also, Sarah (my daughter) loved getting your book for her birthday. I hope she will read it carefully and prayerfully.
    Blessings to you!

  3. @J R I think that is what is special about these activities--it is a great way to create memories while recording memories. Glad you liked them.
    @Martha--Thanks and I hope your daughter enjoys the post and the book:)