Many children aspire to be writers or have an interest in reading. Parents and teachers can help focus this creativity into fun writing projects with the activities on this page. These writing activities for kids and young writers help inspire creativity while teaching them how to explore things like character, setting, and dialogue. The activities can be given as school assignments or just as a fun exercise to do in a writing journal on their own time.
10 Best Writing Activities for Kids
1. Dream Story
Have the kids remember a dream they’ve had recently and use that as a starting point for their story. They can write their dream exactly as they remember it or elaborate on it and take it in a crazy direction. This activity is an easy way to teach children that there’s no limit to their imagination and introduce them to magical realism.
The Bucket Rider by Franz Kafka is a very short magical realism story in the vein of a dream story that you can share with your young aspiring writer.
2. Write a Collaborative Story
This activity is the Exquisite Corpse of writing activities, perfect for a classroom activity or for siblings and friends to do at home. Generally, it works better with groups of four or more writers. Take a piece of paper and have the first child write a beginning to the story. After three or four sentences, fold the paper so only the last line is visible and pass it to the next child. Each child adds three to four sentences and the last one finished the story. Pick someone to read the story out loud so everyone can enjoy the results. Usually, they’re quite funny. This activity is perfect to teach about collaboration.
3. A Name Poem
This is a good writing activity for younger kids, including preschool, kindergarteners and first graders that are learning to write their letters and spell. This type of poem is known as an acrostic poem, as the first letter of each line spells a name. Have the child write their name down the left side of a page. Then have them take each letter and pick a word that describes them. They can do this with friends and family names as well.
4. Daily Journal
If you want to teach your kids how to build a daily writing habit, a daily journal is a perfect activity. Get them a notebook or journal and set aside time each day for them to do their writing. They can write about what they did that day or write stories or free write. Whatever they want to write is up to them, just encourage the regular habit which will serve them well as an adult writer.
5. Rewrite a Fairy Tale
When your aspiring author is interested in writing traditional stories with a beginning, middle, or end, this activity will help teach them about story structure. Have them pick their favorite fairy tale and write their own version of it. They can get as creative as they want. The Three Little Pigs can become the Three Wise Owls. Have them reimagine the whole tale based on their changes and then write it down.
When they’ve mastered a retelling, have them try writing a fairy tale of their own.
6. Make Your Own Ending
After watching a movie or reading a book that your child doesn’t like, suggest they write their own ending. They can choose what point in the story they want to change and write from there until it’s done. When they’re done, ask them why they disliked the original ending and why they like this ending better. This exercise will help them think critically about endings and the way they make readers feel.
7. Picture Prompt
Find pictures online or in magazines. Let the kids look through the photos and find one they like the most. Have them write a story based on the people or places in the photos. You can make this activity more interesting by having them pick a variety of photos of places and people to blend together in one story.
8. Write a How To
This is an exercise that is good to teach children how to visualize actions and explain them in their writing. Have them pick an activity they like to do and know how to do without help. Examples could be picking up their room, building a house with blocks, or drawing a picture. Have them write how to do that thing, step by step. When they finish, have them read the steps to you as you try to do the activity. This will teach them how important it is to get details on the page so the reader understands what they’re thinking.
9. Mad Libs
It may not seem like a writing exercise, but Mad Libs are an excellent way to teach children about sentence composition and different types of words. Use some free printables to help teach them about nouns, adverbs, and adjectives. Plus, they’re a ton of fun.
10. Write a Book
If your child enjoys drawing as well, this activity can let them explore their creativity in both arenas. Take five or more sheets of paper and fold them in half so they form a book. Use a stapler to secure them in the middle. Have them write a story and draw pictures to go along with it. When they’re done, they’ll have their own picture book with their name on the cover.
Looking for more ways to inspire the young writer in your life? Check out these creative gifts for aspiring writers.