Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Games for Writing

Peggy Kaye's book, Games for Writing: Playful Ways to Help your Child Write is a treasure trove of easy activities to get your kindergarten to third grade child writing. The activities are especially appealing to reluctant writers and many work well for mixed age groups (i.e. the typical homeschooling family).

Part one of the book focuses on the act of creating letters. There are some fun ways to approach the eye hand coordination required to write text.

Parts two and four and packed with great activities to get kids creating text. One of our favorites was the "Monster Cafe" in which we created different dishes a monster might eat as an appetizer, main course, drink, and dessert. My daughter got inspired to go on to make a slightly less gruesome monster children's menu and wrote more words than she had in a long time. I guess she has internalized the the children's menu is usually a little more bland than the adult menu! We also really enjoyed trying to outdo each other and a couple of friends when we played "Bragging Contest." For many of the games I pre-cut strips of paper to write on so we could put our results on display by sticking them to the wall.

Part three has activities to work with the conventions of writing and part five has some inspiring ways to make interesting books.

The activities in the book are designed for one on one practice, although many can be done with a small group. Kaye is great about giving a short vignette about each one that shows how a "real" child might approach the activity. As a parent, I can browse the activities and then suggest them as a "what if we do this" on the spur of the moment. I can enjoy a fun time with my child, but I know that I'm teaching important skills, too! 

Article by Heddi Craft

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