Summer writing can present a challenge for parents. Children are eager to set
workbooks aside in lieu of outdoor fun. With a little ingenuity, parents can present tools
and activities that both entertain and teach their children.
1. Traveling this summer? Have your child choose some postcards from your travel
destination. He can tell Grandma and Grandpa all about his exciting adventures, or
even to his best friend back home. Be sure to pack postcard stamps and addresses!
2. Your child can help you write a grocery list. Sit down together, plan meals for the
week, and have your son or daughter write the list for you. Younger children can
write their own list to check off in the store.
3. Planning a vacation? Your child can write a packing list and check off the items as
they are added to the suitcase. Older children can read guide books and create an
itinerary of places to see.
4. Use tools besides workbooks, papers, and pencils to draw their attention. Try
chalkboards, whiteboards, glow in the dark or magnetic activity boards instead.
5. Encourage your child to become an author and illustrator! Demonstrate how to make
a book using a piece of construction paper as a cover, and plain sheets inside.
Assemble with a hole punch and yarn, or staple the book together. You may be able
to find a book from the library which shows how to make pop-up designs or shape
6. Offer materials that promote writing outdoors such as a stick and sand, sticks and
stones, sidewalk chalk, finger paint, shaving cream on a tray, or a bucket of water and
a paint brush, which works great on hot days.
7. Creating a garden this summer? Your child can write the names of the plants on the
8. An observation journal is a great way for your child to illustrate and write about plant
or animal growth. Your child will enjoy drawing pictures of a plant starting from seed,
what it looks like as a sprout, and the changes of shape and size until itʼs fully grown.
Your child can also mark the growth development of a chick to a hen, or a puppy to a
dog. Use your imagination!
9. Introduce spelling and language games such as Scrabble and UpWords for older
children. For younger ones, a game of Sight Word Bingo, Sight Word Memory, or
Sight Word or ABC Bingo may be fun. Some of these games, such as Memory or
Sight Word Go Fish, you can create using index cards.
10. Children will also enjoy writing activities in the form of Mad Libs, easy crossword
puzzles, or unlocking secret code sentences. Some of these materials can be found
online or in childrenʼs activity books.
11. If your child has had a birthday party or received a gift, thank you notes are a great
way to promote writing. Blank cards are great for older children, while younger
children can use the fill-in-the-blank ones and still feel a sense of accomplishment.
Any writing that you can squeeze in this summer will benefit your child. If you present it
as a fun activity, your child will likely see it as such instead of a chore. So break out the
sidewalk chalk, finger paint, and games to let summer begin!
Julie Rebboah has been a professional educator since 1998. She has been an Early Reading Intervention instructor, an English language development teacher, and a private tutor. Julie wrote Magic Letters; The Keys to the World of Words and Magic Words; Discovering the Adventure of Reading out of a need to provide materials to support and extend learning in her diverse classroom. http://www.lightningbuglearning.com