Create a Writing Environment at Home

Okay, I know I’ve mentioned it before, but if you haven’t set up a writing nook or area, it’s time.

Even if you have young kids.

Even if you have old kids.

If you have kids.

Who can resist the lure of fresh notebooks, pencils, new markers, stencils, pom-poms, stickers, colored pencils — and the crowning glory of my own writing center, the electronic pencil sharpener!?  No one, that’s who!

Okay, maybe a few can resist, but that’s only them throwing down the gauntlet.  Meet their little not-interested-in-writing challenge pencils raised.  Show them what they can do by . . .

  • Create a writing room/area/nook/desk/office. Fill it with blank notebooks, Bare Books, recycled paper, postcards, envelopes, construction paper, stamps, stickers, stencils, markers, crayons, pencils, glue, tape (a must have in my house!), scissors, display cases, book shelves, lamps, chairs and a table.  (I LOVE Bare Books – these are what I use for my writing classes but I keep plenty around to encourage my kids to be write books of every kind.  My 5 year old wrote a Lip Book tonight in one.  Yes, you read it right.  All about lips.  Blue lips. Small lips.  Big lips.  Red lips.  Without help or prompting, just because she’s able to get her supplies and go forth and write!)
  • Write with your kids. Fake enthusiasm if you have to.  “I had such a weird thing happen today, I MUST write about it.”
  • Start  with poetry. No sentences are required – only words strung together.  Read my post on Found Poetry made out of magazine scraps.
  • Write or draw notes and letters to each other.

But you probably already have a writing nook, right?  Well just in case you don’t, off you go to make one.  I’d love to hear what you have that works!  Maybe you can share with the group!?  (Hint, hint.)

By the way, the photo is a display of all the books my two girls have written.  Do they consider themselves writers?  Yes!  And, so do I!

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  • http://www.sunshinehouse.com Max Crutchfield

    Love this post. It’s all so true! I can remember sitting down after school and writing/drawing pictures about my day–real and imagined. I’m sure I wasn’t thrilled about it every time, but it’s one of those things that I look back on and really appreciate. In my mind, the key is just to make it fun for your kids so they feel comfortable writing, build confidence and grow to actually enjoy it!

  • http://thebookchook.blogspot.com Book Chook

    Congratulations to your young authors! That stand of books is very impressive. I love your idea of faking it too. Sometimes as adults, we do need to participate when our minds are on the laundry or some other chore, but faking it means we show we’re willing IMO!

    My only other suggestion would be to encourage kids to write online with you too. There are great little story editors out there like Storybird, and I for one can’t resist the chance to create stories!

  • http://www.UsborneBooks-n-More.com Usborne Books Kim

    These are fabulous suggestions! It is so important to give our kids writing tools that are easily accessible!

    Check out this great book for older writers–it is filled with great prompts and word play ideas. It is geared toward kids from 8 or 9 years old and up.
    It’s called “I Love Words”

    http://tinyurl.com/ilovewords

  • http://www.imaginationsoup.net admin

    Kim, I ordered that book a month ago — it has some great ideas! Thanks!

    Susan, I worry about the screen time with online writing – do you think the benefits are worth it?

    Max, thanks for commenting! It really does build confidence, doesn’t it?

    Melissa

  • Linda

    I save the return envelopes that come with junk mail. I get at least 2-4 everyday. Kids love to use those at a writing center and the best part…they’re FREE.

  • Julie Deutscher

    Really great post Melissa! You’ve inspired me!

  • Valentina

    Very nice! I’ll be creating a writing nook for myself and my son in our new house. :)

  • http://togethertime4families.com Susan at togethertime4families

    Great ideas for the writing center! I love to hear more ideas to add interest. Here is another one, add photos of your child/family/special events. Children love to write about themselves and family. Might be a way to get the reluctant writer to start writing, even if just labeling the picture/naming the person in the photo that you have glued onto paper.

  • Kim

    Your ideas for a writing center are wonderful! My niece and her 3 year old son have story telling time as he gets ready to sleep. They make up stories using events and people from their day. Occasionally I am told a story from their bedtime ritual. This is a wonderful part of being an author. Our little ones need to hear ideas shared and played with as they learn more about written language.

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