One of the best ways to help children become writers is to show them through example that writing has useful purposes in your life. Point out simple moments when you are writing and explain why. Let your seven-year-old see you make a grocery list, write a thank-you note, text a relative, send an email, or write down a funny thing your child said! When your child watches you write and has access to their own writing and art materials, they will feel encouraged to find their own voice — and explore their gifts as a young writer.
Literacy Helping Your Seven-Year-Old Become a Writer
Simple ways to build your child's writing skills:
One of the most effective ways to help children become writers is to show them through your own example that writing has useful purposes. Talk to them about how you use writing, from making a shopping list to texting Grandma, from writing down a recipe to keeping a journal. Let them see that writing is a part of daily life.
Martha needs help adding captions to her scrapbook. Your child can match the vocabulary word to the photo to complete each page of the scrapbook.Play This Game
Keep Writing Materials Handy
Markers, crayons, pens, pencils, paints, paper, glue, scissors and a stapler: with these materials, kids can create pictures, books, posters, cards and lists. At this age, your child may also enjoy having his own special book, such as a journal or spiral notebook.
Sharing Family Stories
Your child can practice writing and storytelling skills by interviewing family members and retelling their stories.Do This Activity
Make Time for Family Writing
Many families make room for daily read-aloud time. Try setting aside time at least once a week for writing together — even for 15 minutes. Topics might include imaginative stories, a journal entry, a thank you card, a book review for a website or an email to a relative.
You child can make a card of compliments for a friend or family member using kind words like WordGirl might use.Do This Activity
Encourage Writing During Pretend Play
Children love to play pretend — and writing can be part of this imaginative work. For example, if they like tea parties, encourage them to make invitations for guests, place cards, maps, signs or menus. Keeping writing materials readily available and at child level will help them integrate writing into their pretend play.
Buster wants to make a movie that shows a specific emotion… sad, excited, happy, or funny. Your child can choose items to appear in the movie that best matches the selected emotion.Play This Game
Play Word Games
Invest in a few word games that can build your child's reading and writing skills while having fun. Some of these include Scrabble Junior, Boggle Junior, Hangman, Spot It Alphabet, Bananagrams and simple crosswords and word searches.
Your child can practice fast-paced reading and rhyming skills in this game where Jessica needs to collect rhyming words to catch up with Danny!Play This Game
Draw a Map
Grab some paper and crayons and work with your child to draw maps of places you both know well. Start with rooms in your home and then branch out to favorite places such as a local park. Use simple shapes to draw and label objects such as furniture or playground equipment. Take a walk around the block together, looking for landmarks to include in a neighborhood map. As kids get more proficient, encourage them to create maps of imaginary worlds or of places in their favorite books or movies.
Create a Nature Journal
When you and your child go outside, take a notebook and pencil with you and become "nature detectives." Use the notebook to record things you see. Encourage your child to look for evidence of living things. These may be things like a hole in a leaf, an insect mound, or a half-eaten nut. When you find something, write it down or draw a picture of it. Try to solve the mystery: "What animal did that or made that?"
Nature Cat Plant Journal
Journaling is a fun way to keep track of plant growth over time. Your child can use this printable Nature Cat plant journal to record her observations.Do This Activity
Make a Book Together
All it takes to make a book is paper and crayons/markers. Staple pieces of paper together or fold them in half. Invite children to write a story about a favorite topic or activity, such as dinosaurs or playing at the park — a picture and a few words on every page. Once they have filled all the pages, have them read it to you, a younger sibling or a stuffed animal. Help them add the title, author, page numbers — and perhaps even a dedication.
Together with your child, make a book about manners to help your child practice writing skills and learn about concepts like please and thank you.Do This Activity
Look for Inspiration from Familiar Sources
When you are writing stories with your child, you can use favorite books as templates. Don't be afraid to borrow the structure of a beloved picture book and help your child think up ideas for her own version. For example, if your child loves "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," have her fill in the blanks (If You Give a _____ a _______…). Take a favorite fairy tale and write a new ending, or retell a tale from a different point of view. For instance, what does the story of the Three Pigs look like from the Wolf's perspective?
There are so many characters in a fairytale story! Your child can draw pictures of fairytale characters, like Rapunzel and the Three Little Pigs, and then use those pictures to play a memory game.Do This Activity
Raise a Reader with Martha Speaks
Martha is an honest, smart, confident dog who loves to eat -- and talk! Through stories and games, Martha and her friends help your child learn new words and begin to understand what those words mean.Find Activities
Activity Finder: Learn With Your Seven-Year-Old
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Your child can spell "DINOSAUR" and other fun words in this hide-and-seek letters activity.
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PBS Parents Play & Learn
Designed specifically with parents in mind, this app provides more than a dozen math and literacy games that parents can play with their kids. Each game builds on the natural curiosity of children and is themed around a familiar location like the garden or grocery store.