Write On! Summer Writing Ideas

admincreativity, graphic novel, hand eye coordination, handwriting, imagination, rebel girl journal, scholastic, school age, summer activities, visual skills, visual tracking, wimpy kid Leave a Comment

The end of the school year is just around the corner and there is a level of excitement in the kids that I work with that is hard to contain. Kids are looking forward to spending their summers at camp, going on vacations or just getting a break from the daily grind of school and homework. For many kids, summer is supposed to be about resting and relaxing and not thinking about school. However, since many of the older kids I work with don’t come to occupational therapy during the summer because of long camp days or spending the summer out of the city, it’s important for me to come up with ideas and activities to keep them writing so they don’t lose all the skills they have gained over the summer months. Many parents want to give their kids a break but also want to make sure their kids are ready for the upcoming school year. 

There are a lot ways to make handwriting seem less like work for kids. I like when there are activities they whole family can get involved in that way a child doesn’t feel like they are being punished. Here are a couple of fun handwriting games you can play as a family:

Crossword Puzzles-these are great for practicing letter writing, sizing and spacing. 
Mad Libs-these are still one of my daughter’s favorite things to do when in the car for long car rides. They are great for working on spelling and learning about identifying parts of speech (verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.). It’s also great for working on sizing of letters so they fit in the space they provide. 
Cryptograms-a cryptogram is a type of word puzzle that consists of a code in which a symbol or number is assigned to each letter of the alphabet in order to solve the code. These are not only great for practicing writing letters, it’s also great for working on improving visual motor and visual tracking skills. You can find them online for printing out or can check out this book here

In addition to the ideas above, I am sharing some of my favorite activity books, journals and other products that are great for working on handwriting over the summer months. These are meant to help my older children who need to prepare for the increased expectations that they will be faced with in the upcoming school year. Many of these provide writing and story prompts to make it a bit easier for my kids who struggle with coming up with ideas. Sometimes kids get really nervous about how to start a story, but once given a little push, they have great ideas on how to create a full story. 

Super Powers! A Great Big Collection of 
Awesome Activities, Quirky Questions-calling on all kids to turn on their superpowers! This fun-filled book offers tons of wonderful way for kids to discover what really interests them, what makes them unique and what makes them so amazing just the way they are. With invitations to declare a superhero name, create a superhero tool kit and even write their own superhero legend, this book will light up the imagination of young kids-boosting their confidence and opening up their minds to big possibilities. When completed, parents have a wonderful keepsake of their child’s unique personality.

And Then Story Starter Cards-And Then is a collection of 20 beginnings of stories that your children have to come up with how the story will end. Each of the cards in this box has a tantalizing start to a story that your child (with the help from friends, siblings or parents) will have to finish. After the And then…it’s up to your kids to figure out what happens next. Encourages self-expression, creativity and confidence as they work on developing good writing skills. 

I Like….A Great Big Book of Awesome Activities-inspire kids of all ages to write all about themselves and they things they like in this whimsically illustrated activity book. Features creative activities, intriguing questions, writing prompts and wild artwork. This is great for working on handwriting and drawing with kids over the summer months, perfect for taking along when traveling and a great way for your kid to get to know themselves even more. 

Cliffhanger Writing Prompts-this ready-to-use resource contains 30 exciting story starters that model good writing and help any student get past writer’s block. The prompts provide scaffolding through rich characters, imaginative settings and and edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger. “And then….” students put their natural storytelling skills to work, dreaming up their own unique endings. Some of the writing prompts they will write about are: What’s under the door in the floor? What are the voices in the root beer saying? What arrived via special delivery? 

Mindful Me Activity Book-being mindful won’t take away your problems, but it can help you handle them. In this activity book, kids will learn to settle their thoughts and look inward through a series of fun writing prompts, games and meditation exercises. Serving as a guide to reflect upon the lessons learned in Mindful Me, it offers kids a place to record their reflections, creating a tangible account of how far they’ve grown in their meditation practice. 

Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book-with the Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself book, your child is the author, illustrator and the main character. Filled with loads of interactive pages and plenty of space to write you own life’s story, this book is all you need to create your masterpieces. Another great book for kids to take with them while traveling, at the beach or when at a restaurant. 

Kid Made Modern Comic Book Kit-this DIY comic book kit has everything you need to create your own comic book. Whether you are writing about a superhero or making up some other fun story….it’s all right and all up to the writer. This kit is perfect for the graphic novel obsessed kid and provides endless possibilities to design their own colorful comic book. Your budding storyteller will have plenty of room to explore and customize their own 32-page comic book (or write a bunch of short comics). The set comes complete with a blank comic book, markers, stencil templates, rubber stamps, ink pads, bottles of ink and a storage box.

On The Go Stationery Kits-a fun way to get kids writing is by setting them up with a pen pal of sorts. Summer is a great time for this because there are so many kids who go to camp or friends who go away. And what kid doesn’t love getting actual mail in the mailbox?? I love these sets from OOLY. They make a great gift for kids who are heading off to camp. Each kit comes complete with 8 letter sheets, 4 envelopes , 4 postcards, a notebook, a mechanical pencil, a four color click pen, a sheet of stickers and an eraser which can all be conveniently stored in the sturdy case it comes in. 

Share Your Smile-living with a 9 year old daughter who is completely obsessed with graphic novels, especially those written by Raina Telgemeir, we had to get this journal like book as soon as it came out. With guidance from Raina herself, kids get lots of tips from her about how to write and draw in this colorful, interactive journal. She teaches kids how to brainstorm ideas, make lists, paste in personal photos and encourages kids to use their imagination to create their own stories. In addition to all these great tips, there are a bunch of behind-the-scenes info from Raina and a sneak peak at her newest book coming out in the fall. This has been my go-to gift and it’s been the biggest hit! I guarantee if you have a Raina fan in your life, they will be encouraged to write and create with this journal. 

I Am A Rebel Girl Journal-another recommendation based on my daughter loving it. We have been huge fans of the Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls books since they came out a couple of years ago (gladly been backing them on Kickstarter for each of their projects) and when the journal came out, we were psyched. This journal is filled with activities that challenge perspective, induce thoughts and prompt action. There are activities that encourage girls to love their bodies, write a letter to an elected representative and to interact with the absolutely beautiful artwork by female artists. This 224-page journal is perfect for working on developing writing skills while also empowering young girls. 

So these are just a handful of the dozens and dozens of amazing products out there that can encourage young kids to want to write and create this summer. I chose ones that keep things light since it is summer and know that you have to motivate kids to work on these challenging things when they aren’t being forced to. I also chose ones that allows them to use their imagination while also getting to know themselves a bit better. During the school year, their aren’t too many opportunities to just write what you want which can often lead to kids resenting handwriting. By allowing your kids creative writing opportunities, you may find that they actually find it easier and will begin to develop a love for writing. 

If you have any other recommendations or ideas, please share them! I know that I am always on the lookout for great writing products and am sure my readers will love the suggestions as well. I am only a click away and love hearing from you all! 

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