Sometimes it's difficult to inspire reluctant writers to pick up a pen and paper. Raising kids who find joy in writing, even if they don't become the next Shakespeare or Emily Dickinson, is important to me. Literacy is not just reading, it's writing, too.
Too often, writing seems like a chore, associated with worksheets and boring essays. One way you can inspire kids to practice their handwriting skills and to view writing as a fun activity is to present them with a writing box full of enticing materials.
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In her book, Hallissy suggests that each child have their own writing station, filled with all sorts of goodies to inspire creativity. She suggests a desk or table.
Of course, a lovely desk at which our children could work independently would be wonderful. However, that is not an option in our tiny apartment! I needed something that was small and could be tucked away when not in use.
Our solution was this lovely blue box! However, you could even use a large shoe box (let the kids decorate it!), or a small set of desktop drawers, even a roll away cart, if you have the space. I like the way our box stays open with a ribbon like an old-fashioned portable writing box.
I filled it with paper and pens, but added in some fun and items. Hallissy suggests incorporating the types of materials that will encourage writing as an integral part of pretend play.
I went down to our local independent stationary story and had a great time picking stuff out! Here are a few of the items I included:
- A pencil case filled with different colored pencils and pens
- Alphabet stencil
- Different sizes of notebooks
- Blank check register
- To-Do list book
- Receipt book that uses carbon paper
With this writing box the kids can turn into detectives, landlords, bankers, shoppers, waiters, novelists, mathematicians, professors.... anything they want.
The variety of items you can add is endless. Take a walk around your local stationary store to see what inspires you.
I also like the that kids can keep their papers and drawings in the box instead of letting them float aimlessly all over the apartment.
I kept several other kinds of "surprise writing materials" aside with plans to add them into the box at various times in the box, including a date stamp, sticky labels, and blank postcards.
Get the book!