Fun Writing Activities That Students Can Do At Home
You probably don’t need to be told that students get lots of academic benefits from all types of writing (but here’s a GREAT article that highlights a few of them if you want to learn more). As teachers, we know it’s important for them to do lots of writing – even if they’re learning from home and don’t have access to all the materials that would typically be in the classroom for them.
The great thing about writing is that it doesn’t require many materials – just a pencil and paper (though what kind of kindergarten teacher would I be if I didn’t say that crayons, markers, or other fun writing utensils are *highly* recommended?).
Because it’s so low-maintenance and naturally independent, it’s perfect for distance learning! That’s why I thought I’d put together a list of writing activities kids can do at home – engaging ideas that will make it feel less like work and more like play.
Cards, cards, cards
Ok, this one is simple and probably the most obvious, but kids love making cards for other people! So why not make it a part of your weekly routine? Each week, schedule a time for your students to make a card for someone else – a family member, neighbor, or friend.
You could leave it open-ended and let them choose who to give it to, or you could set guidelines each week. Maybe one week, the assignment is to make a card for a friend that tells what they like about them.
Maybe another week, they have to make a thank-you card for a parent/guardian. For fire safety week, they could make a card for a firefighter. There are so many possibilities!
Make a rule that there has to be at least one word or one sentence on it. Then, if you’re a Seesaw user, have them take a picture of it or record themselves reading it to you before they give it to the person they made it for.
Labeling objects with sticky notes
Did you know that research shows that allowing kids to do inventive spelling (a.k.a. “brave spelling) helps them become better readers?
One way students can practice inventive spelling at home is to label items around the house with sticky notes (or even paper scraps if sticky notes are hard to come by).
Just like with the cards, this could be open-ended, or you could give them specific things to label, like:
- 5 things in the kitchen that are bigger than you
- 4 items that begin with the letter S
- 7 things that are square
As you can see, it would be really easy to incorporate other subjects into this activity, so you can get more bang for your buck!
I will say, though, that the trickiest part will probably be convincing parents to let their children spell words on their own without help. That has always been a struggle for me!
I wish I had found this awesome post from greatschools.org while I was still teaching. It’s made just for parents and it outlines what inventive spelling is and why it’s important…I would definitely share it with your students’ families!
Making a restaurant menu
What could be more fun than planning a menu and inviting the whole family to dine at your restaurant?
Not only will students get writing practice as they make the menu, but also as they write down their “customer’s” orders! This is one of those things that would make some great memories for students and their families.
They could come up with their own menu, or they could use the FREEBIE below! It comes with a 4-page digital picture dictionary that’s compatible with Google Slides and PowerPoint, plus a printable menu template and order pad!
Students can choose items for their menus from the picture dictionary – drinks, main meals, sides, and desserts. They simply copy the words onto the menu template (or they can use plain paper from home), then add pictures and/or prices.
And can I tell you a secret? This would be an awesome activity to do in the classroom as well! SO. MUCH. FUN.
Click here to download it now:
Writing a grocery list
In my classroom writing center, one of the most popular activities was writing a shopping list.
But the one thing that was missing was a portable word wall with grocery words…so I made one!
And guess what? You can get the grocery words portable word wall in this freebie mega bundle when you sign up for the Little Playful Learners weekly newsletter! I haven’t yet turned it into a digital picture dictionary like the restaurant words, but I have that on my list of to-dos.
For distance learning, you could print the grocery words portable word wall for each student, or you could share it with them digitally via Seesaw or Google. The freebie also includes a few recording sheets for you to print or share digitally as well.
Another option is for students to just write their grocery list on plain paper using:
- Food labels they have at home
- A grocery store ad or website
- Brave spelling
The great thing about it is, they’re going to love it no matter what!
Keeping a journal with a parent or sibling
When my daughter first started kindergarten, I bought a cute little journal for us to write to each other in. It was fun to see what she wrote about, and it gave the writing a purpose since she was writing to an audience.
Now, 9 years later, it’s so fun to look through it and see how her handwriting changed over the years, and how the topics changed too.
It became a place where she could write to me about her worries and feelings that she had a hard time sharing face-to-face.
But looking back at those first couple years, her writing was SO adorable. I mean seriously, see for yourself:
I was thinking that this would be a great way to promote writing during distance learning – I don’t how you would make it a required assignment and check it, but it’s something that you could definitely encourage.
What are your favorite ways to encourage writing?
I could probably go on and on with ideas, but these are definitely my top 5! I’d love to hear more ideas for encouraging writing at home…if you have one you’d like to share, leave it in the comments below.