On my recent mission to make our homeschool days a little lighter and less rigid I have been looking for ways to get my kids writing that are fun. I have always loved to write, and have boxes and boxes of journals and stories and poems from my childhood and youth stored in our back barn to prove it (so much cringe-worthy stuff in there to be sorted through some day!) but my boys have not yet become convinced about the joys of getting words onto the page. One runs far and fast when I suggest writing, and the other is still just learning to form letters into words and gets tired with it quickly.
But when we brainstormed ideas of what we needed to do each day one of the things I wanted to see them do (and me too!) was to write. It could be anything at all, and it didn’t need to be a lot, but we agreed that some writing would happen each day. Mostly my oldest son is choosing to write lists of Star Wars characters, and my youngest son loves to draw word bubbles for the characters in his drawings- often making unpronounceable sounds like “aaaahhhaaagggbbbb!” and such.
I’m holding out hope that this will lead into a love of writing eventually. But in the meantime, this game is one way that we can all write together, and have lots of fun doing it.
I found the idea for this game in the book” Games for Writing” by Peggy Kaye. I love her books and get lots of great ideas from them. This game is called Word by Word- though my kids have named it “Word Dice.”
What you need:
The object of the game is to create a story together. I let each of my children take turns choosing the title for our stories and I write the title at the top of the page. Then everyone takes turns rolling the dice and writing words- as many words as their roll determined. If you roll a 5 you add 5 words to the story and then pass it along to the next player to roll the dice and add their words. Turn by turn the story grows until an obvious ending comes, or until the little writers get tired out. The stories get silly quickly, and my children find them hilarious.
The first time I introduced this game to my oldest he frowned and refused to write the first words- he knew what this was- a trick mama had dreamed up to get him to write! But soon the story started to flow into irresistible silliness and he was writing as fast as he could.
He loved that story so much he stapled coloured paper on the outside as a cover for the story “book” and wrote the title and a dedication to his baby sister and placed it in her keepsake box! So clearly this game was a hit. Now both boys make covers for these stories and love to keep them and read them to their Papa when he gets home from work. Success!
We are having so much fun with this, and it gives me a thrill to see my boys giggling and writing at the same time. I hope some other little reluctant writers can have some fun with it too!