A guest blog by Danielle Okumura who has recently launched Creative Writing courses in Ealing. She has lots of advice for West London Kids on how to foster an interest in creative writing in your children over the long summer break.
Wondering how to cope over the long summer holidays? Worried your children might forget all they’ve learned at school? We’ve got some great tips here on how you can use the summer break to fuel your children’s love of creative thinking, reading and writing.
A good place to start is to encourage creative thinking. Often during term-time, I find that as both a parent and teacher, I need my children to follow the ‘classroom’ and ‘home’ rules closely, mainly to ensure that everything is done on time! The summer holidays are a perfect time to relax a little bit more; to encourage more in-depth conversations; to nurture children’s creative abilities; and generally, to develop deeper positive interactions.
Try asking more open-ended questions to get your children thinking. Even silly questions can spark the imagination! What would happen if the sun never set? What if we lived under the sea? What would a cat say to a dog if they could communicate? What if our house was made of an apple? Look around you for ideas and delve into the unknown!
Next, I would take the opportunity to read! Bring a book to the park and spend the afternoon having a picnic and reading together. You could bring teddies too and read to them! Take turns to read pages and don’t forget to ask your children questions about the book to keep them engaged. There are plenty of great new books out there so take a trip to the library or local bookshop to find some books that will excite your child. Here are a couple of good websites which give recommendations for summer 2019:
Here’s our list of recommended books, all suggested to us by children we know:
Bright Light Education’s List of Recommended Reading for West London kids.
If you’ve encouraged creative thinking and started reading some books, your children’s minds should be opening up to the idea of writing their own story. Find them a notebook and pencil which they could carry around with them to jot down ideas. Look around you for a few days and try to work with your children to come up with a story-line. Think about who the main characters could be; try and sketch them so that they become easier to describe later on. Where will the story take place? Will the story start with some action or will it start with a description of the character and setting? It’s good to try to map out the plot together, so that your children don’t feel too overwhelmed. Are they going to write a short story, or could it turn into a couple of chapters of an adventure book? One of my most memorable and enjoyable creative writing experiences was when I wrote “The Adventures of Lucy Leek” at the end of year 6. See if you can give your child this opportunity to produce something that they will remember in years to come! Please do let us know how you get on!
If you are interested in purchasing a book to guide your children through some creative writing skills and techniques, please visit our website, Bright Light Education. Our Creative Writing Skills book is also sold in Pitshanger Book Shop, in Ealing.
Creative Writing Workshops:
We, Bright Light Education, are excited to be launching our new Creative Writing Courses in Ealing and Putney from August 2019. These courses are aimed at children from 9-11 years old, who want to improve their creative writing skills. For a 20% West London Kids discount on the September 2019 Ealing course, please use the coupon code Ealing1-20. For more information, visit https://brightlighteducation.co.uk/creative-writing/.