Write & Play

10 ways to include writing into everyday play.

By Allison McDonald
Jul 25, 2013



Jul 25, 2013

Writing is the other half of the reading puzzle. Getting your children writing at a very young age will help support them as they learn to read. Slipping a little reading and writing practice into everyday play is my favorite way to get my children to work on literacy -- when all they think they are doing is playing.

Here are 10 simple ways to slip writing into everyday play.

  1. Keep Score. Whether you are playing basketball on your driveway or a card game in your living room, have your child make a simple scorecard with players' names and tally marks.
  2. Sign It.  When playing blocks, name the buildings and make simple signs for each.
  3. List It. Write lists before going to the library, and read the lists when you are there.
  4. Make Menus. When you are playing restaurant, make simple menus with your kids and read them as you play.
  5. Stamp It. Use letter stamps on play dough to explore letters and write words.
  6. Name Tags. Creating name tags for pretend play is a favorite at our house and is as easy as pie. It helps your child try on new roles and slips a little reading and writing in at the same time.
  7. Invitation to Write. Create invitations for playroom tea parties and backyard teddy bear picnics.
  8. Sidewalk Chalk. The chunky chalk is fantastic for little hands, and your only limit is the size of your driveway.
  9. Claim It. Before painting, creating a craft, or drawing a picture, have your child write his name on the back of the paper. It's a simple step, but it won't take long before it becomes a habit and you start noticing your child's writing develop.
  10. Say Thanks. Getting children to write thank-you notes, even if their handwriting isn't legible, is such an easy and purposeful way of adding writing to their every day.

How do you get your kids writing while they play? Let us know by leaving a comment on the Scholastic Parents Facebook Page.

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