Sunday, 7 February 2010

10 Ways To Inspire Your Child To Write

1. Read to your child or make sure he or she spends time reading every day.
Not only does reading help her get used to using her imagination, but it also improves her vocabulary by introducing her to new words.

2. Tell your child made-up stories. Seeing you using your imagination to come up with interesting stories for him helps inspire him to do the same.

3. Play story-telling games with your child. Start by saying one line of a story, and have the next person continue the story by coming up with the second line, and the third person has to come up with the third line. If this proves too difficult, each person can come up with a paragraph instead of a line each. This is a great way to stimulate your child’s creativity and get her thinking about the things that make up a good story.

4. Have your child and some of his or her friends write poems and make it a contest. Make sure they don’t put their names on the poems, and then collect the poems into a pile. Read the poems out loud, one by one, and tell them all they can vote for one poem, other than their own, that they thought was the best one. Then tabulate the votes and the winner gets a treat, like a candy bar, a sticker or a new notebook (depending on what you can afford to give and how old your child is). Do this once a week, at the same time each week, because knowing that it is coming up will have them all thinking about their poem throughout the week.

5. Get your child a library card. As in the first point above, reading is important for your child if she is going to develop the ability to write. Reading a variety of stories and books, as a library card will allow, will help her to become familiar with different writing voices and styles.

6. Self-publish his stories and drawings so that he can hold a physical book of his own creation in his hands. This can be done through places like Amazon’s CreateSpace, and Blurb, Inc. Or you can create the book by hand using your printer and the right materials. If you are completely lost on how to create the book, use a service such as Your Kids’ Creations. Having a physical book of his own words and drawings that he can hold, read and share with others inspires a confidence in his own writing that is hard to capture in other ways. This confidence will inspire him to write more.

7. Do some writing yourself. Seeing a parent take writing seriously and spend time writing emphasizes the importance of writing in a child’s mind. It’s a case of leading by example.

8. Have your child write and illustrate a poem. This helps show your child the connection between the beauty in words and the beauty in the world around her. It helps to make the connection that you are painting a picture with words when writing. As an extra step, you can even put her masterpiece on a mug, poster or magnet at for her to keep as a physical reminder that she can create beauty with her writing, or just to show her how proud you are of her work.

9. Help your child create a newsletter. Let him take pictures of his friends or other things with a digital camera, or provide him with pictures if a digital camera is not available, and he can write stories about sports he loves, games he plays with his friends, or just interesting news about his friends and family that he’d like to share. Help him put it all together in a newsletter format. Print up several copies and he can hand them out to his friends and family members. He can even let his friends participate in the newsletter by contributing stories to it.

10. Let your child have his or her own blog or use other social media outlets. With the proper supervision, writing for her own blog or keeping in touch with her friends through other social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook can really help inspire your child to reach for even greater creativity. Using a blog source such as makes it easy for her to choose a template and set up her own blog (though, depending on her age, she might need your help), and you can set it to not allow comments or to only allow comments after they’ve been moderated by you. She can share her writing of stories and poetry as well as her drawings and even simple journal entries in her blog. The blog can be set to private or public and you can monitor it to the extent that you think is necessary. Facebook and Twitter accounts can also be set to private and you can only allow them to authorize friends you know, but this frees them to chat freely and be creative with their friends.

There are many ways to inspire creativity and a love for writing in your child. Even as simple a thing as writing a letter to his or her grandparents can help bring out the creative writer in your child. It’s up to you to encourage your children and to lead by example in their lives. If you put importance on writing in your life, your child will see it as important too.

How To Keep Fairy Magic Alive For Your Children


Children are creatures of magic. In a child’s eyes, anything is possible, from the mundane to the truly magical. Through their innocent eyes, the world takes on a whole new presence, full of mystery, magic and wonder.

But somewhere along the way as children grow older, they begin to lose this sense of wonder and belief in the impossible. They mature and their dreams of flying and their fantasies of other worlds within worlds start to lose their luster as a new reality begins to creep into their consciousness little by little, a reality where magic is only a trick and the fantastical never happens.

How can we, as parents, keep the magic alive for our children? How can we help them retain their sense of wonder and their belief in the impossible? Is it an impossible task in this world where reality can all too often seem mundane and routine, or even sometimes cruel and harsh?

There are, indeed, ways that we can help our children keep their youthful innocence and belief in the magic and wonder of this world alive for them.

It is important that you retain your own sense of playfulness. Children need to see us, the adults in their lives, play and act silly from time to time. They need to understand that becoming an adult does not mean leaving our playfulness behind us, and the only way they can learn this is by seeing that sense of playfulness in us.

Dance. Sometimes, keeping the magic alive for our children is as simple as turning on some music and dancing with your kids. You don’t even have to dance well; in fact, the sillier your dancing is, the better it will suit the purpose of keeping magic and wonder in our children’s world.

Read to your children. There is nothing more magical than a well-told story. The adventures in a story book can help to keep your children thinking in creative ways and imagining all the things that could be. It’s a fabulous way of keeping their minds on magical possibilities.

Draw with your children. Along with creating shapes and images out of playdough, this helps children think up imaginary things to create and even helps them express through their own eyes how beautifully they see things that are in the world around them.

Take nature walks with your children. Along the way, point out the different trees and plants, or butterflies and other insects you can spot along the way. Children have a natural tendency to view things in nature with awe and wonder. Teach them about some of what they are seeing. The growth of tadpoles into frogs and the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies can hold an immense measure of wonder and enjoyment for a child.

Play some innocent tricks on your children. This can be really fun. Simple magic tricks are easy to impress small children with, and can be very simple to perform. Pulling a coin from behind a child’s ear or playing a card trick can provide them with a sense of amazement that will last them for quite some time. Find unusual ways to play these kinds of games with your child, like, with a very young child, blow really hard as you come up to an automatic door and let them believe you’ve blown the door open. These are harmless and fun things to do, and they are small ways to add to a child’s sense of there being magic in the world.

Plant a fairy garden. Many garden centers carry kits for planting the types of plants that attract butterflies and other insects like them. Tell your child it is a fairy garden and add some small fairy statues around the garden to emphasize this fact. You can even help your child gather some twigs and fashion an impromptu fairy house to add to your garden.

Create a nature enclosure for your child to play in within the garden. Some shrubs can be fashioned in a circle over time to leave an opening in the center for your child to play within, or, for something more temporary during the summer, you can plant some tall sunflowers close together in a circle. As they grow, they form a wall of flowers with an open circle in the center where your child can play, feeling hidden in their nature “house.”

Create “power stones.” Collect some smooth round rocks and let your children paint them with glitter and colourful paints. Tell them that they can assign these “power stones” with special powers, such as “patience,” “tranquillity,” “happiness,” and other powers. Let them assign the powers and you paint the words on the rocks for them. Tell them that holding each rock, or carrying it in their pocket or purse, will help them hold the special power it contains within them.

There are many ways to create magic and to keep a sense of awe and wonder alive for our children. And finding the ways to do this that work for you and your child can be a fun process and can help bring back a bit of that fairy magic into your world again too.

Making Choices

If you’re struggling to lose weight or to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to think about your choices. Losing weight would be easy if making the right choices was easy. But too often, it’s easier to choose to eat what we want instead of what’s good for us and to choose to sit and watch tv instead of getting up and doing some exercise.

We make these little choices all the time, throughout the day, and though each choice made has a small impact, if we continually choose these things, they add up to having a big effect on our waistlines and health. Choosing the high-in-fat dessert once in a while won’t do any permanent damage to our health, but if we make these choices on a regular basis, the result can be harmful.

Sometimes, the easier choice doesn’t even feel like you’re making one. You just go on automatic and reach for something salty to munch when you’re bored. Or you get home from work, and tired from a busy day, plunk yourself down in front of the tv for a bit of relaxation.

But each thing you do in your life is a choice. You can choose to walk to the store instead of driving there. You can choose to take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. You can choose to grab an apple when you feel like munching something or to go for a run when you’re bored.

Think about the things you do and the choices you are making by doing them. Are those choices helping you make it to your goal or are they hurting your progress? How important is your goal to you? Is that slice of cake and the few moments of pleasure you get as you scarf it down more important to you than feeling healthy and fit or than getting to your goal weight?

Thinking about your choices, once you start to really do it, can lead to helping you in areas of your life other than just health, fitness and weight loss too. Do you really want to chat with friends on Facebook? Or would your time be better spent catching up on writing the novel you dreamed of writing or knitting the scarf you promised yourself you would knit? Does sitting in front of the tv or computer screen mean more to you than spending time playing with your kids?

It’s okay to choose to socialize on the computer, play video games and watch tv sometimes. It’s only when those choices start to take up more of your life and take away from other areas that you have to begin to make different choices. What are your goals? What is it you really want to achieve? If you know what your goals are, then the majority of the choices you make throughout your day should be ones that help you get closer to them.