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Supporting at home

Children need a motivation or purpose to write. Here are some suggestions that may engage your child in the writing process:


  • Write instructions for taking care of the family pet, or a mystery creature!
  • Write a letter or thank you note to a relative. Talk through what your child wants to say and provide something nice for them to write their letter on.
  • Ask then to help you to write a shopping list before going to the shops.
  • Write an online review of a book or an item they recently acquired, a recipe they tried, an activity they did.
  • Write a postcard or note to a friend and go to post / deliver it.
  • Keep a journal or diary.
  • Find a picture in the newspaper and write an article to accompany it.
  • Write a short story to accompany a picture they find / take.

EYFS and KS1

  • Magic writing boards are great fun for children. These can be bought cheaply and used even on car journeys.
  • White boards encourage the children to write and practise mark making.
  • Write with your child – ‘think aloud’ so they can hear the decisions you make as you write. Children will want to write if they see a purpose to the writing.
  • Talk about the words they see in everyday life- food packaging, signs in the supermarkets, messages on birthday cards and invitations.
  • Write a shopping list together- model and allow them to take their own list to the shop to give the writing a purpose.
  • Send an email- Your child says the message and you type it initially. Children can develop computer skills at the same time.
  • Try writing an invitation to a story character. Provide your child with a ‘writing box’- put a range of writing items in the box – pens, pencils, rainbow pencils, old birthday cards, coloured paper, sticky tape to make little books.
  • Rolls of wallpaper can be fixed to a table or a fence for large writing and drawing. Praise them for their play writing- those early squiggles and marks show that your child is beginning to understand writing. Set an example- make sure your child sees you writing!
  • Strengthen their writing hand-Try fun activities which strengthen your child’s hand. For example: cutting, painting, squeezing playdough, picking up small things with tweezers and pegs.
  • Messages- leave messages with magnetic letters on the fridge for them to reply to.
  • Make up stories together- use their toys as characters and write the story with them so they say it.
  • Make up a little booklet. Take photographs and use the pictures in the book.
  • Notices and signs- about important things in their play e.g. The Cave – Keep Out! Shoe Shop – Open, Don’t walk on the seeds we have planted!
  • Captions- to add to photos that they or an adult has taken.