The Joy of Writing for Fun

Engage, Inform, Inspire

There is much talk about encouraging children to read for fun, its value and the wealth of benefits that it offers, which can last a lifetime. But what about encouraging children to write for fun?

Like reading, writing also has a wealth of benefits. Writing encourages children to express themselves, to use their imagination, to explore emotions, to expand their vocabulary, to problem solve and to think about how they communicate, amongst many other things. 

However, as beneficial as writing is, it might not always be that easy to encourage – especially in the school holidays! Writing is a big part of the school day, so for some writing might seem to be more of a chore than a fun activity. There is no doubt that there is more effort involved in writing. With reading, the words are already there for the reader to delve into. The reader engages by using their imagination, both when reading fiction and – to some extent – non-fiction, but the rest of the work has been done for the reader  . . . by the writer.

For a writer they start with nothing. A blank page. This can both be exciting and scary. The writer has to come up with the ideas and then structure their writing in such a way to make it engaging for the reader. Spelling, punctuation and grammar play an important part in this too. 

Of course, not all writers want readers, some are just happy to write for themselves. Writing is a way of getting internal thoughts and feelings out onto a page, maybe a way of making sense of something that’s happened or just a way of expressing oneself. This of course also makes writing highly beneficial for mental health. Like the other arts, writing provides a creative outlet, something that is vital when it comes to mental well-being. 

Whether a child wants a career as a writer or an author when they’re older, or they just enjoy writing for fun, writing is still an important life skill – even in this day and age of AI – and those that can write will find that it benefits them in many areas of life. Being able to construct something with words, be it a story, a poem, a letter, a report, a speech, a CV, a thank you card – whatever it happens to be – is something that will hopefully always be recognised as a worthwhile skill. 

As with encouraging reading for fun, the main focus when encouraging writing for fun should be to make it enjoyable and to allow the child/ren to be in control of their writing and of their own ideas. It’s also important that writing for fun isn’t a forced activity! And that they’re allowed to write in the way that they want to write. 

For further inspiration, a trip to the library or a local bookshop is always a good idea, as there are a number of books out there, aimed at inspiring children to write creatively. 

And remember a blank page isn’t truly blank. 

It’s the door to a world of possibilities.


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