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As a writer, a former university instructor and, most especially, a parent, I know how difficult it can be to make writing fun for kids. Book reports can be so b-o-r-i-ng. But with a little imagination, you can devise activities your children will enjoy doing, without them even realizing they are practicing their writing skills.
Here are some suggested subjects for writing exercises that should get your youngsters started on the road toward becoming interested in putting pen to paper -- or finger to computer keyboard:

1. MENU -- Have your child invent the name of a restaurant, then write up and illustrate a menu listing ONLY the foods s/he likes to eat.

2. WISH LIST -- What are the three things your child wants more than anything? Have your child write up the list, including the reasons for these wish items.

3. ALPHABET NAMES -- Ask your child to fill out a sheet of paper with a name for every letter of the alphabet -- even imaginary names. This stimulates thought for those extra tough letters -- what are they going to do with “X”? -- and is just good practice for working on the combination of capital/small letters. Plus, it’s fun!

4. FAVORITE SEASON -- What time of year is your child’s favorite? Ask for a few lines explaining why such-and-such season is the most fun.

5. WEATHER REPORT -- What’s it like outside today? Pretend you’re the weather person on TV, and write out a script telling your friends what the weather will be like -- and what clothes they should wear.

6. FAMOUS PERSON -- Given the opportunity, what famous person or celebrity would your child like to be, and why. You might be surprised!

7. LIBRARIAN -- Have your child pretend s/he is the librarian, and a youngster is coming to them for a recommendation of a book. Which book would s/he recommend, and why.

8. SPORTS -- What kind of athlete would your child like to be? Baseball player? Ice skater? Soccer goalie? Ask them to pick, and then write down what skill they believe they do best.

9. POEM -- Not a rhyming poem … but at least four lines of a poem that DOES NOT rhyme. Again, this allows for much more creativity -- and in the process, your child might actually discover how easy it can be to make poems rhyme.

10. TEACHER -- If your child was in charge of the class, what would they teach?