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Fun for Kids: Make and Write With a Quill Pen

Writing with quill pens for kids

Many of the activities that I write about on this blog are ideas that my kids came up with and often executed without any involvement from me. Today’s quill pen activity is one of those!

Fun for Kids: Make and Write With a Quill Pen

There are many online tutorials on how to make a proper quill pen. They involve sharp knives and are not very child-friendly. This is not a proper quill pen making technique – it was invented by my nine-year-old – but it is one that young children can safely use – and they will be able to write with their pens!

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Writing with quills project for tweens

They made the inkwells out of air dry clay and left them to dry overnight – you can see some extras in the photo below. Then they mixed paint – either the metallic liquid type or the powder from watercolors – with water and used that to write. I think their results are pretty decent for a first attempt! do you see the quill holder to the right of the ink section above? They had to try several times to figure out how to get that to work.

They also experimented with wrapping clay around the quills – both to make a writing surface and to make the quills easier to hold. The quills on their own work much better as a writing surface than the clay, but I think they liked having a little clay close to the end but not touching to make the pens easier to hold. This also kept more of the ink off their fingers.

Writing with a quill pen - fun project for kids

There were several moments while the kids were working on this project when I could have stepped in with an observation or suggestion, but I didn’t. I was busy with my own projects, of course – probably dinner prep – but I also think that children learn a lot when they are allowed to explore problems and solutions like this on their own. They also get full ownership of the project, which means they often pay closer attention and are more excited about the end result!

What have your kids been creating and experimenting with lately?

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

9 thoughts on “Fun for Kids: Make and Write With a Quill Pen”

  1. Our homeschool co-op does a medieval day each year. I may have to whip some of these together as favors! Better yet, the kids can do them.

  2. A quill and ink to dip looks really fun for kids!! I’ll have to try that! We have calligraphy pen sets with dip ink that my kids use from time to time.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    How cool! I would have loved to have written with a quill as a kid. And bravo for letting them figure this out themselves. What a terrific learning experience!

    My kids have been inventing all sorts of backyard games! :) We’ve had different groups of friends over recently, and they have injected a lot of new ideas into the mix.

  4. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    I agree – it’s so awesome when our kids explore and experiment on their own! Great quill, by the way!

  5. I remember making my own quill pens when I was a kid, although I could never get it to write more than a few letters at a time ;)

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