Hands On Writing Activities for Kids

Learn how to make writing fun for kids with these hands on writing activities. These at home writing activities engage both reluctant writers and children who already love to write.

hands on writing activities kids love

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Our Favorite Hands On Writing Activities for Kids

Writing doesn’t have to feel like a task. Today I’m sharing our favorite hands on writing ideas, from quick writing activities to descriptive writing games. These ideas engage my reluctant writers as well as my children who adore writing.

Write a Code

making codes and other at home writing ideas

Code writing brings out the playful side of writing, and it’s the perfect activity if you’re looking for an easy way to make writing fun. The coding element means this is also a fantastic STEAM learning activity.

Tell your child to invent a code, make one up for them, or use a code from a book.

I love pairing writing activities with reading; here are some great books to go along with a codes based writing lesson:

Write Your Board Games

A lot of words-based board games double up as descriptive writing games.

As you play Scrabble, Boggle, or Bananagrams, challenge yourselves with some writing too! We play two versions of this:

  • Use the words to describe a setting or a creature/monster/alien/person.
  • Write a story that uses each word.

Fan Fiction for Kids

If you have a child who struggles to come up with character and plot ideas, consider starting them off with fan fiction. That way the basic character and plot work is done for them. They just need to expand beyond the story.

Some children will naturally move into a side story. Others find it easier to retell the story from a supporting character’s point of view before moving onto plot extensions and twists.

Encourage kids to come up with alternate endings to the story. What would a better ending look like? How about a worse ending? How about a silly ending?

Here is an example of my own children writing Harry Potter based fan fiction. You’ll notice that they used the Harry Potter toy to work out the plot. Toys often help reluctant writers sink their teeth into a story.

This is also an excellent example of why pretend play is so important for children. We think of play as simply play, but through play children develop skills that help them throughout their lives.

Write a Comic Strip

writing comics and other at home writing activities

The image above features a comic my son wrote as part of his fifth grade writing curriculum. He loves to draw and spent hours on this, but even his friends who used simple stick figures loved this assignment.

Our local elementary school holds a fifth grade Comic Con where all of the students share their comics from this writing assignment. If you homeschool, I recommend trying to put together a homeschool Comic Con. Publishing these comics gives the children a taste of what it feels like to be a real writer, and they gain inspiration through the stories of their peers.

Use Story Blocks and Story Stones

My children have been telling stories with story blocks since they were tiny. You can make your own as we did (using ideas from this story cube inspiration post). You can also paint or draw on rocks to create story stones.

We love Rory’s Story Cubes, and own all of their sets. If you want something more original, Etsy offers a beautiful range of handmade story cubes and handmade story stones.

The Tall Tales board game is another playful way to explore plots and characters – together as a family!

More Hands On Learning Activities for Kids

This is post 9 in my 10 Days of Hands On Learning series. Click on the image below to find more hands-on learning ideas for children.

hands-on learning activities for kids

What are your favorite hands-on writing activities for kids?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

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