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How to Raise a Writer

Your toddler loved singing her ABC's, which later helped her string letters together to form words. Now that she's older, the next step is to build on those basics and get creative with them. By encouraging her to write, you're helping enhance her vocabulary as well as her imagination.

Here, four fun projects to inspire your child to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard):

Creative Captions. Break out the family album and let her brainstorm the perfect words to go with a batch of photos. If she gets stuck, ask her to write about what a picture reminds her of or how it makes her feel.
A personal journal.
Kids, especially girls, love brightly colored and decorated journals. Get her started with daily suggestions, such as "Describe your perfect day," "What would you do if you were president?" "If you could go anywhere, where would you go?"
A family paper. Help her stay in touch with relatives and friends by creating her own newsletter. It doesn't have to be fancy; the goal is to get her thinking and writing about what's going on in her world. Give her paper, pen, scissors, and glue sticks, and have her write an article, cut it out, and paste it onto a larger sheet of paper. Then you can make copies and help her send them out. Or, if she's computer-savvy, let her create it onscreen and e-mail it.
A wish book.
Give her a notebook to keep a running list of things she wants, like a toy or book, that she can save for, as well as her dreams and goals. Having a for-her-eyes-only place where she can put words to thoughts can be the best motivator of all.