Story Writing Postcards

The school year keeps family members busy—between schoolwork, homework, jobs, sports, music lessons, and other enrichment opportunities. So busy in fact that even kids who love to write fiction really don’t have time to indulge in creative writing.

But summer… Ah, now there is room. I can remember how the days of summer seemed to stretch forever, a rich treasure to be savored and enjoyed. Now that your child has a little of this precious time on his hands, here’s an activity that can keep her happy and writing into the school year.

Buy your child a stack of index cards—4×6 or 5×8 inches, depending on how wordy he is and how large or small she writes. Help him to choose and invite a friend or family member (this is a great opportunity for long-distance grandparents) to participate in her story writing venture.

Then, have your child begin to write a story on the lined side of the card, but not end it. Tell him to leave his reader hanging with some action yet to be resolved. Then address and stamp the blank side and put it in the mail to her writing partner.

The partner is then to read the story, write what happens next, also on an index card and also not completing the tale, and send it back to your child. This exchange can go on as long as the two of them want to keep exchanging episodes. The nice thing about the index card format is that writing and responding never becomes too huge or onerous a task.

I remember how much I loved to get mail when I was a child, and this is a fun and different way for your child to maintain a regular correspondence. As I’ve said before, the more time your child spends reading or writing, the better reader and writer she becomes.

So why not help him or her embark on little summer writing fun?