2 Free Halloween Writing Games

pinterest-halloween-writing-games

Two more free printables for this spooky half term.

Halloween Book Quiz

A short Halloween themed book quiz for children aged 5-11. Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper. The answers are upside-down at the end of the question sheet.

halloween-book-quiz-for-kids

Halloween Code Breaking

A favourite in our household. Simply print out both sheets and use the code to uncover the words.

halloween-code-breaking

halloween-code-breaking-2

#BFCB #BooksForChildrenBlog

@lonerganbooks

If you like these check out my 10 Quick Writing Activities for Kids including another code breaking game.

If you missed lasts weeks blog click here 2 Free Halloween Reading Games.

Nature Narratives

Encouraging your child to write doesn’t mean they have to be stuck in the house chained to a table and told to churn out dozens of accurate lines. Writing is about conveying experiences, observations, reactions and feelings and one way to help children bring all these responses together onto one page is to get them outside and interacting with nature.

Today I’ve simply put together a mini scavenger hunt which purposefully includes things to collect for reactions and feelings, things to spot for observations and things to do for experience.

These templates can be printed and laminated for use in the garden or in the woods. They are best suited for A5 size. I then hole punched the corners and tied them together so they were easy to carry around.

Scavenger Hunt to Collect

 

Scavenger Hunt to Spot

 

Scavenger Hunt to Do

Your child will also need a small bag containing a piece of coloured or plain paper and coloured chalk for the bark rubbing and to collect and carry any of the scavenger items pictured. You can also include a piece of paper for the petal picture or it can be put together on the grass or ground. If possible take a photo of the petal picture to take home with you so your child can remember what it looks like.

Scavenger Hunt 2

When you return from the scavenger hunt ask your child to write a short story using items they saw or found on their scavenger hunt to inspire them. Tell them they can include as many of these things as they like. Let them think about the following questions to give them more ideas.Writing Nature Narratives

Don’t concentrate on grammar or sentence structure too much this is a light-hearted activity designed to encourage your child to use their imagination and create some crazy stories by showing them how to look for new ideas in unlikely places.

Writing with Purpose: Thank You Box

It is often said that to be an author you should write something every day. However I find it very difficult to produce a comprehensive piece of writing when there’s no purpose. Writing needs direction from the start, a path to follow, a place to arrive at and a means to an end. This could be to write a story, fill out a form, to convey an important message, to provide others with useful information, write a cheque or to record a memory.

For children on the other hand, writing can be like drawing. Their newly found fascination of putting pen to paper is sometimes what drives them to pick up a pen and write as they experiment with forming various shapes and marks to create meaning out of an otherwise blank page.  Others instinctively love to record their thoughts or label their pictures but like adults, many children too have no inclination to write unless it is for a purpose.

So if you’re looking to encourage your child to write remember that first they may need a purpose to write. I put together this writing prompt in the aftermath of the Christmas mayhem, the time when my boys have a long list of thank you letters to compose. I’m not going to lie, I always find this a painful business of constant reminders and impatient hovering but I persist in putting us through the ordeal because I believe appreciation and thankfulness is a lesson worth learning. So this year I’ve attempted to make the whole process somewhat more light-hearted!

First I bought two plain craft boxes in the shape of books and filled them with brightly coloured blank cards and envelopes.

Writing Box 1

I then gave both my children a pack of mixed postage stamps, character and thank you stickers, self-inking stamps, printed paper, a small glue brush and a novelty pen each to make up their own thank you box.

Writing Box Stamps

Writing Box Tools

I then suggested some ideas of how to decorate the boxes and left them to it…

…and perhaps that’s where I made my fatal error!

I’d had an image in my mind of a perfectly covered book box, a kind of decoupage with postage stamps!

Oh silly me! Of course that’s not what we ended up with!

So here are some close ups of the decorating results, no frills, very little sticking and certainly no decoupage in sight! Some might say the quickest route to completion was sought!

Writing Box Decorated

I thought about scrapping this blog but only very fleetingly because I realised that despite my disappointment I’d actually achieved what I’d set out to do and that was to provide my children with a writing box that is personal to them and one they wanted to use. Oblivious to my hidden grimaces they had enjoyed themselves and were very enthusiastic about the results. They were even swapping ideas of what to do on their thank you cards. I couldn’t help but chuckle at my desperation for perfection. All too often I see blogs on children’s craft activities which are enviously beautiful but almost to the point of being too immaculate and in practice are often far too intricate for little fingers to learn. It soon becomes obvious they’ve been designed by an adult and completed by an adult as the realistic results start to emerge once the little ones get their hands on them!

So I guess the lesson I stumbled across today was that encouraging a love of something isn’t about the ideals we strive for, it’s about providing the tools to let our children do it their way!

 

 

 

Dangling in the Dark

Dangling in the Dark Title

A quick blog this week as it’s half term which means less time for writing and more time for occupying my two boys with anything from days out and walks in the woods to cooking cakes and getting messy with Halloween crafts. For any of you who have read my blogs before you may remember me saying I had no plans to write a story about Colin the zombie. Well Colin seems to have wandered into this simple little story activity I made up to have a giggle with my boys. Please print out and cut out the side panels to have a go too. Each page has a choice of funny options to complete the blanks in the story.

Dangling in the Dark 1

Dangling in the Dark 2

Dangling in the Dark 4

Dangling in the Dark 5

Dangling in the Dark 6

Dangling in the Dark 7

Why not try and make up your own funny story or think up some other silly alternative endings.

10 Quick Writing Activities for Children

Homework time in our house with two boys is never a breeze but it can be especially tiresome when it requires them to put pen to paper for anything other than a picture! They are both more than capable but neither see the need for it and treat it like it’s the biggest effort in the whole wide world! Hence I’ve had to get a bit creative to try and help my five year old learn to write and have come up with ten quick, easy printable activities or crafts which appeal to a young person’s short attention span and are ideal for a busy parent to organise.

1. Rainbow Words

Using colour always brightens up a task so have different pencils ready to learn the colours of the rainbow and make writing more fun.

Rainbow Writing

2. Rice Writing

For this I used a small tray and placed orange coloured card at the bottom to help the letters stand out. I then covered the tray in rice and let the children write whatever they liked using their fingers.

Quick Rice Writing

3. Rhyming Words

Thinking up new words to rhyme always makes children giggle so an activity combining bright pictures with rhyme can encourage them to write. Don’t worry if they come up with some nonsense rhyming words as this activity is just as much about learning to write letters as it is words.

Quick Rhyming Words 1

Rhyming Words 2

4. Glitter Words

This one is a bit messy but it’s very simple and if you have a selection of glitter colours it can keep the children occupied for sometime.

Quick Glitter Words

5. Numbers in words.

Another simple printable activity this time to help with linking numbers with the written word.

Quick Numbers in Words

6. Word Wall Chart

This takes about 20 minutes to prepare but as there are 90 possible places to write a word it can last for 3 months! The idea is to write one word which describes their day. They can pick any triangle to write on and the words can be how they feel about their day, the name of a place they visited, the name of a person they saw, a sport or an activity for example. Our first words were swimming and computer. This activity encourages smaller writing in order to keep their words within the allotted triangle. To make this I needed five different coloured sheets of card, some string and patience to cut out the thirty squares! A square craft punch would be much quicker!

Quick Word Wall Chart

7. Missing letters.

A simple printable activity sheet for a spare five minutes which helps with the sounds of letters and spelling.

Missing Letters

8. String a Letter

This involves some cutting and sticking to prepare but is a fantastic way for children to practice letter formation.

Quick String a Letter

9. Code Breaking

There’s always something satisfying about breaking a code. Copy and print out the following two sheets, then have fun hunting and writing the corresponding letters.

Quick Code Breaking 1

Quick Code Breaking 2

10. Chalk Labels

For this I needed some craft labels, chalk and chalkboard paint. I painted one side of the craft labels then left to dry. Once dry the children wrote with the chalk to label jars of pens, boxes of toys and drawers of paper. Even some of the soft toys got labelled!

Quick Chalk Labels

What writing activities have you found work best?