A Few Games to Inspire Writing Lives

Given the facts that our school year doesn’t end until late June and the outdoor thermostat remains stuck below seasonal temperatures, summer feels further around the corner than it actually is. However, our recent blog series about keeping writing lives going during the summer months helped to remind me that vacation is closer than it feels.

During the summer, I get my husband, my daughters–sometimes even my mother– to be writing nerds with me, and I use that term in the most loving way. We all choose new notebooks or dig out the one from last summer and we reinstate our family writing nights when we take 5-10 minutes to slice and then share–we all look forward to hearing each other’s snippets.

When we are with my teenage nephews at our family house, it’s a little harder to engage them with slicing, but we’ve found and invented games that involve writing. Even their friends participate and have come to expect activities that involve paper and pens. Here are a few ideas that I have written on cards. I’ve shared them on bulletin boards, in newsletters, in twitterchats and now here on the TWT blog:

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We have had a lot of fun playing games around our dining room table, but I’ve also used these ideas during our Summer Writing Academy and even as activities for morning meetings. While I don’t use these sort of activities during writing workshops, I think it’s important to develop children’s confidence as storytellers for them to be confident as writers across genres. Games are a powerful way to build that confidence and instill the understanding of the importance of writing as a way to communicate and relate.