Adapting the Writing Challenge #1000WordsOfSummer for Kids

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Want to encourage and challenge your kids to write more? Adapting the popular #1000WordsOfSummer writing challenge is a fun way to get your kids excited about writing.

Author Jami Attenberg started the #1000WordsOfSummer writing challenge last year as a way to encourage herself and friends to dig into writing projects during the summer. The guidelines are pretty simple: During the designated two weeks of the summer, write 1000 words or more each day.

Your kids may already be familiar with a similar writing challenge: NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is a writing challenge in which participants aim to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Some HLS classrooms participate in NaNoWriMo by working on stories throughout the month; for students, the goal is to write every day rather than hit a specific word count.

Want to encourage your little ones to write more and keep their minds active and creative over the summer? Here’s how you can adapt the writing challenge #1000WordsOfSummer for kids.

The Writing Challenge #1000WordsOfSummer for Kids

Writing 1000 words each day is tough for adults, so pick a word count that’s doable for your kids. For older kids, maybe that’s 100–400 words; for little ones who are just learning to write the alphabet, 10–20 words might be a good challenge.

If your kids can write without your help, consider joining them in the writing challenge and write something of your own. If your kids see you writing alongside them, they’ll be encouraged by your example.

Let your kids pick what to write. For younger kids, practicing writing their name or a simple sentence might be a good idea. Older kids may want to write stories or poems; some other options might be a journal entry, a letter to a friend or relative, or what they liked about a book they checked out during the summer reading program.

You may also want to read: 7 Creative Writing Prompts to Kickstart Your Child’s Creativity

You can do it for a week, or two weeks—whatever you think will work with your schedule and challenge your kids without burning them out. Pick a time period, and use a word count tracker so your kids can see their progress. You can download ours or make your own!

The goal is to encourage your kids to write more—and enjoy it. Consider ways to keep track of their word count or reward them for reaching a certain number of words. Make it fun!

If your kids aren’t able to make the goal word count, though, let them know it’s okay—the point is to write more every day.

Think of ways to encourage your kids throughout the writing challenge. For the #1000WordsOfSummer challenge, the creator sends out daily emails encouraging people to write. You may want to write little notes of encouragement for your kids on Post-its or notecards; even talking to kids about how well they’re doing can go a long way in giving them the confidence to keep writing.

Let us know how your summer writing challenge goes! Share your experience with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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