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When school is out, it can be a big temptation to stay as far away as possible from anything that looks like work. Whilst it is true that children definitely need a break, and that lots of playing and outdoors activity is important for their development over summer, it’s a good idea to keep writing skills ticking over. Many teachers mention a general deterioration of skills over the six-week break, so here are five quick ways to help keep writing at the forefront of your little ones’ minds.

1) Shopping lists.

For you they might be boring, but your children have probably never written one before. Whilst a little bit of supervision may be necessary (or your list might read ‘biscuits, magazines, lots of pop’), writing a shopping list is a good way to check spellings, practise forming letters, and to realise the practical implications of writing outside of a classroom.

2) Letters.

In our digital age, not many messages are sent by snail mail, which is what gives them such an appeal. The addition of a postage stamp and the chance to post something in a red shiny box will lend letter-writing the charm needed to counteract the tricky writing part! Plus, grannies and grandas, godparents and far-flung aunties and uncles all love a good old-fashioned letter.

3) Playing teacher.

This one is perfect for school-aged children with younger siblings. If you suggest to your five- or six- year-old that they might like to sit down quietly and do some writing, the chances are that you’ll be met with a disdainful look. However, the chance to teach toddler siblings how things are done at big school might be all the encouragement they need to show off their best handwriting and spelling.

4) The creative streak.

Educational centres such as museums, libraries and nature reserves usually have their own activities for children which allow for a bit of practice. To take this to the next level, why not let the kids make their own museum or gallery? A shed or spare room can quickly (although chaotically) be turned into a museum, complete with their treasures and many home-made signs and maps. Any visitors to the house will, of course, need to be given a guided tour…

5) Journalism!

If your child has a creative streak and is interested in writing reviews or articles for our youth journalism website,, or even the print edition, please drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you. Writing for an audience is one of the best ways to engage young people with the written word, and we want every capable young person to have a platform to express themselves. Get in touch at [email protected] to find out more.

Have a great summer.

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The summer holidays are a time for fun and adventures, and what better way to enjoy time off school than to start the Summer Reading Challenge? This year, the theme is Record Breakers, and children aged 4-11 can pick up great prizes, stickers and even a certificate to show they’ve taken part.

The premise is simple – read six books over the summer holidays. It’s a great way to get families into their local libraries.

At Bringing Words to Life, we love anything that gets young people excited about words. Our media guru, Sam, is supporting the Summer Reading Challenge at her local library. She says, “The Summer Reading Challenge is brilliant as it brings a lot more young faces into the library. Reading is a lovely way to spend part of your summer holiday, and there are so many events and rewards surrounding it.”

Get yourself down to your local library as soon as possible to get started!

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