The past two summers I have worked for an arts and culture organization the offers a diverse range of day camps. I am currently the Director of Literary Camps and I see the benefits of creative writing everyday. Despite the brochure stating that we are a creative writing camp I have been astounded at how many parents send me their children for two weeks thinking the camp is designed to be an alternative to school. If parents want their children to learn formal writing than summer school or a tutor is an option. There are benefits of creative writing that I believe parents may not be aware of. The benefits of creative writing provide a longer lasting effect on children than formal writing (ie: essays).
(Definition of creative writing in this article: poetry, short stories, novels etc.)
5 Benefits of Creative Writing for Children
1. Creative writing encourages children to use their imaginations! Not only is this fun for children to do but it also allows children to practice how to think ‘outside of the box’. In the long run children who write creatively will be able to broaden their thought process and think of the world in a different and unique way from their peers.
2. Creative writing develops reading, writing and language skills! While writing children are exploring words and grammar. This will help later in life when children are writing professionally in various capacities and also in their verbal language.
3. Creative writing develops self confidence and identity! By creating something themselves and exploring different types of characters who face a variety of issues children learn about themselves as well as seeing that they have the ability to create something unique and praise worthy.
4. Creative writing teaches children about empathy! When a child is writing about a particular character they are putting themselves into the “shoes” of that character. How do they feel? How do they behave? All of that teaches children about how to be empathetic towards others in the real world.
5. Creative writing provides an emotional outlet! Children have the opportunity to express certain thoughts and ideas in a safe manner. By having a character live out their own feelings offers children the opportunity to safely sort out and process feelings that may be upsetting for them.
I have been writing creatively ever since I can remember and I can see these benefits of creative writing in my own life. I hope that parents and caring adults can begin to see or continue to encourage children to write creatively. You never know, they could be the next J.K. Rowling!
The Creative Kid
(Photo credit: http://dharmaflower.org)