Writing for fun and discovery!
Find 150 playful writing explorations for young children. Activities include a creative start and uses writing as a natural extension of self-expression, and playful encounters. Prompts and guiding questions keep children writing for real purposes children care about. Each activity includes Early Writer ideas for those emergent learners, as well as Ready Writer activities for those ready for more advanced and complete writing projects.
The playful writing activities are organized into 15 chapters. That include a combination of informational and fictional writing experiences. Take a look!
Playful Writing Link
Categories: adventure writing, Animals/ Nature, Early Childhood, Fantasy and Fairy Tales, Holidays, Humor Writing, Poetry, Science Writing, Talking Points, Writing Games
Tags: adventure writing, animal riddles, children's writing, early childhood writing, play to write, playful learning, Playful writing, teaching writing, writing games
This play to write activity is out of this world!
Play! Create the setting, characters, and rocket for playing out a space adventure.
astronaut: a clothespin, markers, plastic spray bottle top, foil, pipe cleaner
rocket: cylinder can or tube, construction paper, cardboard
space creature: clay or any other materials you choose!
Make an astronaut:
- draw a face on the round top
- wrap a pipe cleaner around the clothespin for arms
- dress the clothespin in a foil spacesuit
- add a plastic top for a helmet
Make a Spaceship: Glue construction paper around a potato chip can or cardboard tube. Add a paper cone top and cardboard fins. Tape a paper cone to the top. Tip: If you want a spaceship that is more sturdy, use a cylinder can like the kind potato chips come in. This makes a good secure place for your astronaut to travel in too!
Make a Space Creature: Space creatures can be made anyway you like. It is up to your imagination! The one in the photo is clay, but you might want to make one that can fit inside the spaceship in case they want to travel together in your story.
Write About It! Continue reading
Create life-size animals to act out amazing adventures, then write a book of favorite animal tales.
What you need:
large cardboard or paper, tempera paints, brushes
Big Animal Baby Elephant and Frog
Draw a large animal on the paper or cardboard. Make it almost as big as you! Paint the outlines of the animal in dark colors. Let dry. Come back and fill in the spaces with colors you choose. Let dry. Add details like hair, eyelashes, eye color, etc.. Now, have some fun playing with the animals and thinking up amazing adventures.
Write About It!
Early explorers returned from adventures at sea with descriptions of monster-like creatures. Often these accounts were inaccurate because only a part of the animal was seen and the rest imagined. What kind of creature might you imagine if you thought a whale’s tail, a shark’s fin, and a squid’s tentacles all belonged to the same animal?!
This game is for a group of 3 to 4 players. You will pretend to be members of a crew. Each crew member will write a description of a creature from one tiny peek, then see what kind of creature is imagined by the descriptions.
Get help from someone who is not playing the game. Three toy animals are placed in small paper bags. The same number of dime-sized holes are cut from different places around the bag as there are players.
Create fun stick people (or creature) figures and take them on some incredible adventures. What happens when these tiny characters meet find a stapler, a flashlight or your cat! What happens if you take them outdoors?
Draw, color, and cutout characters on index cards and glue them to craft sticks. Add fun details with colored paper, feathers, pipe cleaners or anything else you like. Leave some of the stick poking from the bottom so you can stick the character in a small glob of clay or in the ground so they stand up and you have your hands free to write their tales of adventure!
Write About It!
Start the Adventure
Decide who your main character will be. Tell the story through this character’s eyes. Find a place to begin your adventure. What does this character need or want to do? Give the character a reason to go on an adventure. Maybe your character is looking is trying to make a new discovery, find a new land, or save a kingdom.
Write a spy mystery full of thrills, danger, and clever escapes. How does your character get out of trouble? With a spy gadget, of course!
Play! Collect cardboard tubes, pipe cleaners, string, cardboard, wires, markers, glue, or anything else you want to use to make your gadget. Construct the tool so it has movable parts with paper fasteners or bendable wires. What does it do? Your imagination is the only limit. Have fun playing spy games to get lots of ideas for your story.
Write About It!
Story Starter: Describe your main character. How long has this character been a spy? What is the problem that the spy needs to help solving? What secret information does the spy need? How does the spy feel about the mission? What steps does the spy have to take to complete the mission?
Secret Dangers: What dangers does the spy face during the mission? Who is after the spy? How does the spy get the spy gadget? Does someone give it to the spy or does the spy invent it? Increase the suspense by making the mission more and more difficult and dangerous. How does the spy get past guards, pursuers, alarms, or crack codes necessary to get the important information. How does the spy gadget help?
Mission Accomplished: Who does the spy give the information to? How has this help save people and solve the problem shared in the beginning of your story? Prepare the spy for the next adventure!
Searching for treasure makes a great adventure!
Try this first playful writing adventure with children you know. I am sure you will have as much fun as they do watching the creative adventures unfold. Let us know how it goes! Share a map. Share a story.
Play! Create a treasure map (a brown paper bag makes a great map surface- after drawing the map in can be crinkled to look like the real thing). Here are some directions to get started:
- Choose a the treasure. Is it money, gold, a recipe for a magic potion, or a batch of chocolate cookies? Draw an X on the map to mark the spot.
- Draw about 5 landmarks on the map that add a challenging path for anyone who follows the map to the treasure. They can be natural features such as forests, caves, quicksand, rivers, or deserts. They could also be structures such as castles, tunnels, bridges, and towers.
- Give each landmark a fun name and make a map key to help those questing treasure find their way.
- Draw a path that winds through each of the places drawn on the map that ends at the treasure.
Write About It! Bring the map to life by writing a fantastic treasure hunting story. Here are some steps and questions to encourage young authors to take off on their own.
Who will be the treasure seeker in your story? This person makes a great main character. Write about why it is important for this character to get to the treasure. Does he or she want it for a good reason or for a greedy reason?
Write about the adventures the character has at each landmark on your map. Describe what the character sees, hears, and feels. Is this place dangerous? What problem does the character need to solve to move to the next location?
Add danger or challenges the character needs to overcome at each location. You might want to make the journey more and more difficult as the character gets closer to the treasure. What other characters does the main character meet along the way? Do they help or get in the way of the treasure seeker’s quest?
Finish the story by finding the treasure. What does the treasure look like? How does the character feel when the treasure is found? What will the character do with the treasure now that it is found?