Make summer learning easy with these summer writing ideas for kids!
Summer is a great time to do some creative writing, and kids will love these writing ideas because they feel more like play than learning. Along the way, they’ll have the opportunity to practice spelling, capitalization, punctuation (including quotation marks!), and using good vocabulary.
This post was updated in May 2023.
As a homeschooling family, we usually do not take the entire summer off from school. We lose too much ground if we just let our brains go over the summer! Writing is an area that we are somewhat weak in, and I am planning to fit in some extra writing time this summer.
Here are some ideas for making summer writing a little more fun for kids, or at least a little more tolerable!
Make a Joke Book
We had a great time making joke books one afternoon! Simply fold over some paper and staple. The kids can design their covers. Then, scour the internet for funny kids’ jokes and write them in the books!
Because the involves mainly copying, this is a great project for kids who don’t like to write or can’t think of ideas. They are still strengthening their handwriting skills by copying! They are also working on spelling without realizing it.
Here are some sites with good jokes for kids:
30 Kid-Approved Jokes from Childhood Beckons
Make a Vacation Journal
If you’re travelling, buy a fun notebook for each child or have them decorate their own before you head out of town. Then, spend a few minutes each day having everyone write down their favorite experiences or memories from the day. Everyone needs a few minutes of downtime on a trip, and at the end you’ll have a fun memoir of the journey. Plus, you’re sneaking in a little writing practice too! It might be fun for kids to take their own photos to add to their journals as well.
Create Your Own Comic Book
A comic book does not typically involve as much writing as sitting down and writing a story, but hey – it’s still writing! And kids who don’t like to write just might go for this idea.
Kids can easily draw their own comic books. My kids love to fold over a few sheets of paper and staple them to make a book. Then they can draw squares for their comic book scenes!
Or, we have printable comic book pages! Choose from 10 different templates. Some are completely blank (just the boxes for writing) and others have superhero clip art featuring both boys and girls and multiple skin tones. Four of the templates have STORY STARTERS for kids who don’t know what to write!
Head over to print yours here: Free Printable Comic Book Templates
Make a List of 10 Favorite Things
We used lists of 10 things for my 6 year old’s handwriting at one point, and he loved it. These lists involve research skills and improve spelling as well. He made lists of his 10 favorite dinosaurs (which involved looking up the correct spellings), 10 favorite reptiles, 10 favorite mammals (he loves animals!), and 10 favorite places to go.
- favorite colors (get creative – go beyond the basic colors and use colors like turquoise, lavender, khaki, etc.)
- favorite foods
- favorite sports teams
- favorite book titles
- favorite movies
- favorite parks
- most fun experiences
- pets you would like to own
Create Your Own Restaurant Menu
This is so much fun to do! Fold a piece of paper in half, and challenge your kids to design their own restaurant menu. What types of food will their restaurant serve? If you have play food on hand, this will lead to a whole afternoon of pretend play!
Add play money and put prices on the menu to make this a MATH activity as well! Kids can practice adding up the total bill and making change! Math and writing, all in one play activity.
Make a Writing Jar with Idea Prompts
Print 40 writing prompt cards for 8 – 10 year olds! These creative prompts cover multiple styles of writing – narrative, persuasive, descriptive, how-to, and more.
Print the cards, put them in a jar or basket, and then let your kids pick out a new notebook at the store. Boom! Instant summer writing plan!
Print the Cards Here: 40 Printable Writing Prompts
Summer Writing Club
Writing is more fun when you have an audience. Why not get together with friends and create a summer writing club? You can meet once a week or every other week, and each child can present a story, poem, or report that they have created. It might be fun to write a play or short skit to act out.
Have the participants in your writing club give positive feedback after each “performance.” Practice ahead of time how to give feedback, and discuss some things to say – “You used good descriptive language,” etc.
More Writing Ideas
Eight Real-Life Writing Ideas for Kids – Writing ideas for kindergarten through 2nd or 3rd grade or so.
Encourage writing with a Family Postal System – this is so fun!
Yvonne Blake May 22, 2014
You have some great ideas! Writing can be fun and exciting if you let kids write what they are interested in. I have a website that promotes children's writing. (even a page where they can post their work) I'd love to have your boys join our family of Polliwog Kids. (www.polliwogpages.com)
Yvonne Blake May 22, 2014
I've added your blog to my list of teaching ideas - http://polliwogpagesideas.blogspot.com/
Jenn C. May 22, 2014
What a fabulous list of writing ideas! My 7 year old son goes to public school, but I keep him writing, reading, spelling and doing math all year round. We created a summer journal last year and I rewrote up a bunch writing prompts for him a little pieces of paper and put them in a jar. On writing days he'd shake it up and randomly choose a prompt. I taped it in the composition notebook and he wrote his response. I think I'll do the same this summer and include some "10 Favorite things" in the mix. I also love the idea of making joke books and comic books. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas! Now I'm off to look through your science posts!
Almost Unschoolers May 24, 2014
I like the idea of a joke book - working on writing, but still with a summer fun feel.
Mishka May 28, 2014
I loved your ideas! I was able to relate coz weak writing runs in my genes too. I'm glad you shared your thoughts on encouraging kids to write on a very optimistic way. I was encouraging my son to write poetry and he's having trouble organizing his thoughts. I used this http://www.spi-global.com/blog/innovation-lab/12-writing-tips-masters/ to keep him focus on his writing and I'm really thankful I found your ideas. Perhaps I should start as simple as what you did. I really think it would be fun and enjoyable for both of us.
Christina Jun 2, 2014
We don't take off over the summer either. These are great ideas for writing. Last summer we did travel journals which my boys loved doing. They also drew pictures to go with their journaling. Happy summer to you!
Loomer Jun 5, 2014
Awesome! I'm 12 years old and I love to write but my younger sister hates it. I spend long hours a day just writing in notebooks or on the computer. Unfortunately we don't have any "cool hangouts" like the playground - I usually write while sitting in trees. It's as uncomfortable as you could imagine.
But, anyway, I <3 writing and I'd love to get my sister interesting my hobby as well. She's lacking that department - she's more play and to her writing is quite boring. That being said she's only 8, so I guess she has time. Looking into this, I think she would enjoy a joke book! She comes up with jokes, not even things from the web, just little original things that aren't very good but aren't lame either. Thanks!
Erica Jun 21, 2014
We also like to cut apart the pictures on the backs of Lego boxes and write their story. They usually form some sort of loose narrative. I tape them on lined paper, let my son put them in order, and then he writes a story to go along with them. He just finished one for the Coast Guard ship and it is one of my daughter's favorite bed time stories :)
Erica Jun 21, 2014
There is also this list if you need more ideas:
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