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"The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe." —Gustave Flaubert

Writing is one of the most important skills for success in today’s society. It is very important that children have a writing life outside of school assignments and homework. While well intentioned, schools often do not have adequate time to nurture writing for writing’s sake. It’s easy to get caught up in whether children are writing neatly, spelling correctly, or using proper grammar. While these are important skills, they are most effective when utilized to support good writing. They do not make good writing…

Good writing comes from having something to say. Good writing comes from believing in something, wanting to explore something more deeply, or wanting to connect with others about something. Good writing comes from having a strong sense of your own voice and a solid belief in your ability to express your ideas.

In all of our writing groups, we focus on the mechanics and the craft of writing. This approach ensures that our students develop a strong sense of their own unique voices and have the proper tools to articulate their thoughts on the page.

Gifts for the Young Writer

We’re always being to recommend our favorite books, activities and materials for young children. So here are our all-time favorite gifts to...MORE

DIY Comics

Description Comic strips are a wonderful way for children to tell complex stories within a simple framework. Use our DIY comic printables to practice...MORE

New Year Reflections and Intentions

Description When this time of year comes around, it’s nice to connect as a class or a family by reflecting on the year that has passed and envi...MORE

Winter Haiku Poetry

Description Celebrate the beauty of winter and nature by trying out a classic, three-line Japanese poem called a Haiku. This type of poem req...MORE

Our Inner Poet: Write an Infinity Poem

What could be better than good literature, math explorations, and a dose of poetry? Good children’s literature naturally engages students and o...MORE

Nurturing Young Authors: Starting a Writer’s Notebook

Often as parents we forget to see the forest for the trees when it comes to our children’s writing. It’s normal for us to get caught up in whethe...MORE

Going on a Poetry Walk: Exploring List Poems

As spring starts to present its self in all of it’s glory, there is no better time to explore writing poetry with the young authors in your li...MORE

Me: In Poetry, Song, and Art

When I was a classroom teacher, one of the most relaxing, yet beneficial professional development opportunities I attended was a “Picture Book Read...MORE

How To Create An Inspiring Writing Center

Create it and they will come… It’s almost like magic! If you would like to see your children writing for pleasure in their free time, then create...MORE

Throwing Out the Rules: Making Dada Poetry with Kids

The Dada art movement existed at the beginning of the 20th century and looked to explore meaning in art.  They were interested in abstract and surrea...MORE

Sijo Poetry for Kids

Once our children and students start to take an interest in writing poetry, we can introduce them to some of the different types of poetry. After expl...MORE

Playful Picks: Poetry Anthologies

When I first started teaching I was terrified of the month of April.  April means poetry in many schools. My exposure to poetry was not too much bro...MORE

Two Voice Poetry

I’ve always felt that poetry is communal.  First of all, it’s accessible to everyone regardless of age, poetic experience, or writing ability. ...MORE

3 Poetry Apps for Kids

Rather than filling children’s minds with empty screen time, a key to the thoughtful use of technology is integrating it into everyday learning situ...MORE

Post-it Poetry

Write, peel, stick. Write, peel, stick. There’s something incredibly satisfying to me about jotting ideas down on Post-It notes, and I love using th...MORE

Resources for Teaching Writing in the Elementary Grades

When I first became a teacher, I was not a writer.  Sure, I wrote in school and I really enjoyed some of the writing I produced in college. But I was...MORE

Poetry for Kids: Getting Started

When writing poetry I find it is ideal to begin with a provocation.  A provocation need not be a poem to copy but more so an experience that is relev...MORE

Favorite Poets For Children

As I sat down to compose a list of my favorite poets, I became aware that I read poetry like a writer, and I consider the young writers who might be i...MORE

Sending Notes of Thanks

Once the holiday celebrating is over and the gifts have all been opened, it is a perfect time to discuss with your child the importance of giving tha...MORE

Starting a Writer’s Notebook

We’re excited about beginning the Family Writer’s Club over the holiday break! It’s a great opportunity to set aside some family ti...MORE

Visual Writing Prompts: Cultivating Curiosity + Creativity

“Why is the snail on a skateboard?” “Is that Abraham Lincoln in a jetpack?” These are the types of questions raised by students in my fourth...MORE

Gifts That Inspire Writing

Holidays, birthdays, and other gift-giving occasions are a wonderful time to reflect on the types of investments we want to make as parents. I do see...MORE

Writing a Japanese Lantern Poem

A lantern poem is a type of descriptive poetry that originates from Japan. Another is the Haiku poem. A lantern poem is quite similar in format to a H...MORE

Use Your Words!: Exploring Concrete Poetry

For the past few years, I’ve used word clouds as a get-to-know-you game for a summer camp I teach for seven and eight year olds. The campers answer...MORE

Summer Acrostic Poetry

This is a seasonal activity that I started when my kids were very young. The beauty of this particular style of poetry is that even young chil...MORE

A Playful Pen Pal Project

Monique of Green Acorns is with us today with to share some great tips on getting our young writers started with Pen Pals. Would you like a fun writi...MORE

Meaningful Literacy: Vegetable Stones for the Kitchen Garden

I think the dream to carve out a little spot in our yards to grow our own produce is a common one. Growing and nurturing something with our own hands...MORE

Growing Your Child’s Vocabulary

Children’s imagination is powerful and surprising. It is able to create fantastic worlds and develop their abstract minds for hours. However, Charl...MORE

Capture the Year with a Time Capsule + Printables

Moving into the new year is always a little bitter sweet. While we are excited about what the future holds, as parents, we are aware of how fast time...MORE

For the Kids: Crafting Thank You Notes

As a child, I can remember my Nana telling my sister and I that thank-you notes were an obligation and practically hovering over us as we begrudgingl...MORE

Invitation to Be Thankful: Mini Thank You Notes (+printables)

I love this time of year, because we are all looking for ways to express our gratitude. I can turn a challenging day around by spending a few minutes...MORE

DIY Tear Off Notepads

Around here we are pretty serious about paper. It seems as if we never have enough! Like most families, we love to have notepads handy to make lists,...MORE

10 Books That Inspire Kids to Write (+ writing paper printables)

Writing is one of the most important skills for children to learn and feel confident about. Whatever passions, interests, or career paths they may ch...MORE

Raising a Boy Who Loves to Write

Becky from a Sweet Hot Mess is with us today to share invaluable tips for inspiring boys (+girls) to develop a love of writing. As discussed in my p...MORE

Poetry with Children: Alice Walker

There’s a hand inside my soul holding me. We recently revisited one of our all time favorite picture books, There is a Flower at the Tip of My...MORE

Story Machines

Annie Riechmann from Alphabet Glue and Bird and Little Bird is with us today to share a lovely activity that will bring a new level of excitement to...MORE

Making Mini Storybooks

For those of you who have followed Playful Learning over the years, you know that I am a huge fan of having a variety of attractive blank books at th...MORE

Custom Letter Writing Box

I love giving personalized gifts to people. It is the little things that lets that someone know just how special they are… Randi from Swoon! is...MORE

Chalkboard Writing Set

My four year old daughter recently completed her first year of preschool and she loves to write. She’s still working on getting the formation o...MORE