Parents often ask teachers, “How do I get my son/daughter to write at home?” One idea: Interest your child by using words that are personally relevant to them.

You can make magnetic words with your children so they can dip into a parts-of-speech pool to form sentences (usually pretty amusing ones).

magnet words

Later, they can print or type them to show you and others their ideas. It’s fun writing!

I’m attaching my MS Word template [magnet words] so you can do this at home with your children. (You can swap out my daughter’s words for your own.)

Procedure

  1. open the template (Microsoft Word)
  2. ask your child for personally relevant words to add (type over mine or continue adding)
  3. print on magnetic sheets (available at bargain and stationery shops)
  4. cut & use
magnet sheets

Choose the paper that’s right for your printer. All brands I’ve tried are fine.

What are personally relevant words? These are anything your child knows and likes.

  • people/job titles: teacher, firefighter, Dad, Peter
  • places: bedroom, playground, hospital, Toys R Us
  • things: eggs, hummus, necklace, iPad
  • actions: play, skate, drink, body slam

I find these magnet words are especially good for when a child can’t come up with an idea for writing. Mixing words around helps generate a one-sentence story.

This can be to an art connection for you, too: Give your children paper to illustrate their sentence. (Grandparents want to see that “The T-rex wears a tutu.”)

Keep these custom words on your fridge for your kid. If an activity is always in sight, I find it gets used more often.

magnet word sentence

Note: You’ll notice on the template that I colour code my words: blue = nouns, red = verbs, orange = adjectives, light blue = pronouns & proper names. I’ll explain why in another post but, in short, it makes building sentences easier and the words more visually appealing.

Download the template: magnet words

If you like this post, please share it below via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or wherever you feel it would help parents.

You might also like to read about a spelling strategy and an artistic online spelling activity.

Find Peter on Twitter. He’d love to get an email from you, too.

Written by Peter Cullen

Peter Cullen loves to teach children. He specializes in literacy (elementary level) and has a lot of fun creating games and activities for class lessons. He also writes, manages social media accounts and announces roller derby games.

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