10 Online Tools For Kids And Teens To Improve Writing Skills

Do you know someone who loves writing? If you ask them where that passion comes from, you’ll probably find out that they were amused with stories and creative writing when they were little kids. Almost every interaction in a child’s world is preparing them to become a reader and writer. When their parents and teachers know how to help them use and expand that skill, children can grow into successful writers. Our current educational system is practically based on written academic work, so you’ll definitely recognize the results of the efforts you invest in now. 

In this article, we love to share 10 great online tools to get your kids more engaged in writing.  We all know getting kids to write is a struggle sometimes, and these tools will help make it more fun and interactive!

For pre-K and elementary students

1. This Is My Story (And I’m Sticking To It)

This Is My Story (And I’m Sticking To It) is a storytelling app for preschoolers that starts kids on the road to understanding simple sentence structure and recognizing some themed sight words. Kids pick a story template from seven themed options, then tap and drag labeled images into each page’s blanks to create an original story. For example, sentences like, “The … played with the …” can become “The cat played with the ball.”  A young voice prompts kids to fill in the blanks for the story and reads the story aloud as kids create, with added sound effects such as laughing on a page with characters playing or slurping on a page where characters are drinking cocoa. Your kids can save their original stories to read, listen to, and share with others later.

The app encourages kids to keep the story going as they think beyond the scripted options to consider why their characters chose to do what they do and what happens next, even after the app’s story is complete. They also include additional features such as some just-for-fun sticker pages and matching activities. Finished stories can be saved and will be read aloud by the app.

2. Writing wizards for kids

Writing Wizard is an award-winning educational app used in many schools. It helps your kid learn how to write the alphabet, numbers, and words through a fun system carefully designed to maintain motivation. Your child learns to trace out characters guided by red arrows and targets that show the tracing direction and sound cues that tell them what to do next.

Writing Wizard is an engaging and interactive app with stunning animations from rushing rainbows, to dancing cupcakes, bouncing hearts, tiger faces, and more, which motivate your child to keep practicing. Its vibrant and playful tracing practice helps kids practice tracing shapes, words, uppercase or lowercase letters, and numbers with unique rewards after each attempt.

Once your child has mastered shapes, numbers, and letters, parents can create custom word lists for students to practice, giving her the chance to practice writing her names, sight words, and more.

For growing readers

3. StoryJumper

Before your kid can start writing essays and other complex written structures, you should try to make writing as fun as possible for him. There is only one way to do that: stories! First, you should read a lot of stories together and discuss your favorite ones. Then, allow your kid to tell you a story and watch how his imagination develops. When you’re ready for it, you can use StoryJumper – a tool that enables children to create online storybooks.

StoryJumper is a  website that allows children to create and publish their own illustrated stories.  Whether students are beginning writers or brushing up on their skills, StoryJumper provides an outlet for them to use their imaginations as well as learn some real writing strategy if they’re ready for it. The simple interface auto-saves students’ progress as they drag and drop images to illustrate their stories and add text. Your kids can use clip art and photographs to add a visual element to the story. You can share the results, so think of a way to celebrate the moment of becoming a published author.

4. Storybird

Similar to StoryJumper, Storybird is a website that lets kids create personalized stories by providing a variety of colorful and vibrant Illustrations. From the first sight of Storybird’s cover page, your child will be excited about its vivid-color design and appealing illustrations, which draw readers’ attention and focus on the reading and writing context. Storybird centers on three types of stories: Picture books, Longform books, and Poetry. Students can design picture books independently or work in teams to create visually appealing representations of their knowledge.

Parents can also pay to have your child’s books printed through the online shop. Storybird allows students to showcase their creative thoughts through storytelling and art in social networking, including TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle Classroom, and Tumblr.

For tweens

5. Scholastic Kids Press Corps

Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a news-focused website featuring stories created by a team of kid reporters from all over the United States.  These 10- to 14-year-old reporters address current events, breaking news, entertainment, sports events, and news from their hometowns.  Since 2000, their award-winning young journalists have reported “news for kids, by kids,” covering politics, entertainment, the environment, sports, and more in their hometowns and on the national stage. Their stories appear online and in issues of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, which reach more than 25 million students in classrooms nationwide.

Kids can click around the site to visit different sections and read news reports and blogs or watch videos. Visitors can browse the site’s sections: Kid Reporter Interviews, Healthy Kids, National News, Kids Read, Movies, TV, Music, Tips from the Pros, Sports, and The Election. The content of the articles is fascinating to kids and extremely varied. Readers can learn about celebrities, recipes, current events, sports, and much more.

6. My Kids Way – Essays

Essays writing will help the child to be a great writer. To show your children how fun essays can be, you should show them great samples. Most of our young children have imagination, yet they don’t know how to translate their ideas into words. As parents, you can help them convert their creative thoughts to words, and it can be a way to be a successful writer. My Kids Way – Essays provides a wide range of essays for kids to improve their writing skills.

You’ll find narrative, persuasive, expository, and descriptive essays appropriate for different ages on this website. The samples are relatively short, but they will give your kid an idea of how a paper is supposed to look. You’ll also find reading and writing activities and worksheets on the website.

7. ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink is a web-based online resource offering many free materials and high-quality practice in reading and language arts. This website contains lessons, interactive activities, and many printable materials that enable young students to organize the writing process. The site is organized into Classroom Resources, Professional Development, Videos, and Parent & Afterschool Resources. Each heading contains hundreds of unit plans, lesson plans, and activities, each divided by subject, learning objective, and grade level. While ReadWriteThink is focused primarily on language arts, materials for science, math, history, and life skills can be found here as well.

The Student Interactives section offers several tools that improve children’s literacy. These are some of the most effective tools your child may find helpful (each of them comes for a designated age group): Organizing and Summarizing; Writing and Publishing Prose; Writing Poetry, and Learning about Language.

For teens

8. Underlined

Underlined provides a creative outlet for teens who like to write. This online community has one goal: to encourage students to write and share their work with other users. As a result, they are motivated to write even more creatively. The community is not only about sharing, feedback, and contests; it also offers valuable tips on reading and writing, as well as recommendations for great books and authors appropriate for their age.

As teens create the content, young visitors will find a good deal they can relate to and may find themselves quickly caught up in the short stories, articles, and poetry. Kids of all creativity levels will find inspiration here. Those with aspirations to write or draw will be encouraged to continue pursuing their interests, and those who may struggle with writing or creativity may recognize that hard work pays off.

9. Power Poetry

Power Poetry is an online platform for teens to write, share, and discuss poems. The site hosts online slams, where kids submit poems on specific topics and are judged by their peers. The bulk of Power Poetry pages are a well-organized, open forum for kids to write poems on any subject, and the site offers novel ways for them to contribute, including video and audio.  Kids can even text a short poem from their phones! Young people who want guidance can directly gather inspiration from idea prompts or contact a Power Poetry Mentor.

Power Poetry is a positive, diverse, energetic community that supports kids through the challenging journey of adolescence, encouraging them to use poetry as a tool for social change and personal growth. It’s a well-rounded and supportive community, and kids should feel welcomed. While kids are free to write about any subject they choose, site guidelines prevent hate speech and other inappropriate content.

10. 750 words

750 words is a private, online journal that helps your teen build a daily writing habit. As the name implies, 750 Words is an app that enables you to form a habit of writing at least 750 words (about 3 pages) per day. When you log in to the app, you’ll see nothing but a place to write. As you type, the app keeps track of your progress and lets you know when you’ve passed 750 words. The app also saves your work so you can review it later, and everything is completely private. In addition to the writing features, 750 Words shows you insights about your writing, such as how many days in a row you’ve written, your average words per minute, and the mood you were in (based on the words you use).

Whether you are looking for a tool to encourage your child to write as a creative exercise, to learn more about herself, 750 Words is an ideal suggestion to get her thoughts onto the page and keep her writing routine on track.

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