Playful Writing by Rebecca Olien and Laura Woodside

Playful Writing is an early writing guide suitable for preschool and and early elementary age kids. The activities are fun and varied and easily followed in nearly any setting. Emphasis is given on interaction and play – making the writing more of an exploratory or art project that kids will enjoy doing.


Each of the 150 ideas has an objective, things to discuss before they write, table of materials suggested/needed, Play time guide (to make it fun and explain how to give the exercise), and ideas on how different ages can approach how they write about the topic. There are overarching topics (e.g., sensory – writing about the senses) and then several ways to explore.

The topics are: 24 playful ways to make a mark; Creative drama playful dozen; On the go!; Make way for superheroes; Friendly fairy tales; Tricks and magic; Special places; Sensational senses; Growing time; Animal antics; Nature’s pen; That’s amazing. Example writing exercise subtopics under Make way for superheroes include: Superhero to the rescue, bigger than life superhero costume catalog, comic book capers, robot adventure, adventures of amazing ant, heroic pet tales, superhero children, superhero’s toolbox.

The book is well structured and easy to follow. There clearly is a love by the author for each of the exercises and child literacy – and an emphasis on not just writing letters but understanding them in a fun way. It’s an ideal book for teachers or homeschoolers of young children. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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