What kind of activities can your family do together?
How about a collaborative writing project. Everyone from the youngest toddler who can make illustrations to the older teen who can write stories can participate in these family activities.
By the way, when I say the word “family”, I mean the adults too. Parents (and maybe even aunts, uncles, or grandparents) are included. But you always wanted to be an author anyways, right? Perfect.
Then dust off your feather pen and put on your thinking cap. Let’s get started writing.
20 Writing Projects That Can Be Done Collaboratively
- Magazine (begin with a title for your magazine like “Ancient Civilizations” or “Inventions Galore” and let everyone write articles for it)
- Book of origin stories like Kipling’s Just So Stories
- Book of poetry
- Puzzle Book (everyone can contribute crosswords, word searches, etc.)
- Book of how-to’s
- Songbook (good for the musically talented)
- Year long calendar (everyone can be assigned a set of months and each month can include important holidays, birthdays of famous people, decorations, etc.)
- Book of Madlibs
- Collection of book reviews
- Book of jokes, riddles, tongue twisters and other funny things
- Book of short stories
- Continuous story (someone starts a story and everyone adds a little to it)
- Collection of made-up fairy tales, folk tales, and myths
- Book of prayers
- Collection of short mysteries like those in Encyclopedia Brown
- Atlas of the world (includes maps and geographical info)
- Historical journal (see details below)
- Newspaper (see details below)
- ABC book (see details below
This project is a great way to blend history and language arts. (I love it when I can combine subjects )
Here’s how to do it.
Each person in your family can choose a historical figure like Columbus, Ben Franklin, Joan of Arc, or whomever.
Then he or she can write a diary journal entry or two for this person. Some entries should be about significant events in the person’s life.
Tell your family to try to make them interesting. History is NOT boring.
Also remind everyone to put dates on their journal entries.
When everyone is finished, compile them in chronological order and read them together.
How about creating a family newspaper? Everyone can have a lot of fun with this writing project because there is so much variety in a newspaper. Also, you don’t have to be serious with it. Some of the articles can be downright hilarious. It makes it all the more fun.
Here are some parts of a newspaper and some suggestions for each:
- News articles – What are the latest and greatest events going on in your family? Example: “Family Dog Escapes – Mad Chase Ensues”
- Editorial – Give this to the person in the family who loves to share his opinions. Example: “Why I Think I Should Get a Raise in My Allowance”
- Technology – Perfect for how-to’s and other articles on your gizmos. Example: “How to Fix the Blue Screen of Death”
- Science – What kind of interesting experiments do you have going on in your household this week? Example: “How to Make Penicillin With Bread”
- Health – This is a good place for articles on keeping your family healthy. Example: “Why You Shouldn’t Have Candy After Every Meal”
- Sports – This section is perfect for the sports fans in your family. Example: “Winner of the Family Bocce Ball Tournament”
- Education – What’s everybody learning about this week? Or what about articles with valuable teaching tips and advice. Example: “Why It’s Important to Teach Your Children How to Write.”
- Variety – What’s trendy in your family? Example: “Mom’s Stylish New Hairdo”
- Weather – What’s the forecast for your area? Example: “April Showers Bring May Flowers”
- Comics – Perfect for the artist in the family. Example: None (Why none? Because I’m not the artist in my family. )
You might think that an ABC book would only be useful for the littlest in your family, right?
Quite the contrary. While the youngest could make simple pages with just pictures and words, the older children and adults could create entire sentences using words that start with the same letter as Graeme Base did in his book, Animalia. This is great practice in alliteration.
Or they could model their sentences after Jane Bayer’s book, A My Name is Alice. There are plenty of alphabet books out there that are good examples for kids (and adults) to imitate.
And the illustrations for this type of book are the best part. Budding artists can draw their own. Not so budding artists can cut them out of magazines or get pictures off of the internet.
Just divvy up the alphabet among members of your family and let everyone do what he or she does best. When they’re done, you’ll have a bona fide family alphabet book.
By the way, here are those books once again.