Kindergarten is when most children begin learning basic communication skills that they will build upon for the rest of their lives, and these basic skills include reading and writing. Writing is a way for children to express their thoughts and creativity and show off their uniqueness!

Additionally, writing is a crucial part of children discovering how to think critically and organize and communicate their ideas effectively. Their foundational writing skills will help them hone their foundational reading skills, which will benefit them as they progress through their academic careers!

Here are some fun ideas we came up with to help you establish a stable foundation of reading and writing in your newly minted students.

Writing Activities: Words and Letters

Learning about words and letters is a great way to help young learners gain more familiarity with language and writing. These activities focus on the building blocks of writing, which students will use to begin their journey into literacy.

Talk About Words

When you read a story to the class, take some time either during or after to have a discussion about words. Ask the class about new words they hadn’t heard before or particularly vivid words that they like the sound of. Ask them about words the author used to describe settings or characters, then ask them what other words the author could have used or how they would have described the scene.

Making Letters

Use art to ease kindergartners into writing! Kids love the opportunity to make something creative, so harness that energy and direct it towards learning the shape of letters. They can do this activity with construction paper and markers or pens; you can also use something with more sensory feedback, like Play-Doh, pieces of yarn or building toys.

Have your students choose a favorite letter, then make art of that letter. This can mean drawing, sculpting or simply putting yarn or LEGOs in the shape of a letter. If you’re using Play-Doh or another reusable medium, you can name a letter and have students make that letter, then take it apart and repeat. If you choose to have them draw letters, consider choosing a word and having each student contribute a letter to make a collaborative art piece.

kindergarten-students-drawing-on-construction-paperWriting Names and the Alphabet

At this age, most young learners can print their first and last names and several letters of the alphabet. Practicing writing their names and the letters of the alphabet will help them become more familiar with letters and words over time.

Labeling Pictures

As students add to their written vocabularies, have them put that knowledge to use by labeling pictures! This works with pictures they’ve drawn (encourage them to label people, places and objects), or they can do it with illustrations from picture books or online. You can use this activity to introduce young learners to new themes you’ll be using in future activities—for example, have them label a drawing of sea life as an introduction to a unit focused on ocean-themed activities.

Tip: Remember that kindergartners may use invented spellings of words. At this stage of their development, they’re still in the process of understanding how spoken language translates to written language, and experts agree that too much emphasis on proper spelling can be discouraging. Instead, encourage the parts they’re getting right!

The Other Kind of Letters

Another fun activity for kindergarten students is writing a letter to a friend or family member or writing something kind in a card for someone, such as grandparents or extended family, who will appreciate the sentiment. This also helps children get in the habit of being considerate to others and organically expressing their appreciation when someone else shows consideration to them.

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Writing Activities: Composition

Once they know the building blocks, it’s time to build something! These activities help students begin to express themselves through writing, including how to write about things they care about and how writing can help them organize their thoughts.

Stretch a Sentence

Start with a very short sentence (like “the dog ran”). Have your kindergarteners copy the sentence onto a piece of paper. Next, they’ll copy the sentence again, but add one or more words describing the dog (like “the little dog ran”). Now, ask them to copy their new sentence and add one or more words describing where the dog ran (like “the little dog ran home”).

Finally, ask them to copy their sentence one more time, adding “because” to the end and explaining why the dog did that (like “the little dog ran home because it was dinner time”). Students can volunteer to read their sentences to the class and see how many different sentences they all came up with!

Opinion Writing

Anyone who’s talked to a kindergartener knows they are quite opinionated, so use those interests and hobbies as a jumping-off point for them to practice writing. Make up a worksheet with half the paper available for a drawing and on the other half, make it say on one line “[blank] is the best” and on the next line down, “I like it because [blank].”

At the top of the worksheet, label it with which favorite they’ll be writing about (favorite color, favorite place, favorite animal, etc.). After everyone has finished their worksheet, have students discuss their favorites. Make sure to emphasize that it’s not a contest and the point isn’t to convince anyone to like the same thing. Everyone can like different things, and those differences are part of what makes us all unique.


Having students take some time to journal can help them process their memories and emotions, keep track of important events and practice mindfulness. Journal topics have a vast and varied range, and it’s easy to use journaling as part of most activities. Journal topics can range from general events (like their last birthday or their favorite thing to do during recess) to more specific events (like what they did during a holiday break or over the weekend).

Journaling can ease students back into coursework after school has been out for a break, help students articulate their feelings or bring the class back to a calming headspace after something more active.

teacher-reading-to-kindergarten-studentsStory from a Picture

This activity is perfect if you have the time and resources available for a one-on-one activity with your students. Ask one of your students to look at a picture that shows a scene with two or more characters or one character interacting with the environment. Have them make up a story about what’s happening in the picture. As they tell the story, write down what they tell you. Don’t correct anything they tell you but ask them to clarify anything that doesn’t make sense, including establishing motivations for the character’s actions.

Tip: Thousands of royalty-free copies of illustrations from public domain books are available online. Many of them will have exciting images guaranteed to entice the imaginations of kindergarteners.

Students Read Aloud to the Class

Most kindergarteners love being the center of attention in a familiar environment. Allowing them to read their writing aloud to the rest of the class will enable them to express their individuality, reinforce their reading skills and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of writing and reading—not to mention public speaking—that will benefit them as they continue through school.

Writing Activities: Writing Practice

Ask any published writer, and they’ll tell you one of the most important parts of writing is consistent practice! Teaching young learners to make a habit of writing and incorporate writing into their everyday lives will help them prioritize literacy.

Model Good Writing Habits

Kids are more likely to do something if they see a trusted adult doing it, so model the different ways your students can use writing in their own lives. Use your whiteboard to write a daily schedule at the beginning of the day or the various topics or lessons you will cover. Have your students help brainstorm lists for different activities and write down their contributions.

When you write something down during class, let students know you’re making a note for later. Explain to them that writing is a crucial part of everyday life and it can help them plan their work accordingly.

Make a To-Do List

When doing a multi-step activity, have students write down the steps and cross them off as they finish each one. Having a list in front of them will help young learners plan for larger assignments, and the satisfaction of crossing something off a list and having a list of completed tasks instills a sense of accomplishment.

This might seem a bit young to start thinking about concepts like “time management” and “prioritizing tasks.” Still, if you introduce these skills early on, they’ll be better equipped to learn the skills in later years after having had them modeled and familiarized when they were younger.

Gratitude Lists

Many studies show the benefits of practicing gratitude. It’s easy to remember the negative things that happen, but taking some time to intentionally think about things in life that you’re thankful for can help put things in a positive perspective. Ask students to write down one thing they’re happy about, put the paper in a safe place and add a new thing every day.

Anytime they’re feeling sad or upset, they can get out their lists and look at all the good things in their lives. This is an excellent activity to start the week (or each day) since it doesn’t take much time and will lift the room’s energy as everyone thinks of things that make them happy.

Life Goals List

Ask students to make a list of things they want to do when they grow up. This list can include occupations, major life milestones like going to college or getting married, or other accomplishments like climbing to the top of a mountain or traveling to other countries.

Once everyone is finished, have each of them share one goal with the class. Lead a discussion about the different goals everyone has chosen, and encourage students to add goals to their list if one of their classmates had an idea they really liked and want to try themselves.

Don’t Break the Chain!

Set up a classroom challenge to do a specific activity (like weekly journaling or a daily gratitude list) consistently over a set interval (you can set a long timeframe, like the entire school year or a shorter time frame, like a week). Generally, you want to balance the activity and the timeframe, so daily activities pair well with a shorter time frame, and weekly activities pair better with a longer timeframe.

Once you’ve set the terms, challenge students to complete “links” in the “chain” by meeting the terms. If they miss one, they break the chain. See who can make the longest chain or set a group goal for the whole class to participate in the challenge together as a team.

You can help your class take the next step on their writing journey by publishing their work in a classbook! Simply start with any of the aforementioned writing activities—or any of their other writings and drawings—then use our free classbook publishing kits to do the rest. These classbooks are an excellent keepsake that will remind your students of their humble kindergarten beginnings.

Be sure to check out our blog and online Teacher’s Lounge for more inspirational and creative resources, classroom activities and writing prompts!