How to Create a Writing Station for Children

How to create a writing station for children_My Little Bookcase

Having opportunities to write is so important for children, even when they are still in the pre-writing phase. These opportunities help children to mimic adult writing behaviours; consolidate their knowledge of language; understand the purpose of writing as a form of communication, and practise and build confidence in their own writing.

When Ike was born, I relinquished control and gave Cammy more independent access to our stationery and art supplies. This was how I’d often find her activity table.

Creating a children's writing station_before by My Little Bookcase

As a mother of a newborn, I didn’t always have the energy or the time to tidy it up and sometimes it stayed like this for days. Needless to say, this space was not conducive to a developing a positive experience with writing.

So as a family we began a new project for the home. We set out to create a writing station for Cammy. We thought about what we wanted to achieve by creating a writing station.

Purposes of writing stations for children

I believe a writing station should be:

  • A place that children can access independently and spontaneously
  • A place that is inviting and inspires children to write
  • A place where children feel comfortable to experiment with writing
  • A place that is rich in print
  • A place that encourages meaningful and child-driven writing
  • A place where children can practise their skills and build their confidence in writing
  • A place where children have access to materials needed to write

Because we don’t have a playroom, we chose to set up Cammy’s writing station in our family’s open living space (i.e. kitchen, dining and lounge areas). This meant we had a few particular criteria to think about so the station would complement and blend into the furnishings of the living space when not in use. So, you’ll notice I’ve added some little touches just for myself.

A children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Criteria for setting up a writing station for children:

  • Easily accessible
  • Organised and easy to maintain
  • Abundant with appropriate writing materials
  • Inviting
  • Good lighting

What to include in a writing station for children:

A children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

I’d love for you to come on a little tour of Cammy’s writing station. I acknowledge that our styling may not be to everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you’re not fond of up-cycled vintage goods.

BUT, you will still get a good idea of what to include in a writing station, even if you choose to present it differently in your home.

Furniture

  • Table and chairs (comfortable and of child-height)
  • Adequate storage for supplies

I gifted my vintage bureau to Cammy. I always intended on renovating this with a lick of paint, but it seemed to look just right in its original state standing alongside the red table and chair set that we decided to use from Cammy’s cubby house. At some point we might change the handles.

We created shelving by securing some pre-loved crates and drawers to the wall. We found our wares at Camberwell Market.

Creating a children's writing station in the home_My Little Bookcase

How to create a children's writing station in your home_my little bookcase

How to create a children's writing station in your home_My Little Bookcase

HOw to create a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Writing Tools

  • Pencils
  • Textas
  • Crayons
  • Chalk
  • Pens

Providing children with a variety of writing materials can keep writing interesting for children.

How to create a children's writing station in your home_My Little Bookcase

Stationery

How to create a children's writing station in your home

  • Paperclips
  • Stapler
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors

How to create a children's writing station in your home

  • Cards
  • Envelopes
  • Postcards
  • Address book
  • Postage stamps
  • Stickers
  • Address labels or stamps
  • Alphabet Stamps

I find that offering a selection of cards and postage stamps makes the writing station a place for meaningful writing. We are also involved in a postcard swap. Find out more at Thirteen Red Shoes.

We had our personalised address labels created at Vistaprint. You can also get self-inking stamps from there.

VistaPrint Australia

Writing materials for a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Materials for a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Writing materials for a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Writing materials for a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Writing Surfaces/Materials:

  • Roll of paper
  • A range of papers (plain and dotted)
  • White board
  • Blackboard
  • I also have an old keyboard for pretend emailing

Writing materials for a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Writing materials for a children's writing station

  • Journals
  • Note pads
  • Sticky Notes

Writing Materials in a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Environmental Print:

  • Alphabet poster or table mat
  • ‘Days of the Week’ Calendar
  • Dictionaries or word books
  • A pinboard for displaying cards, letters, posters etc.

Dictionaries are great references for older children, but word books are a great alternative for pre-readers or early readers. They are are great springboard into using dictionaries as they present words in alphabetical order.  The two books we have on display at our writing station are:
Koala’s, Kites and Kangaroos and
My First Animalia

Ideally I would love to have a calendar on display to help Cammy with her letter writing and date keeping, but I haven’t found one that I think suits our writing station yet. I also find that a lot of children’s calendars are too busy and cluttered. In the meantime, I use a mini blackboard to write the date. It can come off the wall easily and we can also use it for modelling words that Cammy wants to write on her cards and letters.

How to create a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Materials in a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

How to create a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

A children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Language and Story Inspiration:

Posters and prompts can inspire a child’s imagination and prompt their own stories.  Our print is an illustration that didn’t make it to the final pages of A Monster Wrote Me a Letter by Nick Bland. It appeared in the calendar I created for 2013. You can still purchase a copy for the purpose of displaying the prints. I hope that by displaying this print, it inspires Cammy to write lots of letters.

The Kid Stuff Story Starters are no longer in print, but you could make your own. Each card literally features a starting sentence for a story or piece of writing (E.g. If I had a million dollars). Other cards in the pack feature a theme to write about.

I also have some word games that I pull down for Cammy to play occasionally. They encourage her to play with words, and hopefully help her to gain a deeper understanding of language.

How to create a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

How to create a children's writing station_My Little Bookcase

HOw to create a children's writing station in your home

Writing Station for Children_My Little Bookcase

A Writing Station for Children:

A writing station makeover_My Little Bookcase

Creating this writing station has been such a fulfilling project for our family. It truly has become a place where Cammy spends a lot of time. It is so much more than a writing station though. Yes, it is a place where she writes but more importantly it is a place where she creates, and a place where she can undertake tasks and activities away from the curious little hands of her baby brother. IT IS AN EMPOWERING PLACE FOR CAMMY.

A child's writing station_My Little Bookcase

Writing station for children_My Little Bookcase



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About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

How to Create a Writing Station for Children

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  1. Oh wow! That look amazing!

  2. What an inspiring, beautiful and functional space! I adore this!

  3. Beautiful and inspiring writing center! :)

  4. This is just gorgeous! I’m going to set something up for Pebble :)

  5. Oh my, this is lovely! SO inspiring!!

  6. This is gorgeous! Pulled together beautifully! Coming back here for inspiration to create something similar for my girls!

  7. Oh, this is gorgeous!! I love all the little touches and array of materials you have on hand. *sigh* so organised!! We have a similar area in our home, but we call it the ‘craft table’ – (http://livinglovinglaughingtogether.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/crafty-little-girl.html )but as you said, setting up such a space was one of the best things we have done! My daughter gets such a thrill from being able to work independently there with all her ‘tools’ at her fingertips! It is such a place of creativity, I just love it. recently, we have added things like an alphabet chart on the wall, but I am definitely going to add a few more things (and re-organise it!) inspired by this post! thanks x

  8. Jackie I absolutely love this! It’s even better than I thought it was going to be! You’ve inspired me to get something properly set up for Miss Daisy so that she’s got a permanent place to enjoy creating and writing.

  9. Looks great, I love all your storage ideas. Working on storage…

  10. I love this! Great use of vintage items. The before photo looks like our old art area!

  11. My smallest is just old enough to have these sorts of items within reach without me worrying about him drawing all over the couch! LOL SO you’ve given me some inspiration for setting up a little writing area over the holidays! Thank you!

  12. One word : perfect

  13. Ohhh Jackie, I wanted to squeal (I almost did) when I saw every image. There is so much inspiration in that post it’s almost overwhelming.

    Miss Possum is a wonderful reader and writer but the twins (although young) hardly draw. I want to change that. I have to stop worrying about them drawing on walls and things and finish my writing station.

    Do you know of a printable alphabet mat? I’d love to add that on our table, like you have.

    Also, where do you get that adjective/noun dice? I want one of them too. Also those stamps? See I told you I got inspired. Their birthdays are coming up and I’d love to shower them with more educational activities.

  14. I forgot to press the notify me of follow up comments :)

    • I’m glad you felt inspired by our space Penny.
      We spent very little money on this writing station. We mainly made do with supplies etc. that we already had- so I’m unable to head you in the right direction with some of the products.

      I’ll start with the easy one though. The alphabet stamps are from Kikki K. Cammy got these for her 4th birthday.

      The alphabet mat is actually a place mat that I picked up from Aldi a number of months ago. I think you could find lots of good ones if you googled ‘printable alphabet mat’. Sorry.

      I purchased the dice over 10 years ago when I was in the classroom. I would suggest visiting an educational bookstore…. or I found something on fishpond.

      Would love to know how you go with your space.

  15. This is amazing! Such a great idea, and all the small details that you added make it such a fun and inspiring space.

  16. where did you get the paper roll holder? thanks in advance!

  17. This is such a great post Jackie. My little one is really starting to show an interest in writing and I really value the idea of a station like you’ve set up. Thanks for these sensational tips.

  18. So much thought has gone into this. Wish we could put more things on the wall in our rental.
    Really inviting space, that doesn’t compromise adult style.

  19. Coming from a family of educators, this is a dream set-up! I have a space on our landing that I’m trying to figure out where to go with and this just may fit the bill.

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