Start a family blog
Many writers, including the Brontë sisters and Louisa May Alcott, started out by creating family newsletters. Your child can, too, in the form of a blog. Starting a family or neighborhood newsletter is "cheap, creative and educational," says Cynthia MacGregor, author of "Mommy, I'm Bored." As editor-in-chief, your child will wear many hats, being reporter, interviewer, critic, artist, and historian all rolled into one. As she learns how to frame questions about her family's holiday plans or to shape a story about grandma's visit, she builds valuable communication skills. She begins to think about the interests of each family member. Why not add a riddle for her younger brother, a sports section for grandpa, and a book review for her cousin? She may also start to think about how her blog differs from the local newspaper. She may want to imitate some of its features, or even discover that there is room for a kid's page in your hometown paper. At that point, she is on her way!