Bring out the creativity in your children when you make them cub reporters of their own newspaper. They'll love digging for the stories and seeing their names on the masthead when the newspaper is printed.
Draw it. Write it by hand. Lay it out on computer. How it becomes a print publication isn't as important as watching your kids use their creativity to come up with something that will last longer than a high score on a video game.
It's easy to get started too. Newspapers can be created for any number of everyday settings. Try one or more of these five and watch your kids get enthusiastic about producing something of their own while working with other children to make their vision come to life:
School NewspaperEvery school should have a newspaper. Budget cuts may prevent your school from having an official newspaper but that doesn't mean students can't go indie and create a newspaper of their own.
Your kids and their friends can produce a newspaper that covers everything from student elections to teacher profiles, field trips to a lost and found list. They can learn how to ask those tough reporter questions like, "What's really in cafeteria food?" A teacher may even be willing to work with students before or after school to help kids become better writers and get their newspaper to everyone in the school.
Family NewspaperForget Facebook. Keep up with family members through a family-run newspaper.
Everyone can send their updates to the kids who can then get the newspaper ready to go. Update the family on cousin Jane's surgery. Announce the month's birthdays and anniversaries of family members.
Use the newspaper as a tool to keep your family close and get your kids excited about reporting on their family's big news. Mail one newspaper per address to keep postage costs down.
Neighborhood NewspaperEnhance your sense of community with a neighborhood newspaper the kids produce. They can report on special events on your street, such as block parties or trick-or-treating Halloween night, as well as everyday neighborhood news like lost pets and new neighbor introductions.
Newspapers can be delivered by hand as you and the newspaper staff walk through the neighborhood together. If your neighborhood association supports it, a budget can be set aside so the newspapers can be mailed instead.
Sports NewspaperWhether your kids watch their favorite sports from the sidelines or they're an athlete on the team, starting a sports newspaper shares the highlights from the game.
Keep the newspaper small and only cover one team. Or go for the goal and cover the entire league's games. Player profiles, game and practice cancellation announcements and pizza party schedules are just a few of the many subjects kids can cover in addition to the action of the game.
Learning how to become thorough reporters is a great collaborative effort and a fun side activity for brothers and sisters who are watching their siblings from the stands. They can also hand out the newspaper issue at the game.
Playgroup NewspaperWho's getting a baby brother or sister? When will the next playgroup meet? What kinds of toys did the kids play with at the last get together?
Encourage everyone in playgroup to work together to create a newspaper. This project encourages teamwork but it's also a good way to keep parents and kids who miss a playgroup informed so they don't feel left out of the group. Bring a stack of newspapers to your next couple of playgroups to make sure everyone receives one.