We have an exploration station the children’s room that we used for weekly science activities over the summer. Since then, we’ve had a monthly activity, with varying success.
For the month of November, I decided to put out an old typewriter for kids to try writing on! We had an extra typewriter in the basement, so we cleaned it up, ordered some more ribbons, and voila!
I added a little information on NaNoWriMo, and included other creative writing prompts. In addition to the typewriter, we had story dice, with prompts to write/draw a story, a story wall, where kids can add their favorite story or genre, and I also debuted our story blocks in the same area.
And it worked! The typewriter was a HUGE success, drawing in kids of all ages (seriously, teens go on it too!) I heard kids and parents talking about how they’ve never used a real typewriter, or grownups explaining to children how they used to have to type all their homework on a typewriter. It has been a fabulous learning experience, and a great outlet for creativity. And yes, we do have to clean up a few borderline inappropriate typed pieces, but oh well.
The best part is that it gets so much use that there often isn’t paper in it. The kids still want to use it though, so they come up to the desk and ask for help, and then we get to talk about the typewriter and stories and interact with kids! See how sneaky I am?
We had it up for two months, they loved it! My plan was to take it down for my next great station, but the kids who saw me taking down the display rebelled, so the typewriter stayed! I’m thinking it will be at least a semi-permanent feature.