The benefits of blogging for kids.
The internet is all everywhere and it really is for everyone – young and old. And when it comes to kids there are few better and more beneficial ways for children to experience the internet than through blogging. So, here’s a guide to the wonderful world of blogging for kids.
What is a blog?
Firstly, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a blog? What is blogging? Who are these people that you’ve no doubt heard about, called bloggers?
A blog (or ‘weblog’ to give it its full name) is a website on which the user, or ‘blogger’ regularly posts items on a regular basis. Most bloggers focus on particular topic, hobby or interest. Many blogs are written like online diaries. A typical blog will be text-based, with images added, sometimes video is featured and it may also include links to other blogs or websites.
Blogs have come a long way since the first ever blog was created in 1994. Personal blogs are still popular, but businesses soon got in on the act. Now there are few areas of society that aren’t covered by the blogosphere. Sponsored blogs and advertising has permeated the blogging world and some bloggers have displayed a real entrepreneurial spirit and made a lot of money from blogging. There are plenty of kid bloggers too. A blog can be about any subject. It’s amazing to see where starting a personal blog can lead to for kids.
Tavi Gennison is a fantastic example. Now 21 and a writer, editor and actress, she first became known for her Style Rookie blog which she started at the age of 12, focusing on fashion. By the age of 15, Tavi had begun to blog about feminism and pop culture.
At the other end of the kid blogging spectrum you will find children that blog about their school day, what they did on their holidays, or their pets.
What are the benefits of blogging for kids?
Well, whilst it’s true that by encouraging your child to set up a blog you could be unleashing a budding entrepreneur onto the internet and starting them off on the path to earning their first million dollars, of course this is still very unlikely!
However, the list of reasons why blogging for kids is a very good idea is still a very long one.
Blogging builds confidence
Blogging can help children to build confidence and it will help them improve their self-expression.
Blogging improves literacy skills
Undoubtedly, a child’s reading and writing skills will develop. Their digital literacy skills will be given a boost at the same time.
Blogging stimulates creativity
For many, the simple habit of writing on a daily basis can really aid their learning, as well as stimulating their creativity. All the time a child is blogging they are learning the craft of writing.
Blogging develops transferable skills
It’s difficult to predict exactly where all of the above will lead a child to in the future, but any parent or teacher would agree that all the skills mentioned above are extremely beneficial and transferable life-skills that are certainly well worth developing.
And there’s more… Children who blog are being given a genuine voice – an outlet to say what they think, feel or imagine. The sense of fulfilment and pride that can be experienced from publishing their own work is great and should not underestimated. In addition to this, children can learn much from the interaction they have with their readers.
Blogging is empowering, promotes independence and means that every child can be given a platform to express themselves on whatever topic they choose. A blog fosters collaborative thinking, can help to forge multicultural links and helps kids to appreciate that the world really is a global village. Blogs give kids an authentic (and potentially global) audience. It also gives them the opportunity to highlight their skills, knowledge or opinions at the same time as creating their very own digital portfolio.
How can kids get started with blogging?
Many kids will be introduced to blogs at school. As collaborative learning tools blogs are hard to beat and blogs set up through school are also a useful way of building a home-school connection. There are many platforms that are focused primarily on providing blogging channels for educational establishments, such as Edublogs.
The advantage of blogging through school is that kids will be introduced to the form alongside their peers. They will obviously receive lots of guidance and support and the platforms will be secure and safe for children to use.
If you would like your kids to enjoy the benefits of blogging, but to do it independently away from school there are a multitude of options available. The two main blogging platforms, WordPress and Blogger, stipulate in their terms of service that children need to be 13 years old to use their services, but this doesn’t mean that younger children are prevented from blogging.
Take a look at 45 best blogging sites for kids to see a whole host of sites that introduce young children to the blogging experience. Many are also a good kid-friendly introduction to the world of social media. These sites are an engaging way for kids to explore the possibilities of blogging, learn lots and become excellent digital citizens from an early age.
As the sites are aimed at children, they will be safe to use but it’s still important to use blogs as an opportunity to teach your children to be safety conscious and aware on the internet.
You should always install internet safety software for your computer. Take the time to discuss online safety with children and ensure that they don’t disclose personal information or publish personal of family photos when online.
Of course, learning other skills at the same time will be a great benefit to kids and will help to enhance their experience. For example, touch typing proficiency will make it much easier for kids to blog on a regular and consistent basis.
The blogging world is a brilliant place for kids to explore. Get them blogging today!