Get your child typing!
Kids get frustrated because they can think up story ideas faster than they can write them. Unfortunately, they may give up on writing stories, or end up writing one- or two-line stories because their hands get sore or tired.
The principal at our school had a great idea. If our son could learn to type, he'd be allowed to use the computer in the school (at appropriate times) to write stories.
This is also a good idea for kids who are into computers (and video games) but who aren't yet interested in creating stories. It hooks them on a different level - they get to use the computer.
I searched all over and tried various "fun" software applications, until a teacher told me about "Dance Mat Typing," a learn-to-type program created by the BBC.
It's a bit silly, a bit loud, a bit nerdy - and kids love it. And it worked for my son.
The reason I like it, is that within a few times of using it my son is typing using the home row, and without looking at his fingers. In others words, he's doing "real" typing.
Some of those "game" typing software programs can be fun, but the kids end up hunting and pecking, which isn't what you ultimately want.
When my son wants to play a computer game, but it's during one of his "non-video-game" times - for instance, mid-week - I let him do Dance Mat Typing. He enjoys it, and he's using the computer for something fun and educational.
I realize that of course, kids have to learn to write. This isn't taking anything away from that. But typing is going to be one of those skills that will be necessary in the business world our kids will one day enter. I think it'll separate the cans from the can-nots. (OK, that sounds like a recycling program, separating the cans. But you know what I mean.)