Get Your Kids Writing – Here’s How!

If you think about it, children are some of the best storytellers of all time. They’re natural storytellers due to their big ideas and even larger imaginations. If you’ve ever watched a child play, you know that they’re doing much more than just building with blocks, molding Play-Doh, or coloring pictures. They’re internally creating stories around those blocks, Play-Doh, and pictures while building worlds and creating characters as they “play.”


Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Some children may grumble at the thought of writing but if you ask them to write without “rules” – meaning you hand them a blank sheet of paper and tell them to write about anything they want and to write it however they want — they’re more certain to be enthusiastic about it. The possibilities are endless. With that blank paper, who knows what will come out! The point is that it’s essential to get children as excited about writing as they get about reading so they don’t miss their opportunity to create with words.

Here are a few ideas to help get your children writing.

  • Stuff a few items into a brown paper bag – i.e. a leaf, coin, goldfish cracker, marble, etc. – and without looking, pull out one of the items. Start a story about the item, and ask your child to choose the next item and continue the story. Maybe that first item was a goldfish cracker. It might learn to sunbathe on a leaf and to juggle marbles high into the sky. Who knows what they’ll come up with? Verbally create the story and then write it down!
  • Write starter sentences on a blank, lined sheet of paper and invite your child to fill in the story. Some examples include: “One day…” “And then…” “I couldn’t believe what I saw…” Starters like these will get those creative wheels spinning.
  • Incorporate real life into make-believe stories. Children love talking about their day, what they did, who they talked with, what happened at school. Those discussions could easily become material for creative writing. An incident at school could lead your child to elaborate and write about what happened before and after the incident, his/her thoughts about it, etc. Talking to your child daily is extremely important and writing it down could be equally valuable!
  • Suggest a topic. Maybe your child loves to write but just can’t think of where to start or what to write about. Providing topics such as what they did over the weekend, what the best thing is about their favorite activity, who their best friend is and why, etc. These thoughts could jumpstart an amazing story.
  • Art — one of my favorites — is yet another way to stimulate creative storytelling! Simply have your child pick up a paintbrush and paint whatever they want in any way they want. Then ask them what every line and blob is. Chances are there’ll be some elaborate explanation behind each stroke and some sort of story or meaning behind the picture as a whole.

Stories have been around since the beginning of time — with pictures carved, drawings on rocks, and paintings on the walls of their caves. Almost every part of life involves stories: conversations we have with people, songs we hear, pictures we see, things we see on TV or hear on the radio — they all involve stories, one way or another. If stories are going to swirl around us every day of our lives and every day of our children’s lives, why not suggest that they start writing them down?

Even just a few sentences can be the start of “writing.” Make sure your children know that. Tell them that their words, long or short, mean something special. Their words are their thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and observations — everything about who they are.



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