5 Ways to Help Your Child Write Creatively

One of the beginning pages of Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! poses a question: “Have You Ever Tried Creative Writing?”

The passage goes on to say: “Writing can be a great adventure. A blank piece of paper is like an open invitation to put down your ideas about anything you see, think, or imagine. The possibilities are UNLIMITED. Once you try writing, you may be surprised by your own excitement and ability.”

This can, of course, apply to people of all ages (there’s no deadline for trying your hand at writing, right? And there’s no start date, either!). Elementary school-aged children can do it, as well as those in their 90s. The difference? The longer you live, the more experiences you’ve had, the more you have to draw from for your writing. The younger you are, the more imagination you’ll use!

So, for now, I want to focus on the younger generations, and give some useful tips for getting those creative juices flowing. After all, creative writing encourages artistic self-expression, and whether a child is four or 14, the process can help guide them through feelings and emotions and let them grow as a person.

Below are five tips on working with your child to help them write creatively:

  • Use a storyboard. Simply Google the words “creative writing storyboards for children” and see what comes up! It’s endless. According to scholastic.com, another word for “story board” is “picture writing.” And because most children enjoy drawing, creating a story board is just what they need to get started. There is a wide variation of story boards, so after some searching, you’ll find just the right one for your child. Some have more words than pictures, while others encourage more drawings. Either way, mapping out a story with pictures before writing it will increase visual images and get the words onto paper more naturally.

 

  • Ask questions or provide them with prompts: If your child is having a hard time thinking of what to write about – but they’re interested in writing something – start with some questions. Ask them who their main character could be: maybe an animal, a child, or something creepy or silly that comes straight from their imagination? Then ask what they want their character to do. Is the character going on an adventure? Does it have some sort of mission? These questions alone – plus others you can think of – will get their minds stirring with creative thoughts. And if you need even more to work with, Google “writing prompts for children” and the options are endless!

 

  • Subscribe your child to a writing magazine. First, what child doesn’t LOVE getting mail in the mailbox? Something addressed to them, for them, on a regular basis is something they could get excited about and really look forward to. And a writing magazine is filled with stories, ideas on how to write them, and it gives them exposure to what other kids are writing. Also, a lot of these magazines offer writing contests that your child can enter. Imagine how they’d feel to see their story in print!

 

  • For older children, writing board games are very useful. There are many to choose from, of course, but they all have the same general concept: they include cards or cubes filled with words and pictures, and it helps the player to sort ideas based on those words and pictures. This is a great way for a young writer to gather some new and interesting ideas to write about.

 

  • Write their words for them. The process of actually writing words onto paper is important, but another method that children can use is to have their parents write or type out their words for them. This way, they can dictate their stories verbally and speak as quickly as they need to in order to get their words out, and voila! they’re on paper.

As I wrote at the beginning of Reading Is Fun! Imagine That!: “People have been writing ever since the first written language was used thousands of years ago. After all those years, there are still more writers and things to write about. You have your own thoughts and ideas that you could use and share. At EVERY age, people can find that reading, writing, imagining, and creating are FUN.”

Sincerely,

Ruth A. Radmore

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